Our bones do more for us than help us move around, they’re important for keeping us alive!
Our bones contain bone marrow which is responsible for producing:
- Red blood cells: to carry oxygen around our bodies to our tissues and remove the carbon dioxide.
- White blood cells: an important part of a strong immune system, helping us fight off illness.
- Platelets: essential for forming blood clots to stop us from bleeding too much.
How can we maintain healthy bone marrow?
Keeping our bone marrow at its best helps it to keep us alive and well. The best way to do this is through a well balanced diet, including:
- High protein foods such as lean meats, fish, eggs, milk, lentils, yoghurt, beans and nuts. You should aim for around 46 grams of protein per day if you were assigned female at birth, or 56 grams of protein per day if you were assigned male at birth.
- Iron rich foods such as cooked oysters, beef liver, sardines, braised beef, canned white beans, lentils, tofu and dark chocolate. You should aim for around 8 mg of iron per day or 18mg for menstruating individuals.
- Foods containing vitamin B12 such as clams, beef liver, low-fat milk and fish. Aim for around 2.4 micrograms of B12 per day.
- Foods containing folate such as spinach, black-eyed peas, asparagus, brussels sprouts, white rice and fortified breakfast cereals. Aim for around 400 micrograms of folate per day.
What an happen if we don’t take care of our bone marrow?
Insufficient iron and vitamin B12 in our diet can lead to –
- Iron deficiency – causing symptoms like fatigue, dizziness, weakness and shortness of breath.
- Vitamin B12 and folate deficiency – causing symptoms like fatigue, irritability, diarrhoea, decreased appetite, weakness, dizziness, palpitations, shortness of breath, tingling in the hands and feet, poor balance and confusion.
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Baverman, J. 2019. Foods that strengthen bone marrow. Live Strong. https://www.livestrong.com/article/480567-foods-that-strengthen-bone-marrow/