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3 Reasons Why Sugar is The Greatest Enemy of Your Bone Health

3 Reasons Why Sugar is The Greatest Enemy of Your Bone Health

Most people are familiar with the ways sugar can harm their health by increasing the risk of obesity, diabetes, tooth decay and heart disease. It affects behavior and cognition in children. But most of us aren’t familiar with yet another threat sugar poses to our health. It has damaging effect on our bones as well as it erodes cartilage – a tissue that keeps our bones strong. And most of us tend to brace ourselves when it comes to consuming sugar in our daily diet. But how much sugar is too much? And are we safe from bad sugar if we avoid sugary drinks and sweets?

1. Sugar causes calcium depletion

Calcium is a mineral vital to our bones as it helps keep their solid structure. Lack of calcium leads to osteoporosis, or “porous bones” condition. Excessive sugar consumption leads to fast calcium depletion from the body through urine, as studies show.  Also, acidifying feature of sugar leads to the increase in calcium excretion, robbing our bones of their density.

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In order for our bones to rebuild themselves and avoid the risk of osteoporosis, it is essential that we decrease processed sugar consumption and replace it with more natural options such as fructose from fruits.

2. Sugar increases cortisol levels

Cortisol is a hormone in our body that needs to be on optimal level in order for bodily functions to work properly. When cortisol levels increase, it affects our health in many ways. It leads to decreased immunity and abdominal fat, and can seriously harm our bone tissue.

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Most of people are familiar with the role stress plays in increasing cortisol levels, but sugar is highly responsible too. In his study, Dr. Yudkin warned about the detrimental effect sugar has on our health, and showed how it increases cortisol levels in our body. Aside from keeping our stress levels in control, we should also eliminate processed sugar from our diet in order to have optimal level of cortisol and healthy bones.

3. Sugar robs our bones of magnesium

Magnesium is essential for proper bone density. It is important for people suffering from osteoporosis to increase their daily intake of the mineral in order to keep their bones strong. Processed sugar is also responsible for the decrease of magnesium as it requires 54 molecules of magnesium to process one molecule of sugar. As the study published in The Clinical Biochemist Reviews states, refined sugar may reduce magnesium content by almost 85%.

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Even if you avoid eating food that contains a lot of sugar, you might be surprised with how much sugar there is in some types of food we wouldn’t normally expect to find sugar in, such as in many low-fat types of food, where sugar is used to replenish the fat to improve the taste, and many ready-made foods such as:

  • soups and various types of sauces
  • red apples (green apples are a better alternative since they contain less sugar)
  • sports drinks, flavored yogurts, ketchup

It is important to read all the labels carefully to be aware of how much sugar you are actually consuming.

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If you consume too much sugar, try to gradually reduce the intake of sugar to retrain your taste buds to forget the sweet taste. A healthy alternative for replacing sugar can be honey, yet it should be used it in moderation. Other alternatives are stevia, which is a natural sweetener that comes from a plant and has no calories, and molasses, which is a byproduct of sugar processing that comes in many varieties and has many beneficial effects to your health.

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Ana Erkic

Social Media Consultant, Online Marketing Strategist, Copywriter, CEO and Co-Founder of Growato

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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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