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Benefits of Carrot And Its Side Effects Tips

6 Foods For Healthy Hair!

Dt. Khushboo Sahijwani Matta 89% (91 ratings)
BHSC. In Dietetics, Msc Dietetics & Food Service Management
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Mumbai
6 Foods For Healthy Hair!

Everyone loves a thick luscious mane of hair, which is shown on television commercials. To be able to flick around shiny healthy locks, you may have tried the best shampoo brands, made frequent visits to the parlour and consulted the doctors several times. However, did you know that the best nutrition for your hair comes from the food you eat daily? Thinning hair, reduction in hairline, excessive hairfall resulting in an undesirable physical change, can be a major cause of frustration and low self esteem. Healthy and hygienic lifestyle, sufficient sleep, adequate water intake and exercises along with a balanced diet help to promote the growth of hair.

Important nutrients necessary to boost hair growth and volume:

  1. Most of the hair is made of protein and therefore it is of utmost importance to include proteins in the diet. Protein cells are building blocks for hair and strengthen your locks.
  2. Vitamin D leads to a healthy scalp and activates the growth of hair follicles.
  3. Biotin (Vitamin B7) leads to the synthesis of an important hormone known as Keratin which forms the fibrous part of hair.
  4. Inadequate Folic acid in the diet can cause a reduction in cell division and lead to premature greying of hair.
  5. Vitamin A and C help to keep the scalp free of dandruff. They lead to the production of sebum that nourishes the hair strands and prevents split ends. Split ends can lead to the breakage of hair, eventually turning your precious mane into a rough, dull and unmanageable one.
  6. Omega-3 fatty Acids improve blood circulation to the hair roots, promoting shine and health of hair.
  7. Iron and Zinc prevent breakage and damage of hair. They contribute to strengthening of hair roots.

Some of the best food items recommended for maintaining healthy hair:

  1. Carrots, Whole grains, Legumes and Lentils, leafy green vegetables, fruits: Carrots are rich sources of Vitamin A. Carrots have several advantageous effects on the human body, mostly showing remarkable improvement in eyesight and hair growth. Carrots can be eaten in a salad, boiled or lightly tossed in the pan in just a few drops of oil and beneficial spices for added flavour. Carrots can also be made into carrot juice and consumed on a regular basis. Vegetables, fruits and legumes are rich sources of iron, zinc; vitamins that are essential for hair maintenance.
  2. Lean Meat and Eggs: Eggs and lean meat are rich sources of protein. Egg whites do a commendable job when it comes to promoting hair growth. Egg yolk and the egg whites are known to remarkably condition the hair and benefit damaged hair when mixed with a natural hair pack before shampooing it off. Egg protein is beneficial, whether consumed or applied externally. It must be made a vital inclusion in your diet.
  3. Oatmeal: Known to have multiple benefits, it must make a way into your diet chart, if you are looking forward to healthy skin, hair and the perfect body weight. Oatmeal applied externally can condition and clean the hair, reducing itchiness of the scalp. Oatmeal consumed in breakfast daily can help to control hormonal imbalance that leads to excessive hair loss. It can also play an important role in controlling genetic alopecia.
  4. Walnuts and Almonds: The “W” of Walnut can also stand for Wonder nut. This nut contains all the necessary vitamins that activate the hair follicles and increase the volume of hair. It contains, iron, zinc, Vitamins B9, B6 and B1, healthy fats and adequate protein. Almonds are as beneficial as Walnuts, containing all the basic important nutrients needed for your hair. A handful of walnuts and almonds daily will zealously guard your hair for a long, long time.
  5. Green Tea and Dark Chocolates: Rich in anti-oxidants, green tea is beneficial both when consumed internally and applied externally. The hair can be washed with green tea to remove and prevent dandruff. Dark chocolates are also rich sources of anti-oxidants. Now that’s a delectable way towards healthy and happy hair.
  6. Fish: Salmon, Mackerel, Oysters are excellent sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids.
1375 people found this helpful

Ayurvedic Treatment For Skin Problems!

Dr. Pradeep Nori 87% (124 ratings)
BAMS
Ayurveda, Hyderabad
Ayurvedic Treatment For Skin Problems!

Our skin has a tendency to become harsh, dry and aggravated during specific seasons and with age. As per Ayurveda, it happens because of the collection of vata in the body. When there is excess of vata, we are inclined to dry skin, acne, dry hair and weak nails. Vata can appear in the body even faster in case you are under stress. Here are some Ayurvedic tips that will decrease the vata accumulation in the body and will help you remain young and keep your skin healthy:

  1. Try not to skip the veggies: Stick to high water content vegetables that are easy to digest, for example, lettuce, carrot, cucumber, radish (which is highly recommended in Ayurveda for its healing properties), fennel, and asparagus. These vegetables are useful for a wide range of skin. Mix no less than three and relish with a basic olive oil-lemon juice dressing.
  2. Add some seeds and nuts: Both conventional and Ayurvedic medications believe that including seeds and nuts in your diet will enhance the state of your skin. Vata is drying by nature so all nourishments that have regular and healthy fats in them will keep this dryness. The seeds and nuts contain Omega-3, healthy fats and fiber to help get rid of the vata assimilation.
  3. Have some teaVata is dry and cool by nature so your skin will remain healthier looking, if your keep these two qualities under control. Remain hydrated for the duration of the day and have warm fluids, for example, herbal tea. Making some hot tea with crisp ginger and lemon will wake you up toward the evening and keep your absorption healthy, which is important for shining skin.
  4. Keep exercise regular: Exercising is fundamental in keeping the Vata from spreading further. Exercising is recommended to keep your muscles and joints sound and healthy while helping you sweat out the toxins. Exercise will likewise enhance blood flow, absorption, and give you a solid skin
  5. Practice yogic breathing: High levels of mental anxiety are one of the significant reasons why Vata gets disturbed. It truly sucks out all the good juices from your skin making it dried out. Breathing can be an exceptionally powerful anxiety buster that you might need to consider.
  6. Snooze off with sunset: Aggravated Vata frequently causes anxiety, which can lead to a sleeping disorder. Any healthy skin proficient or Ayurvedic specialist will tell you that getting no less than seven hours of rest is something worth it in order to have a scar-free glowing skin.
  7. Use skin moisturiser: Staying hydrated within is vital yet you should not disregard dealing with your outer skin all things considered, too. Purging and saturating are the most essential to keeping your skin sound and youthful.
2515 people found this helpful

Rainbow Meal Plate!

Dt. Asritha Vissapragda 92% (249 ratings)
Masters In Applied Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Hyderabad

Colour plays a unique role in daily life. There is color everywhere. Our day starts with bright yellow rays of the sun, trees welcome the day with vibrant green light. There is color everywhere from the dress we wear to the place we live in. Why not our meals be colourfull. A rainbow meal plate not only looks beautiful but also keeps you healthy. Every color carries a specific vibration with it and that will affect our systems (especially endocrine system). In this article, we will discuss in detail about VIBGYOR foods and their effect on our systems.

  • Red: It is one of the primary colors. Red color has its effect on adrenal glands. This color has its effect on survival, safety, and tribe. Red foods help to improve immunity as they are rich in vitamin c. Vitamin c also helps to support structures like teeth, bones, and skin. Lycopene is the phytonutrient present in red foods. The color red is obtained to a fruit or vegetable because of this phytonutrient. There are studies that show that lycopene has anti-cancer properties. Examples: watermelon, apples, pomegranates, strawberries, beetroot, red cabbage, red onion etc.
  • Orange: It is the color of creativity. Orange has its effect on the reproductive system. It codes for productivity, creativity, and emotions. Orange color foods are rich in beta-carotene. It is also one of the phytonutrients. Beta-carotene helps in cell replication and supports reproductive health. Examples: carrots, orange bell peppers, orange etc.
  • Yellow: Yellow connects with one of the five elements of earth that is the fire. Yellow colored foods affect digestive systems and this color codes for power, energy, and transformation. These foods help to control excessive acid production in stomach and aids in the better digestion of foods. Lemon squeezed in water is an excellent tonic for the liver. Examples: lemon, pineapple, banana, ginger etc.
  • Green: Green is the color of love. Green colored foods help in proper functioning of the heart. This color codes for love, compassion, and gratitude. Green colored foods are rich in vitamin k which helps in blood clotting, thereby preventing blood loss during any injury. Vitamin k also reduces homocysteine levels in the blood. Homocysteine is one of the contributors to heart diseases. Examples: leafy greens, wheatgrass, kiwi, honeydew melon, pear etc.
  • Blue: Blue is the color of truth. Blue foods have an effect on thyroid functioning. This color codes for voice, authenticity, and choice. There are very fewer foods with this color. Blue foods are rich in iodine. Examples: sea plants like noori, kelp, agar, spirulina
  • Indigo: It is the color of insight. Indigo colored foods help in brain functioning. This color codes for insight, reflection, and visualization. The phytonutrients present in these foods are called anthocyanins. These foods help in better cognition. There are studies that show that blueberries help in improving cognition. Examples: blueberries, black currants, black apple (kala jamun), blackberries etc.
  • Violet: This is a highly spiritual color. The foods rich in this color will affect pineal gland. This color codes for purpose, soul, and connection. White colored fruits and vegetables will have an effect on this system. These foods help in cleansing and maintaining circadian rhythm. Examples: garlic, onion cauliflower, cabbage.

Now we know the importance of color in our food. So, make your plate as colorful as possible to nourish your systems as well as to tap into your senses. Enjoy every color of life. Bring out the child in you to play with colorful food.
Take away points:
1. To begin with, focus on including more than 3 colors in your plate.
2. Track how many colors you are eating in a day and notice the changes happening in your system.
3. Make a note of the color codes and when you dress in particular color notice how you feel.

3 people found this helpful

PCOS - How To Protect Yourself From Weight Gain?

Dt. Divita Dhingra 85% (10 ratings)
Diploma In Diet & Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Delhi
PCOS - How To Protect Yourself From Weight Gain?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age. Polycystic means “many cysts,” and PCOS often causes clusters of small, pearl-sized cysts in the ovaries. The cysts are fluid-filled and contain immature eggs. PCOS affects one in 4 women.

What are the causes behind it?
While the exact cause of PCOS is unknown, doctors believe that hormonal imbalances and genetics play a role. Women are more likely to develop PCOS if their mother or sister also has the condition.
Overproduction of the hormone androgen may be another contributing factor. Androgen is a male sex hormone that women’s bodies also produce. 

PCOS Symptoms
PCOS is a syndrome disease defined by a collection of signs and symptoms. The symptoms of PCOS that one patient experiences can be very different from the symptoms of another patient. If you have two or more of the following symptoms, you need to have a thorough checkup to determine if you need PCOS treatment:

  • Irregular or missing menstrual periods
  • Infertility
  • Excess or unwanted body or facial hair growth
  • Thinning hair on the scalp
  • Weight problems, often including weight gain around the waist
  • Skin problems, including skin tags, darkening skin and acne

Does PCOS increase weight?
The answer is a ‘YES’. Most PCOS patients are overweight and are asked to exercise which helps control the symptoms but a lot many people have a completely normal body type.

What are the risks associated with PCOS-related weight gain?
No matter what the cause, weight gain can be detrimental to your health. Women with PCOS are more likely to develop many of the problems associated with weight gain and insulin resistance, including:

Many of these conditions can lead to heart disease. In fact, women with PCOS are four to seven times more likely to have a heart attack than women of the same age without the condition.

Benefit of Weight Loss with PCOS

Modest weight loss will not cure PCOS, but it will help. Weight loss can restore the normal function of the ovaries and result in normal hormone production. This may, in turn, lead to improvements in symptoms of PCOS, such as excess hair growth, acne or scalp hair loss.

Protect Yourself From Weight Gain

  • Eat Right: A healthy diet low in complex carbohydrates, moderate protein and low fat is important, as this can help regulate blood sugar levels. 
  • Exercise: Start doing low-to-moderate activities like walking or swimming for 30-to-90 minutes per day because exercise (even without weight loss) has been shown to lower or get rid of insulin resistance.
  • Lose Weight: The more overweight you are the more likely you are to be insulin resistant whether you have PCOS or not. Losing just 5% of your bodyweight will help lower your insulin resistance.
  • Avoid Stress: Don’t over stress yourself as it increases the blood pressure level in your body and can’t help to resist with PCOS. So, try to stay as calm as possible.
  • Get more sleep (at least 7-to-9 hours in a day): Not getting enough sleep can also make your insulin resistance worse, which in turn acquires you the weight.

DIET:

3679 people found this helpful

How To Control Hair Fall Through Ayurveda

Vishuddhii 84% (20 ratings)
Ayurveda, Gurgaon
How To Control Hair Fall Through Ayurveda

Hair fall has a direct impact on the way you feel about yourself, your self esteem and confidence. It is also true that it is a very common problem and can be controlled and stopped completely through proper treatment. Ayurvedic treatment for hair fall has long term effects and it brings out the best results since the issues get rectified from the inside, preventing them from coming back.
 
Ayurveda and Hair Loss
 
According to Ayurveda, hair fall is associated with body type that varies from person to person and also the stability of mind-body structure. Hair is considered a byproduct of bone formation, as stated by Ayurveda.

The tissues which are responsible for the development of bones are also responsible for hair growth. Diet, yoga, meditation and medicated herbal oil massage are the Ayurvedic treatments generally recommended for hair loss.
 
Here are some ways through which Ayurveda addresses the problem of hair fall:
 
1. Dietary modifications -

It is important to identify the lifestyle habits that cause hair fall problems. Consumption of alcohol, meat, coffee, tea and smoking are some of these habits. Hair fall can also be aggravated due to intake of too much greasy, spicy, oily, sour, fried and acidic foods.
 
2.    Hair growth can be stimulated by drinking fresh juices of Pomegranate, carrot, spinach and Kokam.

3.    Sesame seeds promote hair growth as they are rich in magnesium and calcium.

4.    Cow's Ghee is a trusted remedy to resolve all scalp-related problems.

5.    Green vegetables and fruits are rich in fiber and hence help in preventing hair fall.

6.    To make the roots of hair strong, foods rich in vitamin C, vitamin B-complex, sulphur and zinc must be consumed, which are found in whole grains, soybeans, buttermilk, nuts and milk.

7.    Yoga and meditation: Inverted asanas help in stimulating the blood flow to the head. Additionally, practicing deep breathing exercises to control anxiety, stress and keep the mind balanced is also advisable.

8.    Ayurvedic herbs and medicated oil: Bhringaraaja, Brahmi, Amla, Neem, Ritha and Ashwagandha are some ayurvedic herbs rich in essential nutrients that help in reducing stress and promoting hair growth. Different types of oils including coconut oil, brahmi oil, amla oil or mustard oil are useful to control hair fall.

4103 people found this helpful

Arthritis - Causes And Risk Factors!

Dr. Karan Kishore Mane 83% (10 ratings)
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MS - Orthopaedics, Diploma in Spine & Reconstruction, Fellowship In Primary Joint Replacement, Fellowship in Arthroplasty and Reconstructive Orthopaedic Surgery, Fellowship in Revision Hip Surgery & Adult Reconstruction
Orthopedist, Nagpur
Arthritis - Causes And Risk Factors!

Inflammation or swelling can be caused due to body's natural response to injury or disease. And arthritis is a disease in which the joints in your body swell. The inflammation or swelling can cause discomfort in the form of pain, stiffness as well as difficulty in movement.

Some of the common causes of arthritis are:

  1. Infections in the joint.
  2. Genetic makeup in which arthritis can be a hereditary trait
  3. Imbalance in the immunity system
  4. Physically taxing work life or injuries caused in an accident

Risk factors associated with arthritis:

  1. Obesity - Excess weight can put a lot of pressure on the joints, on the knees and hips in particular. Hence, obese people have more chances of developing arthritis than fitter people.
  2. Age - The risk of arthritis can increase with age. Types like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout are more common in the old age.
  3. Joint injury - Joint injury caused due to accidents or due to sports activities can trigger arthritis. People with previous joint injuries can develop arthritis in that joint.
  4. Family history - You can be prone to develop arthritis if it runs in the family. It can occur due to its hereditary trait hence making you more vulnerable to the environmental factors which contribute to developing arthritis.
  5. Gender - Your sex is an important factor as women are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis while men are prone to suffer from gout.

Tips to deal with arthritis:

  1. Take Vitamins and olive oil: Vitamins are crucial, especially A, C and D. Vitamin A can be found in carrots. vitamin D can yet again be found in fish while vitamin C can be found in strawberries, mangoes, pineapples and oranges. Olive oil is also useful because it contains polyphenols which reduce the chances of developing arthritis.
  2. Control your weight: This is very important, especially for your knees. It has been proven by researchers at John Hopkins University that if you are 10 kg overweight, then 30 to 60 extra kilograms of weight fall on your knees.
  3. Take Omega-3 fatty acids: Research proves that the regular consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids, present in fish, result in decreased risks of rheumatoid arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids are also found in foods such as olive oil and walnuts.
2373 people found this helpful

Hernia - What Is The Ayurveda Way Of Treating It?

Dr. Sunil Arya 89% (58 ratings)
MD - Ayurveda, Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurveda, Gurgaon
Hernia - What Is The Ayurveda Way Of Treating It?

Hernia or what in Ayurveda is known as Antra Vriddhi, is a condition that takes place when an internal organ in your abdomen gets displaced and protrudes outward, giving rise to swelling in the abdominal region. 
Even though you can develop a hernia anywhere in your body, it mostly occurs in the abdominal region and can affect both men and women at any age.

The causes of hernia are
Even though hernia can be a hereditary condition, certain factors can contribute in causing it. These are:

  1. Persistent coughing
  2. Putting excess pressure while passing faeces
  3. Straining your abdominal muscles by exercising or lifting objects that are heavy
  4. Obesity
  5. Buildup of fluid in your abdominal cavity

Symptoms: 
Some of the symptoms that indicate you have hernia include a visible, hard protrusion, development of soft lumps and pain. However, some people may not experience any symptoms at all. Hernia can be of many types, depending on the part of the body affected and even varying on the basis of your gender. In worst cases, you may require surgery but Ayurveda can cure your hernia completely without the need of you going through a surgical process.

How does Ayurveda help?
Ayurveda helps in curing your hernia by focussing on your diet. If you follow these rules, you can cure yourself of hernia completely.

  1. Reduce the amount of food you eat in a day and take small meals frequently instead of the standard three meals.
  2. While eating, make sure you eat your food slowly.
  3. Drink lots of water and other fluids, but do not consume aerated drinks
  4. It is advised not to take water with your meals, but only to drink a glass of water an hour after and half an hour before each meal. By doing this, you reduce your chances of getting heartburn and aid in the proper functioning of the digestive system.
  5. Eating any form of raw food, such as uncooked meat and vegetables is strictly forbidden along with processed foods such as bread, cakes, cookies etc. However, when eating cooked food, make sure it's lightly cooked and not overcooked.
  6. Having a glass of juice freshly squeezed from vegetables or fruits is recommended, especially carrot juice as it is enriched with calcium and vitamin A that help in the healing process.
  7. Make sure that whole grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits are a part of your diet.
  8. Lastly, go for a walk after each meal and do not sleep after eating, especially if you've had a heavy meal.
5268 people found this helpful

3 Surefire Ways To Prevent Ovarian Cancer!

Dr. Veda Padma Priya 86% (46 ratings)
MBBS, DNB (Surgical Oncology), MS - General Surgery
Oncologist, Delhi
3 Surefire Ways To Prevent Ovarian Cancer!

If it runs in your family, you are at risk to get it too. Yes, we are talking about cancer and the debilitating effect that cancer has, on not only the victim but also his/her immediate relatives. However, the idea that this malady is passed on to progeny unquestioningly and runs from generation to generation like a curse is but a myth.

Ovarian Cancer is one of the cancers that affect a woman’s ovaries whereby abnormal cell growth takes place in one of these places: on the tissue within the ovary, on the surface of the ovary, in egg-forming germ cells within the ovary. Studies show that 85% of the patients who had developed Ovarian Cancer had no family record of the disease. Thus it can be attested that one is not compelled to follow the footsteps of the forefathers. Bifurcation is possible and prevention can be accomplished if these guidelines can be followed.

  1. Exercise well and eat better: This is a fool-proof tip that works behind the cure of almost all severe ailments, whether it is about prevention or post-treatment care. In this case, exercise and healthy eating habits reduce the risk of developing Ovarian Cancer. Fatty fish, orange juice, milk, nuts, beans, eggs, fortified cereals, carrots, sweet potato, broccoli, leafy vegetables, flax, whole grains are some of the food products that prevent cancer. For better results, you can seek advice from a physician. Intake of food rich in Vitamin D is another measure. Regular exercise and maintaining a sound BMI are keys to staying healthy and cancer-free.
  2. Birth Control Pills: According to research conducted by the American Cancer Research Institute women who have consumed birth control pills are less likely to develop ovarian cancer so much so that the risk reduces by 30% to 50%. However, one who wishes to opt for this as a preventive measure must consult a physician beforehand.
  3. Surgery: Post-menopausal women can undergo surgeries that remove ovaries & tubes alongwith uterus. These surgeries reduce the risk of ovarian cancer by 90% in post-menstruating women and by 60% in pre-menstruating women. However, a person opting for such surgeries as preventive measures of ovarian cancer owing to a genetic disorder must consult a specialist before undergoing surgery.

These methods are not fool-proof and do not warrant the elimination of one’s possibility of developing cancer. But like they say it’s better to be safe than sorry. Therefore, maintain a healthy lifestyle and who knows, maybe you will succeed in becoming one of those who eliminate that possibility!

2940 people found this helpful

How Ayurveda Can Help Manage Skin Problems?

Dr. Sonali Ravindra Kavathekar 91% (67 ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), MD - Alternate Medicine, DYA
Ayurveda, Navi Mumbai
How Ayurveda Can Help Manage Skin Problems?

Our skin has a tendency to become harsh, dry and aggravated during specific seasons and with age. As per Ayurveda, it happens because of the collection of vata in the body. When there is excess of vata, we are inclined to dry skin, acne, dry hair and weak nails. Vata can appear in the body even faster in case you are under stress. Here are some Ayurvedic tips that will decrease the vata accumulation in the body and will help you remain young and keep your skin healthy:

  1. Try not to skip the veggies: Stick to high water content vegetables that are easy to digest, for example, lettuce, carrot, cucumber, radish (which is highly recommended in Ayurveda for its healing properties), fennel, and asparagus. These vegetables are useful for a wide range of skin. Mix no less than three and relish with a basic olive oil-lemon juice dressing.
  2. Add some seeds and nuts: Both conventional and Ayurvedic medications believe that including seeds and nuts in your diet will enhance the state of your skin. Vata is drying by nature so all nourishments that have regular and healthy fats in them will keep this dryness. The seeds and nuts contain Omega-3, healthy fats and fiber to help get rid of the vata assimilation.
  3. Have some teaVata is dry and cool by nature so your skin will remain healthier looking, if your keep these two qualities under control. Remain hydrated for the duration of the day and have warm fluids, for example, herbal tea. Making some hot tea with crisp ginger and lemon will wake you up toward the evening and keep your absorption healthy, which is important for shining skin.
  4. Keep exercise regular: Exercising is fundamental in keeping the Vata from spreading further. Exercising is recommended to keep your muscles and joints sound and healthy while helping you sweat out the toxins. Exercise will likewise enhance blood flow, absorption, and give you a solid skin
  5. Practice yogic breathing: High levels of mental anxiety are one of the significant reasons why Vata gets disturbed. It truly sucks out all the good juices from your skin making it dried out. Breathing can be an exceptionally powerful anxiety buster that you might need to consider.
  6. Snooze off with sunset: Aggravated Vata frequently causes anxiety, which can lead to a sleeping disorder. Any healthy skin proficient or Ayurvedic specialist will tell you that getting no less than seven hours of rest is something worth it in order to have a scar-free glowing skin.
  7. Use skin moisturiser: Staying hydrated within is vital yet you should not disregard dealing with your outer skin all things considered, too. Purging and saturating are the most essential to keeping your skin sound and youthful.
5399 people found this helpful

Want Healthy Bones - Nutrients That Are Must For It!

Dr. Deepa Agarwal 89% (40 ratings)
Phd In Clinical Nutrition, M.Sc - Clinical Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Hyderabad
Want Healthy Bones - Nutrients That Are Must For It!

Bones are very essential for our overall health and movement. Though formed early in life, they constantly require adequate nutrition to manage routine wear and tear. If not done, there could be degeneration of the bone (either rapid onset or progress), which can lead to multiple changes such as limited movement, painful movement and a stooped posture.

A good balanced diet is essential for overall health, but bone health is primarily dependent on two important substances – Vitamin D and calcium.

  1. Calcium: This is the most important mineral in the maintenance of strong bones and teeth. Diet is the only source of calcium, and if the body does not receive adequate amounts of it, what is stored in the bones is removed, making the bones fragile and brittle and porous. This condition is known as osteoporosis. Calcium requirements differ across age and gender, and the following food items are rich sources of calcium:
    • Dairy products like cheese, milk and yoghurt
    • Broccoli
    • Green leafy vegetables
    • Tofu
    • Sea foods like sardines, salmon and fish
    • Fortified cereals and beverages
    • Calcium supplements
    • Avoid aerated beverages as they impair calcium absorption.
  2. Vitamin D: More than calcium, the body requires vitamin D, without which calcium cannot be absorbed into the blood stream. Vitamin D is present in the gut. It is responsible for absorption of calcium and maintains serum calcium and phosphorus levels. Vitamin D is again received through a combination of sun and diet. Common sources of vitamin D include:
    • Fatty fish such as tuna, salmon and mackerel
    • Dairy products like cheese and milk
    • Fortified products including beverages and dairy products
    • Mushrooms, cereals, etc.
    • Unlike calcium, Vitamin D can be produced in the system naturally when the body is exposed to sunlight. However, in people who do not receive adequate sun, supplements are also useful.
  3. Others: Though Vitamin D and calcium are the main components, the following are equally important for bone health.
  4. Phosphorus: As part of bone crystals, it is found in meat and dairy products. Phosphorus absorption is better if there is adequate vitamin D.
  5. Magnesium: This is responsible for bone strength. Older people may need magnesium supplements.
  6. Vitamin A: It is essential for normal skeletal growth and is found in liver, butter, eggs, carrots, and green leafy vegetables.
  7. Vitamin C: It is present in citrus fruits, tomatoes, etc. and is necessary for collagen synthesis.

Tips for maintaining optimal bone health:

  1. Have plenty of dairy products and soft fish.
  2. Reduce intake of acidic foods.
  3. Improve alkaline food intake.
  4. Increase intake of antioxidants and lycopene-rich foods.
  5. Moderate alcohol content.
  6. Reduce caffeine, soda, and sodium.
  7. Ensure optimal weight management so there is no added pressure on the knees and ankles.
  8. Maintain optimal levels of physical activity to ensure mobility.