Just a few days removed from Halloween and the annual parade of costumes, many of which were scary, we have an image in our heads as to what a skeleton looks like – a human-shaped structure of bones that appears sinister and able to do some damage. Fact is, our skeletal system, in real life, needs plenty of TLC. That means feeding it the right nutrients, keeping in mind that it's much more than just a bunch of bones grafted together; it also consists of the cartilage, tendons, and ligaments that keep everything connected. Our skeletal system doesn't just provide the shape for our body, it also gives it plenty of protection as well as the ability to move. Wanna see something really scary? How about a body with no shape, without a protective structure, and stuck with an inability to move? But the skeletal system can't survive (and shape and protect and move), without being properly fed to keep it healthy. Keep in mind, too, that feeding the skeletal system is more than just boning up on knowing what foods to eat for the good of our bones; it also is a preventative measure, starting with doing what we can to avoid the development of osteoporosis as we age; to maintain healthy cartilage; and to ease the discomfort of osteoarthritis, as drweil.com puts it, for those unfortunate to get it, which many of us do.
Proper Vitamin and Supplement ConsumptionIt isn't just a strong diet our skeletal system needs; it also needs for us to keep it active with plenty of exercise, to include weight-bearing activities and lots of walking. Running? Maybe not so much – too tough on the knees and feet over the long haul. Back to the food supply, though. Following is a recommended list of vitamins, nutrients, and supplements designed to keep your well-covered skeleton in tiptop shape. One key thought to keep in mind: anything that is anti-inflammatory is good in this regard. Actually, a second key thought as well: as with anything, be sure to discuss such a dietary strategy with your doctor first
- Vitamin C. As a coenzyme, C has a role in synthesizing the amino acids needed to make collagen, which supports and connects the skeletal system's bones.
- Calcium. No surprise here by its inclusion on this list. Calcium, as half the world knows – and TV ads have helped inform us (to some degree) – helps keep the bones strong and can work to help prevent osteoporosis among the aging.
- Vitamin D. This vitamin also plays a key role in maintaining healthy bones by acting as a hormone to help regulate calcium and phosphorous. Vitamin D is thought to increases the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in your small intestine and ensures that the minerals are available in your bloodstream. Because of its role in increasing absorption of these minerals, vitamin D ensures that your bone stays healthy.
- Glucosamine. Research has shown that glucosamine sulfate – either alone or in cahoots with chondroitin sulfate – can apparently relieve pain improve joint mobility, put the brakes on osteoarthritis-linked damage to the joints.
- Vitamin K. This is a vitamin we don't hear much about, but maybe we should be listening better. While vitamin K is considered a key element for the health of our blood, it's also important for the bones, per thejoint.com. It can assist in binding calcium within the bones, augmenting support and strength.
- SAMe. This is a naturally occurring molecule that delivers sulfur to the cartilage, helping to construct strong joints. It has been shown effective in treating joint pain similar to what aspirin and ibuprofen can do, per drweil.com.
- Phosphorus. It is known to support the skeletal system in general, but keeping it balanced with calcium intake is even more important, per woman.thenest.com. Phosphorous combines with calcium to form hydroxyapatite, which is essential to bone health.
- Turmeric. Some studies, per drweil.com, have shown it to work as well as aspirin or ibuprofen for treating osteoporosis.