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Spinal health week- Maintaining healthy bones

With the upcoming spinal health week next week and events planned, I thought I might speak a little about maintaining healthy bones and structure through nutrition and lifestyle.

Our bones have some important work to do within the body

  1. They protect our organ such as the lung and brain from damage

  2. Contain our marrow which processes white blood cells

  3. Store minerals like Calcium

  4. and most importantly they support the structure of our body so we can live an active lifestyle.

Healthy bones are important for everyone and at every stage of life, the more we can do at the beginning of our life to support healthy bones the easier it will be later in life.

In children its important as strong bones assist in the growth and development and reach our peak mass when we are in our 20s.

Minerals such as calcium are important in bone health


is our major building block for bones but without the assistance of vitamin D will not be absorbed as well into the bones. It also important to get the right calcium for optimum health.

If calcium is lacking in the diet then the body will remove the calcium from the bones and cause bones to become more weak and brittle

How much calcium is recommended ?

children 1-3 years of age require 500mg/per day

4-8 years of age require 700mg/per day

9-11 years of age require 100mg/per day

Teenagers up to the age of 18 require 1300mg/per day

Adults 19-70 years of age require 1000mg/per day

51+ in women need 1300mg/ per day and 71+ in men need 1300mg/per day

pregnancy increases the need for calcium slightly.

Food that contain high Calcium

I will not mention cows milk, from research I have readI question if it does more harm then good these days with the way it is processed and manufactured. If you have cows on a farm and use their milk fresh then this would be a good source of calcium.

Goats milk 327mg per cup

Salmon 60mg per 100g of fresh salmon

Almonds 1 cup of almonds 377mg

chickpeas 1 cup of canned 200mg

Dried fig 6 figs contain 80mg

silverbeet 1/2 cup boiled 100mg

boiled egg 1 boiled egg 55mg

cucumber 1 cup sliced 120mg

Tofu soft 1 cup contain 260mg

If you do require a nutritional supplement to assist in making sure you are getting enough calcium make sure if it a well absorbed calcium such as calcium phosphate ( same as what is in our bones) or calcium hydroxyapatite.

Vitamin D

While some foods such as mushrooms contain vitamin D, we mostly absorb it best from the sunshine. Vitamin D increase the amount of calcium that is absorbed into the bones and as such is very important. We have to however balance the risk of skin cancer with Vitamin D needs as wearing sunscreen effect the absorption of Vitamin D.

Avoid peak UV times and the skin tone is dependent on how much sunlight you need each day.

Mid morning and mid afternoon is best and around 5-10mins arms bare in summer for fair skinned people. In winter 7-30 mins is recommended.

If needing to increase vitamin D in children a cod liver oil is best as it contain high amount of natural vitamin D. For adults a Vitamin D supplement may be required.


Maintaining healthy bones means you have to use those bones and keep them moving.

The best exercise for health bones includes jogging, walking , resistance training, balance training and weight bearing.

unfortunately cycling and swimming do not much for bone health, they will burn calories and great for heart health but not enough for the bones.

30mins of exercise 4-6 times a week will help maintain bone density.

Come join us on the 24th of May at 4pm till 7pm at evergreen building ill be available to answer any questions.

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