Fall and winter bring with them some threats that we must be prepared for, such as an increased risk of flu and colds.
However, these seasons can also be very dangerous for bone health, as the cold affects the joints and wears down connective tissues. Learn here why this happens and how you can prevent it.
Low temperatures, especially during winter, cause the blood vessels to contract, making it difficult for blood to circulate.
This affects, above all, the muscles, which will be irritated by the lack of oxygen, will have difficulties to carry out their functions correctly, and, therefore, will cause contractures and different types of pain.
This leads to joint stiffness and overload, and the deterioration of cartilage, which, in the long term, can lead to bone disease.
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Specialists warn that this exposure to cold is more harmful in those under 12 years of age and in those over 60.
This is due to the inability to correctly modulate the response of the autonomic nervous system (either due to lack of development or wear, respectively), which is responsible for closing or opening the arteries to regulate blood flow.
How to protect ourselves
The best time to take care of our bones is during the first 20 years of life. At that age, you can work better on your bone mass and thus prevent many diseases that weaken bones and connective tissue, and make them more vulnerable to cold.
To counteract the effects that low temperatures generate on our body, you can follow these tips:
One way to take care of the joints is by keeping them in constant operation, that is, in movement.
For this it is advisable not to neglect physical exercise, since the joint movement generated by sport helps to keep the connective tissue active, strengthens muscle mass and improves circulation.
It is also advised to avoid certain habits, such as smoking or consuming alcohol in excess, as this can stress the connective structures and increase pain.
It seems obvious, but one way to combat the effects of low temperatures is by choosing our clothes correctly.
We must keep our joints insulated from low temperatures, even more so if we practice sports outdoors.
Food is very important to take care of our bones and joints from low temperatures.
Experts recommend consuming minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium, and vitamins (especially D), while incorporating foods capable of promoting detoxification of the body, eliminating fluids and toxins.
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You can meet these requirements by including the following options in your diet:
- Olive oil: Thanks to its oleic acid content, which contains polyphenols and omega-3 fatty acids, it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial to the bones.
- Cruciferous: includes broccoli, cauliflower and other types of cabbage, whose regular consumption helps protect the joints avoiding the possible development of arthritis.
- Turmeric: different studies indicated that consuming this spice can promote muscle function and other systems, such as the digestive system, by reducing inflammation.
- Fruits of the forest: like raspberries or blackberries, which in addition to having antioxidant properties are also rich in vitamins and minerals that help our entire body.
- Jelly: helps the joints as it is rich in glycine and proline, amino acids that are involved in the construction of conjunctive structures in the body. In addition, it has collagen, one of the main components of tendons.
- Whole grains and cerealsThis includes almonds, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, tahini or sesame paste, and dried legumes. According to scientific evidence, they are capable of strengthening bones due to their high calcium content.
- Ginger: it is associated with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, in addition, it is a great option to prevent bone diseases, such as osteoarthritis.
- Dairy productsDairy products are the best source of calcium. Adults should choose low-fat or skim milk and other derivatives, such as cheeses or yogurts, that are also low-fat. Just because some dairy products are fat-free does not mean they are lower in calcium.
- Oranges: it is a source of antioxidants and vitamin C, compounds necessary to take care of joint health.
- Fish: It is a good way to obtain vitamin D, specifically if you turn to salmon, tuna or sardines.
- Green vegetables– Including broccoli, kale, collard greens, chard, and Chinese cabbage, are good sources of calcium, fiber, iron, and vitamin A.
Until significant scientific evidence from human trials is available, people interested in using herbal therapies and supplements should exercise extreme caution.
Do not abandon or modify your medications or treatments, first talk to your doctor about the potential effects of alternative or complementary therapies.
Remember, the medicinal properties of herbs and supplements can also interact with prescription drugs, other herbs and supplements, and even alter your diet.
Sources consulted: Comprehensive Natural Medicines Database, US National Library of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institute of Complementary and Alternative Medicine.