Eat to beat 6 common problems
Research confirms that by including certain foods in your diet you can help fight many health problems. Good Food's nutritionist, Fiona Hunter, offers practical advice...
Foods to fight...osteoporosis
A good calcium intake while bones are still growing will increase bone density, making them stronger and helping to prevent fractures later in life. Find out about good sources, plus other foods that will help to beat osteoporosis:
- Dairy products are an excellent source of calcium, in a form that is easily absorbed by the body.
- Vitamin D, vital for the absorption of calcium, is found in very few foods. However, oil-rich fish, egg yolks and liver all provide useful amounts.
- Magnesium may have an important role to play in helping to keep bones healthy. Good sources include Brazil nuts, sunflower and sesame seeds, almonds, bananas and dark green, leafy vegetables such as spinach.
- Studies have found that women who have a good intake of vitamin K have denser bones and fewer hip fractures, so add kale and broccoli to your diet.
EAT LESS salt and fizzy drinks. A high salt intake can cause calcium to leach from the bones.
Large amounts of vitamin A can weaken bones - as a precaution, the Food Standards Agency recommends that people who eat liver regularly (more than once a week) should not increase this amount, and avoid taking vitamin A supplements. It also recommends that anyone at risk of osteoporosis should not take more than 1.5mg of vitamin A per day.
Some studies suggest that large intakes of phosphoric acid from fizzy drinks weakens bones as calcium is drawn out of them to neutralise the acid. Excessive alcohol intake can also damage the cells that make new bone.
Eat at least three servings of dairy products a day. If you don't eat dairy, include other calcium-rich foods such as canned fish, or take a supplement
Take regular weight-bearing exercise and quit smoking
Drink no more than three units of alcohol a day (four for men) and have at least one alcohol-free day a week