Healthy Bones Week – Nutrition For Osteoporosis

Healthy Bones Week – Nutrition For Osteoporosis

Written by Emma Caldwell @emma_caldwell_nutrition

Did you know that over the age of 60, one in two women and one in three men will break a bone because of osteoporosis? Osteoporosis occurs when bones lose calcium and other minerals, making them fragile and more likely to fracture. In Australia, osteoporosis affects 1.2 million people.

Eating to Reduce your Risk

Due to the onset of menopause and the rapid drop in the hormone, oestrogen, women over the age of 50 years are at an increased risk of bone loss. Consuming plenty of calcium-rich foods every-day is beneficial for reducing your risk of osteoporosis. So how much is “plenty?” For women over 50 years and men over 70 years, it is recommended to consume 4+ serves of dairy daily. One serve is equal to:

  • 1 cup (250ml) of fresh, UHT long life, reconstituted powdered milk or buttermilk
  • 1 cup (250ml) of soy, rice, or other cereal drink with at least 100mg of ADDED calcium per 100ml
  • ¾ cup (200g) of yoghurt
  • 2 slices of hard cheese (40g) (ie – cheddar)
  • ½ cup (120g) ricotta cheese

Participating in regular exercise and enjoying regular and safe sun exposure for adequate vitamin D production is also beneficial for bone health. Studies have shown that smoking and excessive alcohol intake are unfavourable for bone health, and certain medications and medical conditions can further reduce our bone density.

Foods to Aid Bone Resorption 

We now understand the foods we can eat to protect our bones, but there is also foods we can eat to help reduce ‘bone resorption’ – the breakdown of bone that exceeds the rate of bone growth as we age.

  • Flaxseed Oil: a plant-based omega 3 fatty acid which helps reduce bone breakdown and protect bone strength. To get the beneficial nutritional components from flaxseed oil, store it in the fridge. Once flaxseed oil is heated, the nutritional components of the oil changes, reducing its protective benefits.
  • Tofu: a fantastic source of isoflavones – chemicals that can help protect women against osteoporosis during later life. Tofu is also a great source of calcium.
  • Prunes: a study of postmenopausal women demonstrated that women who ate 10 prunes daily, significantly suppressed the breakdown of bone resorption.

Summary: Nutrition to boost your Bone Health 

  • Include a serve of calcium-rich foods at breakfast, morning tea, afternoon tea and dessert. For example: yoghurt and fresh fruit, cheese and biscuits, a glass of milk or a fruit smoothie.
  • Include flaxseed oil as a dressing on salad or main meals
  • Add prunes to your breakfast cereal or as a healthy snack throughout the day
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In 2004, Gen McGlashan and Libby Oldfield founded Fitwise Physiotherapy. They first met in 1994.  Libby was Gen’s physio when she had her first child. Gen then worked for Libby for 10 years in Libby’s previous business, located at the Epworth Freemasons Maternity Unit in East Melbourne. They have been a team working together for a very long time!!

Libby and Gen have always had a passion for empowering women, by helping provide accurate evidence based information and treatment to help women live their best lives. Excellence in all that they do, practising and operating in an innovative way has always been their core. Fitwise was the first multi-practitioner practice providing Women’s Health physiotherapy consultations, exercise classes and clinical pilates in Melbourne.

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In February 2005 Gen and Libby moved their one room practice to Albert St East Melbourne. They had expanded to 2 treatment rooms, an exercise studio and a pilates studio with a small team of physiotherapists and one receptionist. This was exciting as they wanted to be able to help more people and to grow their team – enabling their other passion: teaching and mentoring clinicians who also wanted to work within the Women’s, Men’s and Pelvic Health arena.

5 years later, they expanded their East Melbourne clinic and in 2015 opened their second clinic in Armadale.

Remedial Massage, Myotherapy and Dietetics have been an exciting addition in recent years, with Podiatry and Exercise Physiology being added in 2022.

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The Fitwise team has now grown to include 18 amazing practitioners and 12 wonderful administrative team members and is still growing!

Libby and Gen have always loved providing a holistic service, treating a variety of conditions in consultations and providing exercise appropriate for different life stages. The community of clients that are part of the Fitwise family, (some who have been part of the journey from the very beginning – over 17 years ago), are the biggest reason they do what they do. For Gen and Libby, it is a privilege to be part of these wonderful people’s lives.