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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 November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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