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Diet and Fitness

The latest in nutrition and fitness to be healthy over 50!

Diet & Fitness


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Spinach might have been great for Popeye but it seems it might not be quite so beneficial for women over 50!

Tips from Dr Marilyn Glenville

If like me, you were feeling virtuous by eating lots of spinach, it appears that where this particular vegetable is concerned you can have too much of a good thing.

One if the biggest risks for women post menopause is osteoporosis. There are a number of risk factors for osteoporosis that apply whatever your age, but the emphasis for preventing and treating osteoporosis is to make your diet more alkaline. Calcium  neutralises acid, so the more acidic your food, the more calcium has to be taken from your bones to make your body  more alkaline.

The more fruit and vegetables you eat the more alkaline your body becomes and there will be less loss of calcium from your bones. However, both spinach and rhubarb contain oxalic acid, which reacts with calcium in the digestive system and stops it being absorbed, so if you have osteoporosis they should be avoided and you should reduce your intake if you are worried about bone health.

Foods to reduce or eliminate for bone health

Other foods to reduce or eliminate include cheese, as it is one of the most acidic foods you can eat and you can actually lose more calcium from your bones than the amount of calcium you will get from the cheese. The harder the cheese the more acidic it is.  Out of all the dairy foods, plain live organic yogurt would be the better choice, as it is more alkaline and also contains beneficial bacteria otherwise go for organic milk.

Coffee and sugar also cause an acidic reaction and alcohol contributes to osteoporosis because it acts as a diuretic , leaching out valuable minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Research also shows that higher intakes of animal protein are associated with lower bone density, with women who consume a higher animal protein diet at greater risk of hip fractures.

Dr Marilyn Glenville

Dr Marilyn Glenville PhD is the UK’s leading nutritionist specialising in women’s health. Dr Glenville is the Former President of the Food and Health Forum at the Royal Society of Medicine. She is the author of eight internationally best selling books including ‘Natural Solutions to the Menopause’, ‘Healthy eating for the Menopause’, ‘Osteoporosis – how to prevent, reverse and treat it’ and ‘Fat around the Middle’. Dr Glenville runs clinics in London, Tunbridge Wells and Ireland. For more in depth information look on Marilyn’s website www.marilynglenville.com. If you are interested in a consultation you can contact Dr Glenville’s clinic on 0870 5329244 or by email: health@marilynglenville.com. For good quality supplements and herbs during the menopause go to www.naturalhealthpractice.com

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  1. Jo Carroll

    August 7, 2012

    Heavens – I’m vegetarian. Looks like all the things I like are bad for me – grrrr!

  2. Ceri Wheeldon

    August 7, 2012

    Jo, I eat lots of spinach thinking it’s rich in iron as I don’t eat red meat – I was so surprised to read that it could have a detrimental effect on bone health. Marilyn has put together recipes with foods which ARE good for us – I’m happy to say that lots of vegetables are included!

    • Debra Sharpe

      May 12, 2013

      I was shocked to find this out about spinach because I try to eat it when I can. I just discovered spinach and feta omelets recently and now I find it could be working against me since I have bone density issues.

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