Our previous blog post talked about foods and drinks to NOT put into your body. Now let’s talk about the 7 foods that are nutritious AND taste good to help preserve your musculoskeletal system.
- Salmon is often referred to as a “super food”, packing a punch of protein, minerals, and vitamins like B12. Most important: salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
- Greek yogurt is thicker than regular yogurt because the liquid is drained giving it a creamy texture. It contains probiotic cultures and is lower in lactose than regular yogurt. Greek yogurt is an excellent source of calcium, zinc, and B12. Stir some blueberries or strawberries into a cup of plain Greek yogurt and you have a great kick start to your day.
- Sweet potatoes are another “super food” and extremely versatile. Plain or fancy with stuffing or toppings, they are high in fiber and potassium. They are also known to maintain a healthy blood pressure. A sweet potato contains more nutrients and less calories than a white potato.
- While dairy products are essential to a child’s growth, it can be a source of discomfort for some adults. Dairy products are rich in calcium and vitamin D, along with other nutrients, to help keep bones and teeth strong. For those on a diet, you may opt for a fat free version and there are lactose free brands for those with a low tolerance. Both still have the calcium that is provided in regular milk.
- When your mom told you to eat your veggies, she was on to something. Leafy greens should be your “go-to” vegetable whenever possible. Greens like broccoli, kale, cabbage, spinach, romaine lettuce, and arugula contain essential vitamins like A (for the immune system), C (for tissue repair), and K (for blood coagulation). Nuts may also lower your blood sugar. The best nuts for your health are almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and cashews, however, go easy since a large handful may contain as many as 200 calories.
- Another great source of fiber and vitamin B can be found in beans. They may also help lower cholesterol and blood sugar. The best beans with benefits are chickpeas, lentils, peas, kidney and black beans.
- Figs, dried or fresh, are rich in fiber and give you a feeling of fullness. They are also high in calcium to help promote bone health.
So there you have it. Add these “Super 7” to your regular diet and you’re on your way to a healthy eating habit. When you do have pain or injury to your musculoskeletal system, Sarasota Orthopedic Associates can be your “go-to” place for help. We have 3 convenient locations and offer same or next day appointments when needed.
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We often talk about how important exercise is to keep your joints lubricated. At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates our favorite mottos are “move it or lose it” and “motion is lotion”. But what about our bones and musculoskeletal system? What we feed our bodies affects our overall health including our bones. Let’s take a look at some foods that may be harmful when used in excess.
- Sugar. Yep, sugar is bad for you. You’ve heard it hundreds of times and unfortunately, that sweet stuff that tastes so good can do serious harm. First, there are calories, and heaps of them. There are good sugars in fruits and veggies, however, adding sugar in any form (including the healthy-sounding agave) is a problem. That problem worsens if you have diabetes. Sugar may also affect your heart and dental health. If you have arthritis, sugar may exacerbate symptoms. Some studies show sugar may cause addiction and cravings compared to cocaine addiction.
- Next is salt. Sodium is a necessary nutrient for the body in maintaining muscles, nerves, and balancing body fluids. When used in excess salt becomes a time bomb. High salt intake has been associated with increased risk of stroke, heart disease, hypertension, swelling of feet, and overall bloating.
- Our next culprit is soda. The average consumption per person in America is 38 gallons per year. Yes, you read that correctly. The good news is the statistic is down 6 gallons/year from a decade ago so we are starting to be more health conscious. Soda, or “pop”, contains high fructose, a form of sugar, and increases your sweet cravings. Soda also contains phosphoric acid which weakens bones and teeth. Even diet soda is harmful as it contains acids, food coloring and for some sodas, caramel coloring, a carcinogen. A diet soda may still trick the brain and induce cravings similar to one containing real sugar.
- Caffeine is a tough habit to break. Ninety percent of Americans consume it in some form at a rate of 300 mgs a day. That would be about three 8 oz. cups of coffee. Caffeine contains addictive qualities resulting in it being named by some as America’s favorite “drug”. It’s even more popular in European countries.
- Last on the list, and you may have already guessed this one, is alcohol. While drinking small amounts of red wine have been linked with healthy benefits, there is an enormous downside to overindulgence, abuse, and addiction. Side effects may put you at risk for some cancers like liver and mouth. It may also cause poor judgement, hostility, depression, obesity, and lowered brain function.
That’s the bad news but don’t despair. On our next blog we’ll deliver the good news on how to keep your bones and muscles healthy with nourishing, tasty foods … stay tuned!
Sarasota Orthopedic Associates offers same/next day appointments at three locations. Our commitment is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life.
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