National Healthy Bones Week

The Australian Dairy industry is the organizers of this event. While there is no doubt that this is to promote their products, I truly believe that this is a great idea. National Healthy bone week starts on the 19th of August and finishes on the 25th of August 2012. Here is a brief overview from their website. Extract from Dairy Australia’s web site: Established in 1994, National Healthy Bones Week raises awareness of the important role calcium-rich foods, such as dairy, have in the development and maintenance of healthy bones and the prevention of osteoporosis later in life. The campaign educates Australians about the importance of developing and maintaining strong bones and encourages active steps towards a healthier bone mass through the consumption of a calcium-rich diet including dairy foods. National Healthy Bones Week is organised by Dairy Australia. They have a great site set up and also a calcium calculator to allow you to establish how much calcium you require on a daily basis. (See link at the bottom of this article) I am supportive of this as calcium is not that easy to get in our diets. Of all the nutrients we require we do need to make a conscious effort to ensure we have this vital mineral. Our Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) dictates that an average adult must consume between 1000mg and 1300mg of calcium daily. This number is slightly higher for lactating and pregnant woman. Calcium is required for muscle function, nerve transmission and hormonal secretion among other things, it is also important in most of our metabolic functions. Calcium is found in leafy dark green vegetables like spinach however spinach also contains oxalates which can inhibit the uptake of calcium. Dairy is probably the most reliable source which includes, cheese, milk (low fat and calcium enriched is a good option) and yoghurts. Just one glass of skimmed milk will give you 244mg of calcium. Fish is also a good source of calcium along with a good source of omega fats, oils and proteins. Not all fish have this attribute but saltwater fish will have a higher mineral content because of its salty environment. One 100g portion of sardines in oil will allow you to consume about 450mg of calcium. For the fruit lovers fresh (not dried) figs will also act as a good source. Calcium in conjunction with Vitamin D (vitamin D to assist with the uptake) helps keep our bones and teeth healthy but is also responsible for lowering blood pressure, controlling our heart beats, plays a role in blood clotting, maintains cell membranes, assists in preventing colon cancer, activates enzymes such as lipase, assists with absorption of B12 and of course in osteoblast activity (bone regeneration). Smoking, lack of sunlight, alcohol excesses, too much coffee (caffeine) all contribute to a calcium loss in our systems. Women are normally at a greater risk of developing osteoporosis than their male counterparts because of the decline in oestrogen levels after menopause. The hormone Oestrogen is an important hormone for maintaining healthy bones in woman. When levels decline, their bones lose calcium and other vital minerals at a much higher rate. Bone loss is between 1% – 5% per year after menopause. Osteoporosis is quickly becoming a health issue for people across the world and will account for a large percentage of people entering our health system and hospitals. So join in “National Healthy Bones Week” and think about your calcium intake. A little sunlight won’t hurt you either !!!

By: John Hart Master’s In Education” (Disability/Rehab) Newcastle University Australia “Grad Cert Education” Newcastle University Australia “Diploma Fitness/Recreation” “Diploma of Sport and Recreation” “Cert 4 Personal Training” “Level 1 Strength and Conditioning Coach” Member of ASCA (Australian Strength and Conditioning Association)

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