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5 Things That Can Weaken Your Bones, Even If You’ve Absorbed Enough Calcium

5 Things That Can Weaken Your Bones, Even If You’ve Absorbed Enough Calcium

It’s no secret that calcium is good for you. You pour a glass of milk with your eggs for breakfast and go about your day thinking you just gave your body all the calcium it needs. It’s believed by many that by simply consuming dairy products, their bones will become stronger. Although that may be true to a degree, many do not take into account their lifestyle habits or diet, which can cause their body to either lose calcium or not absorb as much as it should. Here are the 5 traps you can easily fall into and lose the calcium in your body unknowingly:

1. Including spinach, cherries and chocolate in your diet

We like including spinach in our diets, assuming that our body is going to absorb the calcium we need from the vegetable. Spinach is well-known as a great source of calcium. However, what you may not know is spinach, along with berries and chocolate, are foods high in oxalic acid. Oxalic acid is a substance that can bind with the calcium to form an insoluble salt crystal, which is easily carried away through the digestive system before our body is able to absorb the calcium. Therefore, the amount of calcium you can get from eating spinach may be much more insignificant than you expect.

For example, a half cup of cooked spinach only contains 115 mg of calcium. In order to get the same amount of calcium found in one cup of yogurt for your body, you need to eat over 16 cups of raw spinach or 8 cups of cooked spinach.

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What to do: Try avoiding foods containing oxalic acid on the days when you consume foods with calcium so your body can absorb calcium more effectively.

2. Lack of vitamin D

There are a number of reasons why you may lack vitamin D. First, you don’t consume the recommended levels of the vitamin over time.This could be the case if you follow a vegan diet because most natural sources of vitamin D are animal-based, which include fish, eggs yolks, and beef liver, to name a few. Second, your sunlight exposure is limited. Vitamin D is critical in helps our intestines absorb calcium by up to two to four times more.

What to do: Make sure you have diet or enough outdoor activities that sustains the supply of vitamin D before you consume a large amount of dairy products.

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3. Being addicted to soft drinks

It has been found that soda can reduce calcium levels and increase phosphate levels in our blood. That means when drink soft drinks like Coke and Pepsi, calcium loss will happen in our bones.

Apart from existing in soft drinks, phosphorous can also be found in natural foods like shellfish, cheese and porks. If you have too much phosphorous in your diet, it results in extra calcium loss through your urine. Your body will then take calcium from your bones to make up for the lack of calcium in your blood circulation. Eventually, this can lead to osteoporosis, which plagues many Americans today.

What to do: Some people are religious soda drinkers, and for some, it may be difficult to cut it out cold turkey. Keep track of how much soda you drink in a day, and do your best to cut that number in half. Try replacing a soda with flavored water or a power drink.

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4. Stress

By being stressed, you have decreased blood flow to your digestive system which leads to lower HCL (hydrochloride). We need HCL to absorb calcium into our bodies since it is absorbed through the small intestine.

What to do: To stop this from happening, try meditating, keeping a journal, exercising, etc. Anything that allows you to have a healthy release of stress will be beneficial in helping your body absorb the most calcium that it can.

5. Absorbing excess protein

A 2003 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition explains that the consumption of large amounts of protein will lead to a condition known as hypercalciuria. This condition impairs your body’s ability to absorb calcium, which is then discharged. If this condition is left untreated, it can cause your bones to thin as well as having an increased risk of sudden bone fractures and osteoporosis.

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In addition to the above study findings, a 1981 study published in the Federation Proceedings explains that hypercalciuria appears to occur when protein consumption is approximately three times the recommended amount.

What to do: Everyone has different nutritional needs. However, it’s recommended that if you’re healthy, 25 percent of your daily calorie intake should be in the form of protein.

As you can see, obtaining calcium is a bit more complex than originally believed. Start making changes today to ensure your body is getting enough calcium so you can lead a healthier lifestyle.

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Erica Wagner

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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