Thursday, March 24, 2011

Preventing Muscle and Bone Loss

How to prevent muscle and bone loss as you get older: Eat your fruits and vegetables. Plant foods may help to preserve bone and muscle.
Meat, potatoes and pasta — the typical American feasts on a protein and carbohydrate-heavy diet. When we eat them, these foods produce small amounts of acid in the body. Over decades, this can disrupt the pH levels in our body, leading to an overly acidic environment.

For optimal functioning, our bodies require slightly alkaline conditions. According to researchers at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, this slight shift in pH, known as mild acidosis, can trigger muscle wasting and bone loss as we age.
You can help combat this slow deterioration by eating a diet that’s bursting with fruits and vegetables. Spinach, apples, citrus fruit, watermelon, asparagus and grapes, for instance, all leave alkaline residues behind during digestion and help balance out your body’s pH. Foods that are rich in potassium, like apricots, avocados and Brussel sprouts, may be especially helpful in keeping muscle loss at bay.

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