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7 Foods For Strong Bones (Warning, long article)

Monday, April 27, 2009

From http://www.lifescript.com
LifeScript: Women's health, fashion & entertainment

7 Best Bone-Building Foods
Thursday, February 19, 2009

Women start to lose bone mass in their 30s. But a good diet will lower the risk of a weak skeleton. Here are 7 foods that are great for your main frame. Plus, you can make up for diet deficiencies with supplements, but how much do you know about them? Test yourself with our quiz…

1. Seeds
Think of bone-building minerals and calcium first comes to mind. Our skeleton is largely made of calcium, but other minerals play a key role too. In fact, 50% of the body’s magnesium resides in our bones. Low levels are linked to fragile bones and calcium loss, research shows.

All seeds are good magnesium sources, but pumpkin seeds outshine the rest.

Here are a few ways to eat seeds:

# Measure a 1-ounce portion to take to work for an afternoon pick-me-up.

# Sprinkle a tablespoon or two onto your mixed green salad.

# Toss some with green beans or sautéed spinach.

2. Nuts
Bones aren’t hard and brittle; they’re living organs with live cells and fluids. Every day, bone cells break down and build up. That’s how they remain strong and heal after a break.

Walnuts – rich in alpha linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid – decrease the rate of bone breakdown and keep bone formation constant, according to a 2007 Nutrition Journal study. Brazil nuts are also great sources of magnesium.

So grab a small handful for a snack or sprinkle a couple tablespoons into your oatmeal. Keep in mind that nuts are high-fat and high-calorie, so limit your daily serving to one ounce – about 1/4 cup. Other foods with alpha linolenic acid include: flaxseed oil, ground flaxseeds, walnut oil, soybeans, soybean oil and canola oil.

3. Tap Water
Fluoride, famed for its role in preventing cavities, is also a component of your bones and adds to their density. Many communities add this mineral to drinking water to help dental health. So if you drink only bottled water, you may not get enough fluoride to protect your teeth or bones.

4. Leafy Greens
Make green your new favorite color. Your salads and steamed greens are packed with bone-building nutrients, particularly calcium, magnesium and vitamin K.

Vitamin K is critical in forming bone proteins and cuts calcium loss in urine. Too little of this fat-soluble vitamin increases risk of hip fractures, research shows.

Just one cup of raw or a half-cup of cooked greens provides several times the recommended intake of 90 micrograms per day. Here are a few ways to sneak some extra greens in today:

# Add lettuce to your sandwiches. Even iceberg has vitamin K.

# Slip spinach leaves between layers of noodles in homemade lasagna.

# Start your dinner with a salad of spinach or mixed greens.

# Try dandelion greens or Swiss chard for dinner.

5. Beans
Have beans for supper tonight, especially pinto, black, white and kidney beans. You’ll get another good boost of magnesium and even some calcium. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends at least 2-1/2 cups of beans and other legumes (peas, lentils) weekly.

Bean-eaters reduce their risk of cancer, heart disease and obesity. Problem is, most people don’t know what to do with them. Here are a few ideas:

# At the beginning of the week, open and rinse a can of beans, and store them in your refrigerator. Each night, toss a heaping spoonful into your mixed green salad.

# Top nachos with red beans.

# Mix any canned bean into vegetable soups.

# Add black beans or kidney beans to pasta salads.

# Instead of coleslaw or potato salad, take a bean salad to your next potluck supper.

6. Fish
When it comes to bones, calcium is nothing without vitamin D, which we need so our bodies can absorb calcium. As with vitamin K, vitamin D deficiency also is linked to hip fracture. In fact, 50% of women with osteoporosis who were hospitalized for hip fracture had signs of vitamin D deficiency, according to a scientific review by the American Medical Association.

The best fish? Salmon. A small serving of salmon – only 3-1/2 ounces – gives you 90% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin D. If you want a double-whammy of bone-building nutrients, don’t just look to fresh fish. Canned salmon provides vitamin D and calcium… as long as you eat the bones. (Don’t worry, they’re soft.)

7. Dairy
Many of us forget about milk once we outgrow crazy straws and strawberry powder, but bones don’t stop developing in our teens. We add bone mass even in our 20s, but only if we consume enough of the nutritional elements.

Once we reach menopause and begin to lose estrogen, our bones lose calcium more rapidly than at any other time in our lives. Here again, calcium and vitamin D can help delay the loss of bone mass.

Milk is a good source of vitamin D because it is fortified. Cheese, yogurt and ice cream generally aren’t; they contain little vitamin D. Drink nonfat or 1% milk; the others have high saturated fat and cholesterol content. Pour a nice cold glass and enjoy – with or without a cookie.

More Dos and Don’ts for Strong Bones

Do eat fruits and veggies. You’ve been told this over and over, but it’s worth repeating. Higher consumption means greater bone mineral density. Researchers can’t say why, but fruits and vegetables are loaded with an array of nutrients that build strong bones.

Do exercise. Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Weight-bearing exercises like running, dancing and lifting weights stress your bones in a good way. This signals your body to make more bone cells.

Don’t drink too much. Alcohol can inhibit the formation of new bone cells.

Don’t drink cola. Regular cola drinkers have lower bone mineral density than women who rarely drink cola.

Don’t smoke. The more you smoke, the greater your risk of a fracture.

Don’t worry about caffeine – if you get enough calcium. Drink caffeine and you’ll lose more calcium in your urine one to three hours afterward. Drinking more than two or three cups of coffee per day is associated with bone loss in postmenopausal women when their calcium intake is inadequate. Aim for 1,200 milligrams (mg) of calcium daily – the equivalent of four cups of milk or yogurt – if you’ve hit menopause. Otherwise, 1,000 mg should do.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MADERINE 4/27/2009 8:33PM

    Awesome article! Thank you so much! I am terrible with my own bone health, but I'll start incorporating some of these today!

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Click To Give, Donate a Mammogram!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Breast Cancer site is having trouble getting enough people to click on their site daily to meet their quota of donating at least one free mammogram a day to an underprivileged woman.

It takes less than a minute to go to their site and click on 'donating a mammogram' -- for free (pink window in the middle). This does not cost you a thing. Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate a mammogram in exchange for advertising. (You can check this out on Snopes.com for validation if necessary.)

Please remember to click every day to fund free mammograms and give hope to women in need. Every click counts toward the goal of early detection, which allows for the best possible treatment options.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BIGT_56 4/26/2009 10:53AM

    Done! I used to do this all the time and I lost the site. I will try and remember to do it everyday when I log onto Sparks.

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I went on the most AWESOME hike ever today!!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Seriously, rough and rugged (for me, anyway), hill climbing, stepping on rocks to cross streams, ROCK CLIMBING, and lots of beautiful scenery (although it will be much MORE beautiful once it greens up around here). Best of all, that was my SECOND hike of the day. I feel so good right now I could just lay down and die and be happy about it. I posted a few of the pictures we took on that hike, as well as some other hikes, in my photo album.

I still have ALL my strength training to do today, but I might take it a little easy on myself, since I'm sure that climbing down and then back up that rock wall must count for *some* strength training. Definitely need to do some crunches, and probably as much as I can handle anyway.

Cue in James Brown now...cuz
I FEEL GOOD! (dadadadada)
Just like I knew that I would now (dadadadadada)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLASUN 4/24/2009 8:14PM

    Debbie, Beautiful Trails and river ....rocks you got to hike at today!! I bet you really got a lot of steps in, and great exercise too! Tomorrow night I'll be getting in a lot of hours of my fun exercise.....dancing and walking! Hope you have a great weekend! emoticon Janice

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Self Motivation tips

Thursday, April 23, 2009

* Have a fall-back plan
Setting a goal can be tricky. If it’s too easy, you’ll probably lose interest and drive. If it’s too hard, you may fall short and quit due to the feeling that you’ve failed. Give yourself some ‘wiggle-room’! Sometimes it helps me to have multiple planned outcomes: “I’ll be ecstatic if…”; “I’ll be happy if…”; or “I’ll be satisfied with”. We are hard enough on ourselves, as it is. Never view your efforts as failures, but rather as stepping stones to a goal that you will ultimately achieve.

This is my favorite tip. Using it now:
*I'll be ecstatic if I actually manage to reach my initial goal of 176 lbs. by May 1.
*I'll be happy with reaching 178 by that time.
*I'll be satisfied with being at a SOLID (with no upward number jumps) 178 lbs. at the end of May.

* Accentuate the positive!
Remember - You started this fitness plan to be better off tomorrow than you are today - and you know that these changes take time and dedication. Falling ‘off the wagon’ for a party or skipping a week of work-outs during a vacation should not make you quit your long-term effort. Look at how far you’ve come and stay committed to remain on the road of progress (it’s a long and winding road for most of us...unlike our straight-line plans!).

I know that I am already better off today than I was before I began this journey, so if necessary, I'll settle for that much...for now. Not indefinitely, since my ultimate goal is to tighten up and lose weight, but it's good enough for now.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLASUN 4/24/2009 8:07AM

    Debbie, You are doing Fantastic!!! You have got me Motivated to get Exercising and Walking!! I'm sure you are going to hit those goals soon!!! Don't be so hard on yourself, and keep up the emoticon work you are doing! emoticon Janice

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I could have just added this to my cookbook, but it takes so long to use the recipe tool that I decided to just copy and paste the recipe here instead. That way I've still got it handy, and can share it with others as well ;)

Pepper Jelly and Soy Glazed Salmon
Serves 8, 4oz servings

Prep: 25 minutes
Marinate: 1 hour
Cook: 10 minutes
Grill: 15 minutes


* 1 2-lb. fresh or frozen skinless salmon fillet, about 1 inch thick
* 2/3 cup green jalapeño pepper jelly
* 1/3 cup rice vinegar
* 1/3 cup soy sauce
* 3 green onions, sliced
* 1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
* 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
* 1/4 cup snipped fresh cilantro
* 1/4 cup sliced fresh jalapeno chile peppers and/or sliced green onions


1. Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse fish; pat dry. In saucepan melt jelly over low heat; remove. Stir in next 7 ingredients. Place fish in shallow dish; pour mixture over fish. Cover; refrigerate 1 to 2 hours, turning fish occasionally.

2. Remove fish from marinade; reserve marinade. For charcoal grill, arrange medium-hot coals around edge of grill. Test for medium heat in center of grill. Place fish on greased piece of heavy-duty foil in center of grill. Cover; grill 15 to 18 minutes or until fish flakes when tested with a fork. (For gas grill, adjust for indirect cooking. Grill over medium heat as above.)

3. Bring reserved marinade to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes or until reduced to 1/2 cup. Drizzle over fish; sprinkle cilantro, peppers, and onions. Serves 8.
Nutrition Facts

* Calories 302,
* Total Fat (g) 13,
* Saturated Fat (g) 3,
* Monounsaturated Fat (g) 5,
* Polyunsaturated Fat (g) 5,
* Cholesterol (mg) 67,
* Sodium (mg) 753,
* Carbohydrate (g) 19,
* Total Sugar (g) 17,
* Fiber (g) 0,
* Protein (g) 24,
* Vitamin C (DV%) 15,
* Calcium (DV%) 3,
* Iron (DV%) 6,
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet


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