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It’s no secret that as we age our kidneys don’t function as well, muscle mass is lost, and by the time we’re 40, our body is losing more bone than it makes.  Weaker muscles and weaker bones can lead to falls and fractures.

A diet rich in Calcium is extremely important for bone density, as is Vitamin D which not only helps Calcium absorption, it’s important for muscle strength.

A study now shows that an acidic diet can lead to additional muscle wasting.  In an interview published in the Nutrition Action Health Letter, Prof. Bess Dawson-Hughes of Tufts University notes that kidneys of older people do not handle excess acid well, which in turn causes excess acid in the bloodstream which then causes muscle loss.  “Muscle loss is the body’s way of adapting to the excess acid.  So is bone loss”, she was quoted as saying.

So what kind of diet would help prevent avoidable muscle and bone loss?

Fruit and vegetables would be the  best.  Those get broken down into bicarbonate when they are metabolized, which adds alkali to the body to help neutralize acid.  On the other hand, grains like bread, cereal, pasta, cookies, doughnuts, cupcakes and similar foods create acid in the body when metabolized.

A unit of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has created a website which gives advice on the daily quantity of fruits and vegetables one should consume, based on your age, gender, and degree of physical activity.  Check out what you should be eating through this link.

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