Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Beyond Calcium

Greetings LIFEers. Although the class started off bone-idle due to our speaker, Dr. Chase Hayden, running late, we soon got going and had a crash course in bone health. We all know that calcium and vitamin D are crucial for good bone health, but what else can we do? Dr. Hayden returned today to give us some insights and answers.

Our health is as unique to us as our fingerprints, so no one answer works for everyone, but some things you can do to improve your bone health overall are:

1) Eat 5-6 small meals a day. Why? It starts with stress. When you are stressed your body produces cortisol and slows down delivering nutrients to your bones and other organs. So reducing stress is key to bone health (and health in general). Hunger is a form of stress on the body, so eating small meals and snacks regularly prevents hunger. On the other end of the scale, insulin surges (from eating big meals or eating infrequently)cause cortisol levels to increase. So eating several small meals throughout the day prevents hunger and insulin surges, which can lead to bone nutrient depletion.

2) Go to sleep earlier and regularly at the same time. Sleep is another method the body has to combat stress. When your melatonin levels rise, your cortisol levels decline, so get your 8 hours, get them early and get them regularly.

3) Eat your Omega 3 fatty acids and have a diet balanced in lean meats, healthy fats (avocado, nuts, olive oil, seeds, etc) and low carbs. Diet plays a large role in our bodies' mineral absorption, so eating healthy will greatly help your bones.

Check out Dr. Hayden's slide show below, and don't be a lazy bones anymore. Beat stress through meditation (yoga, prayer), fun (social times, play) and exercise. And keep your bones healthy and strong for years to come.

Dr. Hayden's website

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