Strong bones

Osteoporosis, a debilitating condition caused by the loss of bone mineral, makes the bone susceptible to fracture, especially at the hip, wrist and spine.  It is most common in menopausal women as the decline in oestrogen levels leads to an increase in the normal rat of mineral loss from bone.

You can help prevent osteoporosis eating a varied diet rich in vitamins and minerals, by consuming less caffeine and alcohol and by exercising.

  • Are you at risk?

Height and weight…….

Statistics show that tall women are more likely to develop osteoporosis.  If you’re tall, pay extra attention to the things you can do to minimise your risk of developing osteoporosis.

If you are too thin, you could run and increased risk of developing osteoporosis.  An overactive thyroid gland could be causing your lack of bodyweight.  In addition, you don’t have sufficient adipose (fat) you will be less likely to produce oestrogen from this source.

Carrying a slight amount excess weight can actually push calcium into your bones.  It is not helpful to be considerably overweight, however, as excess weight will put great pressure on your bones.  If you do decide to lose weight, be careful.  Research suggests that after the menopause it is better to stay the weigh you are that to go on a sudden weight-loss programme and lose more than 10 per cent of your body weight, which can double you risk of getting osteoporosis


Lack of exercise is a significant risk factor in the development of osteoporosis.  If you sit and do nothing, calcium tends to leave your bones; if you run, calcium tends to enter your bones.  The critical factor is that exercise should be more weight-bearing, such as walking, running or push-ups.  The more you use your bones to make demands on them, the stronger they become.   It is a great way to energise you body and becoming fitter and stronger all over.

  • Diet – what your bones need


This mineral is a major component of the structure of bones. You lose some calcium everyday, mainly in your urine, and it is vital that this is replaced.  A daily dose of 1,000 mg is recommended, with an increase to 1,500 mg close to and thereafter the menopause.  Make sure you diet supplies a large amount of calcium.  You can also help this by making some positive changes and consider taking a calcium supplement, if necessary.


Calcium’s ‘partner’ in bones is phosphorus.  The ideal would provide them in equal amounts, but the Western diet unusually contains an excess of phosphorus.  A high phosphorus intake can remove calcium from bones and can also lead to reduced vitamin D activity and hence the absorption of calcium from the digestive system.

Meat, grains and protein-rich foods in general are rich in phosphorus, so reduce your intake of these foods to the minimum that will provide adequate protein.  Most fruits and vegetables have a good balance of calcium and phosphorus.  Avoid carbonated drinks.


About 70 per cent of the body’s magnesium is stored in the bones, where it replaces some of the calcium and has an important influence on bone structure.  People with osteoporosis often have a deficiency of magnesium.  Many medications prescribed for osteoporosis contains calcium and vitamin D but little or no magnesium, even though some people may need it more urgently that calcium.

Other essential minerals

In addition to those listed above, make sure that you are supplying your body with adequate levels of manganese, zinc, copper, silica and boron.

Vitamin A

Also known as retinol, vitamin A stimulates the production of progesterone, thought to be more useful than oestrogen in the prevention of osteoporosis.  It is found in eggs and meat, especially liver.  Carotenes, the precursors of vitamin A, are available from orange, red or green plant foods, such as carrots, beetroot, and leafy green vegetables.

  • Vitamins B6 and B12 and Folic Acid

These B vitamins help minimise levels of homocysteine.  The effect can be enhanced by taking a supplements by taking a supplement with as much as 5 mg folic acid (ask PAUL C if this is still ok to rec).  This is a safe dose, but it should be always taken in combination with vitamin B12.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is essential for healthy collagen and increases the production of progesterone.  It is usually found in combination with other bioflavonoid in foods such as oranges, strawberries, tomatoes and green vegetables.  If choosing a supplement, look for one that contains vitamin C in calcium form (calcium ascorbate) in combination with bioflavonoids.

Vitamin D

By promoting calcium absorption from the intestinal tract vitamin D helps to maintain normal levels of blood calcium.  An adequate intake of vitamin D will, for most people, make a big difference to calcium levels.

Vitamin K

The vitamin encourages calcium deposition in the bones.  Many post-menopausal women stop calcium in urine whey they take vitamin K.  Leafy vegetables are the richest sources.  Because it is fat soluble, vitamin K should be eaten or taken with some form of fat.  Another form, vitamin K2, is produced by bacteria and other microrganisms in the digestive tract.  For most healthy people, this is a major source of vitamin K.  Vitamin K is not stored in the body, and so is less likely to be toxic in high doses.  A recommended does in 10 mg a day, but up to 50 mg has been used without any adverse effects.

  • Other risk factors to consider
  • excess alcohol
  • excess caffeine
  • carbonated drinks
  • smoking
  • excess salt
  • Prescription medication, such as sleeping pills and steroids. They are particularly harmful and can have an adverse effect on the bones.  If you are taking these, speak to your doctor or a qualifDMGGStretch2ied practitioner about supplements you can take for bone support or natural alternatives to help reduce the medication. Look into natural alternatives to sleeping pills or steroids.


Hints for health

Eat a varied diet throughout your life as osteoporosis can start before the menopause.  For strong bones, make sure your diet is especially rich in vitamins D and K, calcium and magnesium.


Recipe for strong bones

Fruit and nut crumble.

Serves 6

Preparation time 15 minutes plus soaking time

Cooking time 35-40 minutes

This can be enjoyed for an energising and wholesome breakfast, after dinner for a healthy desert or delicious midday snack.

Dried fruit such as apricots and prunes add to the iron content of the diet.  Absorption of iron is by vitamin C, but inhibited by a number of factors including drinking tea.  This delicious recipe contains natural foods that provide essential minerals for bone support.

  • 6 oz dried apricots
  • 4 oz dried pitted prunes
  • 4 oz dried figs
  • 2 0z dried apples
  • 1 pint of apple juice
  • 3 ½ oz of wholewheat /rye/spelt flour
  • 2 oz margarine
  • 2 oz brown unrefined sugar sifted (you can find this at local health food store)
  • 2 oz hazelnuts chopped
  • To serve and garnish
  • Low fat yogurt – natural or soya
  • Rosemary springs
  1. Place the dried fruits in a bowl with the apple juice and leave overnight to soak. Transfer to a saucepan and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until softened.  Turn into an ovenproof dish.
  2. Sift the flour into a bowl and rub in the margarine until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Stir in the sugar, reserving a little to serve, and the hazelnuts, then sprinkle the crumble over the fruit (sugar does not need to be added to this recipe if you are trying to avoid)
  4. Bake in a preheated oven at 200oC (400oF), Gas mark 6 for 25-30 minutes.
  5. Serve with a low fat yogurt, if you liked, sprinkled with the reserved sugar and garnish with rosemary.

Eat to beat aging


  • Ensure your diet is rich is nutrients, but lean in fat and calories for overall health and to reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer
  • Enhance your immune system with foods rich in antioxidants.
  • Keep your digestive system healthy.
  • Strengthen bones with diet and exercise
  • Protect eyesight with antioxidants
  • Homocysteine

As we get older, our bodies produce more of an amino acid called homocysteine, which comes from eating animal protein.  Raised homocysteine levels are though to clog arteries and increase blood clotting, and may be more harmful than cholesterol, resulting in heart disease, leg ulcers and deep vein thrombosis.  Increased intake of folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 can reduce homocyestine levels.

  • Vital vitamins and minerals for healthy ageing


A powerful antioxidant, protects arteries, converts to vitamin A in the body, boosts immunity, promotes strong teeth and bones, and keeps skin healthy and essential for good vision.

Vitamin C

A powerful antioxidant, vitamin C also boosts immunity and fights infection; it is involved in collagen production and protects against skin damage; it helps prevent the development of age-related cataracts, and is thought to reduce the risk of stroke.  Vitamin C also helps your body to absorb iron and folic acid effectively and in turn food into energy.  A daily intake of the vitamin is vital.


Vitamin E

Vitamin E has a key function as an anticoagulant and is therefore crucial for a healthy heart and blood supply.  It also helps keep skin looking young and reduces the risk of dementia.  Although fat soluble, it is stored in the body for only a short period of time and regular intake in essential.  Absorption is reduced by high intakes of iron.


A key antioxidant, selenium is more powerful if taken with vitamin E, and visa versa; it helps to protect the body from a wide range of diseases including cancer.  Selenium stimulates the immune system; it is required for healthy muscles (including heart muscles), good eyesight and healthy skin.  It also reduces the inflammation of arthritis.


Zinc plays a crucial role in the protection and repair of DNA, and helps regulate hormone levels.  A powerful antioxidant and immune system booster, it is also good for brain function and a healthy nervous system.  It can help deal with arthritis.

DMGGseatedFolic acid

A member of the B-complex family, folic acid works with other B vitamins, particularly vitamin B12.  Folic acid is important is helping ward of anaemia, and reducing the risk of heart disease by lowering levels of the amino acid homocystein.


High energy

You may feel like you can’t summon up the energy to get up and go, you feel tired and lethargic all the time, or you don’t feel like you can face the world.  If so, this revitalising plan is for you. In as few as three days, you can reinvigorate your body, improve your energy levels and bring back that enthusiasm that seemed lost.

  • The energy process

Energy is created in the body from food.  When we eat, our bodies break down ingested food into glucose, which is the main sugar that we use for fuel.  It can do this from any food: cakes, rare steaks, spinach.  Healthy or unhealthy, the body can use food as energy.  However, its favourite sources are carbohydrate foods like fruit, vegetables, bread pastas and rice, because these foods can be broken down, it is combined with oxygen.  This ‘burns’ the sugar and turns it into a unit of energy called adenosine triphosphate, which the cells then use store and use when they need it.

In a healthy, fatigue-free body, this process works without any problems and, as a result, we spend each day fully functioning and raring to go.  Sometimes this energy process breaks down, however, and this is when we start to feel tired.

  • What goes wrong?

Many things can interfere with the energy process, but these are the four main problems:

  1. You don’t have enough nutrients to trigger energy conversion.
  2. You don’t have enough blood-sugar to produce energy quickly and cleanly.
  3. You don’t have enough oxygen in the system.
  4. You don’t have enough mitochondria – the constituents of cells that turn glucose into fuel
  • The solution – high energy plan

By following the energising plan you will boost your body and feel reinvigorated.  Although it is given here as a daily plan, you should follow the plan for at least three days.  Doing this will double up your energy levels in a long weekend, however one week is the optimum time to follow the programme

7:20 am

If you do not enjoy waking up early, try using a daylight alarm.  This will at least wake your body up more gently.   The level of light is slowly raised in the room, waking you up slowly and calmly.

07:30 am

Take Supplements one multivitamin supplement (Earthsource Wholefood multiple formula), one probiotic supplement (Advanced acidophilus) and one capsule of fish oil (Fish Oil Concentrate)  (or if your vegetarian one evening primrose oil) with a large glass of water.  This is the first of eight glasses of water you will drink over the entire day – aim roughly for one glass an hour.  The supplements will not only provide nutrients but will also aid your digestion, maximising what you can absorb from food.  Leave half an hour between these and eating.

07:40 am

Gentle stretching can be done outside or at least facing a window, which adds to your energy banks because sunlight stops production of the sleep- inducing hormone melatonin

07:50 am

Body-Brush  Using a natural-bristled brush with medium-hard bristles, brush each are of your body with long, firm (but not hard) strokes.  Always start with the soles of your feet, because stimulating these actually starts the lymph flowing.  Brush smoothly 4-5 times, always in the direction of the heart, moving around the whole body part.  Do this around your calves, then your thighs and hips.  Now do your arms, chest, torso and back.  Finally, brush your stomach.  Once you’ve finished, shower or at least rinse yourself well.  As well as obviously cleaning the skin, the repeated motion of brushing or scrubbing the body causes the speed of the circulation to increase (helping flush toxins out of the system faster), and this is also believed to promote lymph flow.

08:00 am

Get your breakfast B vitamins  B Vitamins are vital to the energy levels of your body, and breakfast foods are an excellent source.   For best results, choose a bowl of organic wholegrain cereal with oat/rice/soya/dairy milk.  Alternatively rye toast or spelt with sugar free fruit jam or honey.  Enjoy fruit of your choice with these.  If you’re used to having a coffee in the morning skipping it will make you more tired.  Try a natural dandelion coffee or another type of natural substitute found in your health food store

10:00 am 

‘De-Junk’ your day.  Energy is not just sapped physically form our bodies, it is also sapped mentally by stress, worry and feelings of being overwhelmed.  Whether you work in an office or are busy at home, clearing out physical and mental clutter should be your first job.  Tidy your desk, sort out any bills, or any other necessary paperwork that you really don’t want to do.  When this is finished it will feel like a weight has been lifted fro you and your energy will start to soar.

11:20 am

Time for a healthy snack  Not only does eating little and often keep the blood-sugar levels in the body stable, but it also boosts energy in other ways.  Digesting foods uses energy, and meals that are too large can fatigue the body.  Healthy snacks, such as fruit, take the edge off your appetite and stop you overeating at meals.

13:00 pm

Eat a good lunch  This meal should boost your oxygen and fluid levels in the body, giving you energy to face the afternoon when energy levels dip.  Good oxygen-boosting foods are watercress, spinach, dark cabbage, lettuce and sprouts.  Also fill up on fluid-heavy foods like celery, cucumber, fennel, apples, pears, watermelon, grapefruit and grapes. Finally include some asparagus, since this (along with alfalfa) helps neutralise the natural toxin ammonia produced within our body, a common cause of fatigue.

Take one Earthsource wholefood (Solgar) multivitamin and mineral formula to enhance your energy levels and cleansing for the rest of the day.


Head outside  By now, the air in your office, or even at home, is likely to be low in oxygen, boosting your feelings of fatigue.  Go for a quick walk, or stretching in fresh air.


Be active – walk or do some exercise.  Toxins have the ability to sap our energy by acting negatively on the mitochondria within the body.  If you build up muscle through exercise, you also increase the number of mitochondria.  Take 30 mins every other day on this plan to do some kind of aerobic or strength training, and ideally do it between 4 pm and 7 pm.


Eat your evening meal Overnight the body regenerates and naturally detoxes, so the focus on your evening meal should be to provide an ample supply of detoxifying foods to boost this process. You should combine these with carbohydrates; while these are primarily energy givers, in doses of more than 75g (3 oz) at one time they can calm the body and promote sleep.


Blend yourself a bedtime bath  Bathing stimulates the natural cooling process the body uses to trigger sleep hormones.  Add some of the essential oil marjoram, which has a sedative effect, but also fortifying to the body, helping create strength for the next day.  Add 3 drops of marjoram and 3 drops of calming mandarin to your bath, lie back and relax.


Go to bed Getting a good night’s sleep is essential as it is how the body repairs and recharges.

  • Suggested lunch menu

A glass of “high energy juice”!

Put each of the following through the juicer, then mix together and shake well.  Drink immediately…..

6 slices of pineapple

1 banana

6 fresh strawberries

1 handful of wheatgrass

PLUS…..choose a 50g (2oz) portion of one (or a mix) of the following:

Salmon, anchovies, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines, sunflower seeds, walnuts,or cashews.  These protein foods create a slowly burned form of energy and provide high levels of essential fatty acids.

ADD…. protein to one of the following energising vegetable bases, using as much of each vegetables as you like.

  • Fluid fuel:

Cucumber, lettuce, celery, chopped apple and a few slices of pear.

  • Quick cleanse:

Asparagus, cherry tomatoes and yellow peppers on a bed of alfalfa.

  • Steamed and simple:

Steamed cabbage, carrot, mushrooms, asparagus and mangetout.

  • Sunshine salad:

Watercress, carrot, beetroot and pink grapefruit.

Suggested evening meal menu

  • A cup of fresh vegetable soup
  • A 75g (3 oz) serving of one of the following to your chosen vegetable base: brown rice, jacket potato, new potatoes, spelt/brown rice or wholegrain pasta. Sweet potato, quinoa, rye or pumpernickel bread.

PLUS… of these four vegetable bases, each using as much of each vegetable as you like.

  • Detox salad:

watercress, celery, cucumber, cherry tomato, and artichoke hearts.

  • Cleansing coleslaw:

white cabbage, onion, grated carrot, sliced beetroot.

  • Roast energy:

grilled or oven-baked slices of red or yellow pepper, aubergine, onion and mushrooms.

  • Steamed and simple:

steamed carrot, mangetout, cauliflower, spinach and asparagus.