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Should You Test Your Bone Density?



– General Health –

A bone-density test is the gold standard for diagnosing osteoporosis — and can help you assess your risk of fracture.

If you’re at risk for osteoporosis, testing can go a long way in helping you take steps that can prevent the condition and the needless fractures it often produces.

Some of the risk factors for fractures and osteoporosis are out of your control. These include Caucasian or Asian ethnicity, older age, thinness or small bones in women, a history of fractures, low body weight, primary relatives with osteoporosis, early menopause, rheumatoid arthritis, gastric- or intestinal-bypass surgery, hysterectomy with ovary removal, and thyroidectomy.

Factors that are within your control include smoking, alcohol consumption, a sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, and the long-term use of certain symptom-controlling medications, such as proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs.

Several tools can help you determine your personal risk of fracture, and they can motivate you to make nutrition and lifestyle adjustments. A bone-density test — also known as a dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) test — uses two low-dose beams of radiation to assess bone-mineral density. It’s the gold standard for diagnosing osteoporosis.

The International Society for Clinical Densitometry recommends DXA testing for women over 65, men over 70, anyone who has sustained a fracture after age 50, and anyone with a condition or who is on a medication associated with osteoporosis. The test is noninvasive and painless and usually takes less than 15 minutes.

If you’re at risk for osteoporosis, testing can go a long way in helping you take steps that can prevent the condition and the needless fractures it often produces. A low bone-density score is no reason to panic: Consider it a great motivator to increase weight-bearing exercises and eat more alkalizing foods.

This originally appeared as “Good Bones” in the July-August 2020 print issue of Experience Life.

Mo Perry
is a writer and actor in Minneapolis.

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Plant-Based Black Bean Enchiladas – Experience Life




Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place a saucepan over medium heat and warm the avocado oil. Add the flour, cumin, and chili powder, and stir to make a paste. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is fragrant, about a minute. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and tomato paste and stir to combine, then gradually add the stock, whisking constantly to break up lumps.

Continue to cook, whisking frequently, until the sauce has thickened, about eight to 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the lime juice.

In a 9-x-13-inch baking dish, combine the onion, zucchini, and pepper. Add the avocado oil, the remaining salt, and the oregano, and stir until coated. Cover the pan with foil and roast for 20 minutes, then uncover and roast for 20 minutes longer. Let the vegetables cool slightly, then transfer to a large bowl; wipe out and set aside the baking dish. Add the drained beans to the veggies and mix.

Wrap the tortillas in foil and warm in the oven for 10 minutes, or use a steamer basket.

Pour 3/4 cup of the sauce into a wide, low bowl. Place a tortilla in the bowl, and flip it to lightly coat each side with sauce. Place about 1/4 cup of the vegetable mixture in each tortilla, then roll it tightly and place it in the baking dish. Repeat until you have a row of enchiladas down the center of the pan, pressed tightly together. Pour remaining sauce over the rolled tortillas, covering them completely. Sprinkle with pepitas.

Cover the pan with foil and bake until bubbling, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Serve sprinkled with cilantro.

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