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Bone Degeneration

This grayish-white organ that forms one of the main parts of our body is made of calcium, phosphorous, protein, and minerals. It is strong and yet very light.  They protect our vital organs – brain, lungs, liver, stomach, kidneys, etc.  They give us shape and help us move.  Without bones, we would be like a shapeless mass of flesh.   There are 206 bones in a fully-grown man or woman.   

          -- 54 bones in the hands
          -- 52 bones in the feet
          -- 26 bones in the vertebrae
          -- 25 bones in the chest
          -- 22 bones in the head (skull and face)
          -- 8 bones in the legs
          -- 6 bones in the forearms and arms
          -- 6 bones in the ears
          -- 4 bones in the shoulders
          -- 1 bone in the throat


Our bones grow, change, and wear out eventually.  When our bones wear out and become thin, it can break and affect our mobility. But, we can keep it strong with the right food and exercise.  Osteoporosis (porous bone) is a bone condition or disease where it becomes fragile due to the loss of its density.  People affected by this condition mostly break bones in their hip, wrist and spine; fractures in these areas, can disable people for life. 

In order to keep our bones strong and healthy, we have to watch out for what we eat, because the foods that we eat can make or break our bones.  There are certain foods that we should totally avoid.  These foods can erode our bones and stop its growth.  The following are the list of foods that are ‘not bone healthy’. 

* COOLADES OR SOFT DRINKS:   When we drink these, we lose calcium in our urine.  Phosphoric acid (a chemical) that causes the fizziness is the culprit; it erodes the calcium deposits in our bone and weakens it.  Along with the phosphoric acid, sugar and caffeine are added for taste.   

* SODIUM (salt) :  Intake of salt – in very small amounts – is good for the proper functioning of our cells in the body, but when we consume excessively, especially refined salts, the chances of our bone thinning increases.  Researchers say that calcium is excreted in our urine.  Now-a-days, almost everything we eat has salt, especially in the processed foods.  It is wise to avoid them.


* OIL :  Oils that are hydrogenated kills vitamin-k that strengthens our bones.  Vitamin-k is present is present in the oils, and when hydrogen is passed over them, it solidifies and destroy the essential vitamin-k that build our bone.  When you buy a food product, see whether it is hydrogenated or not; if it is prepared from hydrogenated oil, don’t buy it.  


* Caffeine : It is an alkaloid that comes from plants.  It is used in soft drinks, coffee, chocolate, etc, to act as a stimulant.  It eats away our bones whenever we consume foods with caffeine in them.  Caffeine also interferes with vitamin-D which is responsible for the absorption of calcium in our body.


*ALCOHOL :  It may be good for heart but it is bad for our bones.  When we drink alcohol, it interferes with the minerals in our bones.  Our bones have minerals and alcohol prevents it absorption.  If you are an alcoholic you are bound to break your bones at one point, and when you do, your bones will have a hard time healing.  By drinking and getting habituated with it, you have destroyed the bone-building cells. 

*MEAT:  Eating animal protein is good for us, but high consumption of meat makes us lose calcium.


* Vitamin-A:  This fat-soluble compound is found beta-carotene and retinol. They are important for good vision and healthy immune system.  But, intake of too much vitamin-A rich foods has a negative impact on our bone health, especially if the foods we consume are in retinol form.  So, consume very, very less of beef, liver, cheese, fat-free milk, chicken, etc., because retinol is found in these foods.


 FOR  HEALTHY BONES

-         Eat salt water fish
-         Consume leafy greens and colorful vegetables
-         Munch on seeds – sunflower and pumpkin
-         Eat natural yogurt (curd)
-         Drink milk
-         Eat nuts
-         Sun light (expose yourself for 15 minutes a day)
-         Do exercise
-         Avoid falls (accidents)

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