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Your Support System: Optimizing Bone and Muscle Health

 By | January 30, 2020 | No Comments
 Category: Exercise Healthy Diet Supplements Three Pillars of Health

Taking care of your bones and joints takes an integrated approach. Food choices, supplements, hydration and exercise are all part of the recipe to keep your parts healthy, happy and moving!

Eat It: What you eat can have a positive or negative effect on the health of your bones and joints. It is important to make smart choices to keep your supporting structure working well.

  • For bone and muscle health, how much protein is enough? About 0.5-0.8 grams of protein per pound body weight is necessary to repair and create muscle protein, increase lean body mass, support a healthy immune system, “remodel” the protein in muscle, bone, tendons and ligaments. You can incorporate protein as a part of each meal or snack (should be about 1/3 of the plate). Lean meat (e.g., beef, pork, veal and lamb), poultry, fish, seafood, soy foods, low-fat dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt), eggs, beans and peas, nuts, seeds and nut and seed butters are all excellent sources of protein.
  • The amino acid, leucine (about 2.5 grams a day) helps to increase or maintain muscle protein synthesis. Beef, chicken, pork, tuna and milk are all good sources for leucine.
  • Calcium is important for bone health as well. Calcium-rich food options include low- fat milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, fortified cereals, fortified orange juice and almonds. However, watch out for salty foods, as they can leach calcium from the bones.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables, which actually improve bone health due to the potassium content.
  • Limit alcohol intake, which is a bone robber as it decreases the activity of osteoblasts — bone building cells.

Move It: Bones and muscles need to move daily, try a combination of the following activities:

  • Weight bearing cardio, such as walking running, dancing, tennis, basketball, soccer.
  • Resistance exercise, such as weight training, resistance bands. Remember, be sure to time protein intake (about 20-25 grams) within 1 hour of resistance training to increase lean mass and strength.
  • Flexibility exercises, such as stretching, yoga and pilates.

Take It: Since calcium requirements are high, anywhere from 1000-1500 milligrams per day, it may be difficult to meet your needs through food alone. Getting adequate Vitamin D through food alone is quite challenging. If you eat leafy greens daily, you may meet your Vitamin K requirements, but if not, you may benefit from a supplement that contains all three: calcium, Vitamin D and Vitamin K. Protein powders, whey/soy protein and ginger help to maintain healthy muscles.

Eat well, supplement, move enough, as needed to treat your body right!



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