Bone & Muscle

In children, the right nutrients help development. As we age, these same nutrients are important for stopping bone and muscle wastage and preventing a range of diseases. Try our products, articles and tips for bone and muscle health.
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3 Recipes for Strong Bones
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3 Recipes for Strong Bones

Try these 3 recipes from our Superfoods Recipes archive to help you get more calcium and magnesium into your diet to support stronger bones and good muscle health.  

1. Banana Split Smoothie

Calcium and magnesium are both critical for maintaining strong bones as we age. And the ingredients in this recipe have magnesium and calcium in spades. The recipe also contains bananas, which can help the body better absorb calcium. Use soy milk over almond milk (soy milk has more calcium) to make this simple, tasty smoothie even better at protecting your bones. Try the Banana Split Smoothie now.  

2. Chia-Crusted Salmon

Whilst the Super Chia Seeds in this recipe are rich in calcium (which we already know is important for joint health), salmon is rich in vitamin D. Vitamin D makes your body much more efficient at absorbing calcium, and is very important for maintaining strong bones over time. Try the Chia-Crusted Salmon now.  

3. Chocolate Date Balls

Several  studies have found that the more magnesium people consume in their food, the denser their bones as they age. Dense bones are strong bones. There are a number of foods that are high in Magnesium, but our favourite is Cacao. Use our organic cacao, which is ultra-high in magnesium, to support bone and muscle health for years to come. Try the Chocolate Date Balls now.  
Muscle Cramps: Causes & Treatment
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Muscle Cramps: Causes & Treatment

Muscle cramps are powerful, involuntary, painful spasms of a muscle. They occur most commonly in the calf, hamstring or foot. Whilst cramps most often fix themselves after a few moments as the muscle relaxes, many people have regular, recurring cramps. Regular cramping can be a sign of an underlying disease or ongoing nutritional deficiency. Rest assured if you cramp regularly,  your condition may be treated using the below tips.  

What causes muscle cramps?

The definitive cause of the muscle spasms we call 'cramps' are not fully understood. Muscle spasms are usually a sign that the cramping muscle is under excess stress, heat or lacking key nutrients. If you are cramping regularly, there could be a number of contributing factors:
  • poor physical fitness
  • tight muscles or lack of flexibility
  • inadequate diet / nutritional intake
  • genetic factors
  • excessive perspiration / dehydration
  • muscular fatigue or injury
  • shortage of key vitamins and minerals for muscle health (minerals critical for muscle function are calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium. Other studies suggest that vitamin B, C, D and E shortages may also be indicated )
  • disease or prescription medications
Any or all of the above factors can lead to irregular muscle function, which increases the chance of spasm / cramp.  

How do I avoid muscle cramps?

In looking at the above risk factors, you can reduce your risk of cramping by trying the following tips:
  • Maintain your fitness.
  • Stretch regularly. 5 minutes of gentle stretching on the floor during a TV ad break each evening can be sufficient to drastically improve flexibility. Hold each stretch so that you are straining but not feeling pain, and release after 30 seconds.
  • Ensure you are getting the right minerals to maintain proper muscle function. Eating a varied diet is the best way to get a range of minerals. Cacao is a rich natural source of magnesium.
  • Try a supplement. Getting your RDI of some minerals is tough to do from food alone (adult women, for example, need 1300mg of calcium each day. That's more than 4 glasses of milk). If you think you are struggling to get enough nutrients into your diet to stop cramping, you may benefit from taking a multivitamin that contains magnesium and nutrients to aid muscle relaxation or:
  •  Incorporate a Magnesium powder sourced from wholefoods (more readily absorbed by the body than tablets) OR Cacao Powder (cacao is rich in magnesium and potassium). It is possible to have too much magnesium, yet the side effects at the upper limit of recommended daily magneisum intake have not been shown to produce toxic effects when ingested as naturally occurring magnesium in food (according to nrv.gov.au) as contrasted against magnesium tablets.
  • Try a Calcium Supplement OR Chia Seeds (chia seeds are incredibly rich in calcium, critical for muscles).
  • Ensure you are drinking enough fluids throughout the day, especially before, during and after periods of physical exertion. Drink a glass of water first thing when you wake up in the morning to top up any fluids lost during sleep.
  • Know your exercise boundaries. In hot / humid conditions, take it easy to avoid excessive perspiration.
  • If muscle cramps persist despite trying the above, see your doctor. Genetic factors, diseases such as atherosclerosis or sciatica or some prescription medications may be contributing.
 

Quick, I'm cramping! Help me!

We usually don't spare muscle cramps a second thought until the muscle is already spasming and we are clutching the effected limb in agony. Use the below tips to shorten the severity and duration of cramps.
  • Gently stretch the muscle that is cramping
  • Massaging the muscle (provided doing so is not too painful) can help increase blood flow to the area and relax the muscle.
  • Apply an ice pack to cool  down overheated muscles.
  • Take a rest after the cramp has subsided. A cramp is your muscle crying out for help. Taking a rest will help the muscle relax and can help ensure it doesn't immediately recur.
 
Restless Leg Syndrome
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Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is very common and is a major cause of ..
OSTEO-K Vitamin K2
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OSTEO-K Vitamin K2

We all know that Calcium is important for building strong bones, but did you know that Calcium builds strong bones with the help of other key nutrients? OSTEO-K Vitamin K2 contains high strength clinically studied Vitamin K2 to help ensure more calcium binds to your bones. It is of particular benefit for: - Osteoporosis - Bone mineral density support - Bone Health and Strength
Introducing Osteo-K
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Introducing Osteo-K

Clinically trialled doses of Vitamin K2, Vitamin D & Calcium for strong bones
5 Surprising Benefits of Omega-3
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5 Surprising Benefits of Omega-3

We all know omega-3s are good for your health. We also know the benefits of omega-3 range from protecting your heart, brain and eyes to supporting joint health and reducing inflammation. The definitive list of omega-3 benefits would certainly be a long one - there are tens of thousands of academic studies of the benefits of omega-3 intake. We take a look at some surprising, lesser known benefits of omega-3.  

1. Omega-3 may help sleep

Recent research from Oxford University has produced a number of fascinating insights into the importance of a particular type of omega-3 and children's learning. In these studies, children with low levels of 'DHA' (a specific type of omega-3) scored significantly worse on tests for memory, behaviour, concentration, reading and numeracy than children who had sufficient DHA levels. Furthermore, the researchers consequently noted that increasing DHA levels in the children with low DHA by using a DHA supplement helped them improve their performance and bridge the gap to their peers. Increasing DHA levels increased learning outcomes. What does this have to do with sleep? The Oxford team have recently expanded on their study. Their most recent results show that low DHA levels also can lead to poor sleep in children.  Giving a DHA  supplement to the children in the study with low DHA levels improved the quality of their sleep.  

2. Omega-3 may support male fertility

A 2010 study published in The Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at the relationship  between omega-3 fatty acid concentrations in fertile and infertile men. Fertile men tended to have higher omega-3 levels than infertile men. Further research is required to consolidate and expand on these findings. However, the results from the study do echo the findings of several animal studies in rats and guppies - both animal studies showed a link between fertility and omega-3 levels.  

3. Omega-3s may protect ageing brains

From the University of Maryland's overview of omega-3 research: "A number of studies show that reduced intake of omega-3 fatty acids is associated with increased risk of age related cognitive decline. Scientists believe the omega-3 fatty acid DHA is protective against age related cognitive decline."  

4. Omega-3s may support stronger bones.

Calcium, magnesium and vitamin D may not be the only nutrients for supporting strong bones. Several studies have looked at the relationship between omega-3 intake and bone density. Whilst further research is required, there is preliminary evidence to suggest there may be a link between omega-3 levels and maintaining bone density over time.  

5. Omega-3 may help menstrual pain

Preliminary research and anecdotal evidence suggests women who take fish oil during menstruation may experience a decline in menstrual pain.
Why We Need Magnesium
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Why We Need Magnesium

The Importance of Magnesium For Health

Magnesium is abundantly available in a range of foods, as well as in supplement form. It is critical for maintaining a huge range of biochemical reactions in the body. It is particularly important for:
  • protein synthesis
  • proper muscle function, relaxation and contraction
  • nerve health
  • cardiovascular health
  • maintaining bone health
  • energy production
  • the list could go on and on.

How Much Magnesium Do I Need?

The Australian Government National health & Medical Research Council recommends the following RDI (Recommended Daily Intake) for magnesium: Male Adults: 330-350mg a day Female Adults: 255-265mg a day

Magnesium Deficiency

Measuring the exact level of magnesium in each person's body is difficult. This is because much of the magnesium that exists in your body is in your bones or cells, not in your blood. This difficulty in measuring magnesium levels can make magnesium inadequacy difficult to diagnose via usual tests. However, common signs of a magnesium deficiency include:
  • fatigue
  • agitation / restlessness
  • anxiety
  • nausea
  • tingling in joints and extremities
  • muscle cramping and spasms
  • poor nail / hair health
Studies also suggest sufficient magnesium intake is linked to cardiovascular health, maintaining brain function, helping with migraines and lack of magnesium may contribute to symptoms of low mood.

Best Magnesium Sources

Magnesium is abundantly available in a number of foods. Some of these foods include:
  • Super Cacao is completely organic and rich in magnesium. Try including it in some of our delicious Cacao recipes.
  • WholeFood Magnesium Powder features natural magnesium and is in an easily absorbed powder form. Most magnesium tablets contain synthetic magnesium compounds created in factories. Tablets are not as easily absorbed.
  • dark leafy greens (eg/ raw spinach)
  • nuts and seeds
  • whole grains like brown rice
------ This article was provided by our online partner Health365. For more information on which electrolytes we need to maintain health, visit www.health365.com.au.    
Do I need a calcium supplement?
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Do I need a calcium supplement?

Not everyone can eat enough of certain foods to get their Recommended ..
Osteo-K Vitamin K2 + Calcium + Vitamin D
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Osteo-K Vitamin K2 + Calcium + Vitamin D

Calcium isn't always enough to build and maintain strong bones. That's why at Nature's Way we have developed Osteo-K, a special bone-building formula that locks together three essential actives for building strong, dense bones. It is the first to combine clinically researched* Vitamin K2, and Calcium and Vitamin D3, in one formulation. Osteo-K is suitable for people concerned about: Helping to reduce the risk of Osteoporosis & Help support: - Bone mineral density - Bone Health - Bone strength