Eating fibre may help prevent post-menopause osteoporosis

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Eating fibre may help prevent post-menopause osteoporosis

The American Council on Science and Health reported on a study that a high fibre diet may help in the prevention of osteoporosis (5th January 2018 ). Dr Mario M Zaiss and his team from Universitätsklinikum Erlangen in Germany, carried out a study on mice showing that a high fibre diet may be more effective than the recommended increase in vitamin D & calcium consumption, in the prevention of osteoporosis. This research was an early-stage trial but as fibre is a good go-to food for women in perimenopause, helping with a whole host of symptoms, it sounds to us like there'd be nothing to lose and everything to gain by upping fibre intake. Beans on wholemeal toast, anyone?

Osteoporosis is a condition that decreases your bone quality and strength.

Your bone is living tissue and it’s constantly breaking down and reforming. Between birth to roughly 30 years of age, your bone reformation happens at a higher rate than your bone breakdown. However, from age 30 onwards, bone reformation equals or is possibly less than, bone breakdown ie. you lose more bone than your body makes. As a result, osteoporosis (the weakening of bone), can develop. 

The silent menopause symptom

Osteoporosis can occur at any time. It's known as the silent disease because there aren't any apparent signs and symptoms until your bone reaches the point where it becomes fragile and weak, causing fractures. Those most at risk are:

  • Post-menopausal women, especially women with early menopause
  • Women with a family history of osteoporosis
  • Underweight 
  • Overweight 
  • Smokers

Once osteoporosis has reached the point where it causes breaks or fractures, treating the disease, which is in its final stages, becomes difficult. Armed with this knowledge, women should take action as soon as possible to prevent further damage. You can't change your past eating habits but you can change your future bone health by eating a balanced, healthy diet before, during and post-menopause. For those of you with teenage daughters, safeguard their futures by ensuring they eat a healthy diet and that they know that they're layign down the foundations of a healthy skeleton!

The following foods are high in fibre:

  • Beans:  baked, kidney, black & lima.
  • Wholegrains and wholemeal: skip the whites (bread, pasta and rice) substituting brown and wholegrains.
  • Pulses: lentils, chickpeas, peas, as well as beans. Also, high in protein and low in fat.
  • Porridge oats are a perfect start for the day, blitz oats and add to   a smoothie if you don't like porridge.
  • Nuts: walnuts, almonds and pecans are the nuts with the most fibre. 
  • Greens: especially Brussels sprouts, broccoli, artichokes and avocado.
  • Fruit: raspberries, blackberries, apples, oranges, bananas plus dried fruit, especially figs and apricots. 

Whilst the research says fibre was more effective, remember that adiet rich in calcium and vitamin D is also recommended. Also strongly recommended is resistance (weight training) and non-resistance (jogging, cycling, playing sports, etc.) exercise.

Check out our symptoms section to find out more about how you can prevent post-menopause osteoporosis.

 The effects of osteoporosis on hip joints

The effects of osteoporosis on hip joints