Staying Strong Through Diet

Published by Sydney O'Connor on

Bones, joints and muscles tend become weaker as we age, partly because we may become less active and nutrition could decline. But luckily these factors are in our control! Last Friday, in the nutrition cafe, Ann-Marie walked us through the diet choices which help to keep us strong.

By the way, if you’re interested in the strength exercise side of things, we have you covered! Next week Arun will be starting his strength class, which you can sign up for here.

A screenshot from the nutrition cafe

 Two Small Changes

Lots of nutrients support our bone health, but there are two small changes you can make specifically:

  1. Decrease your in salt intake- as it can have a negative effect on bone health through calcium loss in urine.
    • You could cook without salt, using herbs and spices to flavour food instead.
    • Opt for reduced salt varieties of beans, sauces and stock.
    • Minimise smoked meat consumption.
    • Looking at food labels for the low salt alternatives (a cafe goer suggested changing one thing at time rather than your whole shopping list at once to make the change more sustainable)
  2. Increase your fruit and vegetable intake- all nutrients are good for bone health! Read up on the fruits and vegetable nutrition cafe here.

Calcium and Vitamin D

These two nutrients go hand in hand- vitamin helps you to absorb vitamin D to aid bone health.

Calcium

  • Is richested in milk and dairy sources, but can also be found in products like fortified breads and cereals, sardines (with the bones) and nuts
  • The Association of UK Dieticians have laid out calcium recommendations ands have created a star rating for calcium rich foods, which you can access here.

Vitamin D

  • Can be found in eggs, salmon, milk and fortified products like cereal.
  • The sun is our main source of vitamin D, but with age our skin becomes less efficient at absorbing it, so a supplement is recommended.

Protein

Protein can be found in meat, fish, eggs, beans and pulses. It’s essential for:

  • Muscle repair
  • Health of skin, hair and nails
  • Brain chemical function
  • Supporting the immune system
  • Cartilage health

If you’re veggie, you can still get enough protein. Just try yo eat a variety of plant proteins, as it’s mostly animal products that are a complete source of protein.

In the cafe, someone asked if eating red meat should be a concern. Ann-Marie noted that ultimately, it depends on the quantity and the type. Processed red meats, for example sausages, can have ill effects on health, but the occasional lean steak won’t do much harm, and is a rich source of iron.

Recipes

Prune and oat energy balls

These energy balls are so quick to make that Ann-Marie whipped them up during our cafe session. Kay, who attends our classes, made them during the session too. Here’s the result:

Filling and nutritious, what’s not to love?

Whether you’re our on a hike or after a quick and filling snack, these should tide you over whilst providing nutrients which are essential to stay strong.

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