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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 September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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