If now is good, then all is well?: The pumpkin that can save the future

Diet is out of order...lack of exercise...ignoring back and hip pain...


Today, this is an article that I would especially like women in such situations to read.  


Younger people, in particular, tend to forget that health goes hand-in-hand with beauty as they become overly focused on appearance. I used to be the same. However, now that cosmetic surgery has become readily available and we have more choices, we must not forget that the responsibility for what we choose lies with ourselves.


The reality is that most people in their 20s, 30s, and probably up to their 50s think:


"This doesn't apply to me."


However, while some people remain active in their 80s like they were in their 60s, others struggle with their bodies and just spend time at home. How would you like to live?



If now is good, then all is well?



A major factor that determines life in your 80s is whether you can walk or not. A disease that women especially need to be careful about is osteoporosis.


Osteoporosis is a condition more likely to develop in middle and old age. The density of bones decreases, making them fragile and prone to fractures. Women in particular face an increased risk of osteoporosis after menopause due to hormonal changes.


Early symptoms include back and hip pain, loss of height, and increased susceptibility to fractures. The pain comes from the added strain on the spine and lower back as the bones weaken. Height gradually decreases as the vertebrae become compressed due to low bone density.  


As it progresses, even minor forces in daily life can increase the risk of fractures, with spinal and hip fractures being most common. Multiple spinal fractures can lead to a hunched posture and loss of height, a condition known as kyphosis or dowager's hump.



Here are some factors that increase the risk of developing osteoporosis:

- Older age, especially over 75

- Post-menopausal women (due to estrogen deficiency)  

- Low body weight or malnutrition

- Caucasian or East Asian ethnicity

- Family history (genetic factors)

- Smoking (nicotine promotes bone resorption)

- Excessive alcohol consumption  

- Calcium or dietary vitamin D deficiency

- Lack of exercise or prolonged immobilization  

- Long-term steroid use

- Underlying conditions like hypothyroidism or diabetes


For women, the drop in estrogen levels after menopause is a major risk factor. On the other hand, an active exercise routine and adequate calcium and vitamin D intake are crucial for maintaining bone density and preventing osteoporosis. Regular bone density tests and managing risk factors are recommended.



There is a deep connection between osteoporosis and diet.



As a major component of bones, it can be obtained from dairy, small fish, leafy greens, etc. Vitamin D aids calcium absorption, so sun exposure and fish/seafood are important sources.


Conscious consumption of fish, meat, eggs, soy products etc. is advisable.  

Vitamin K

Vitamin K deficiency increases osteoporosis risk, so intake from green/yellow vegetables and mustard greens is necessary.


Conversely, excessive salt, phosphates, caffeine, and alcohol promote calcium excretion, negatively impacting bones.


Today, let's focus on pumpkin.


Pumpkin is a food rich in nutrients that can help prevent osteoporosis. Vitamin K, in particular, plays a major role in maintaining bone health.


Vitamin K activates osteocalcin, a bone matrix protein that facilitates calcium binding to bones. As pumpkin is plentiful in vitamin K, consuming it can be expected to maintain or improve bone density. In fact, higher vitamin K intake has been linked to reduced osteoporosis risk.


In addition to vitamin K, pumpkin is also abundant in beta-carotene, a vitamin A precursor. Vitamin A aids bone formation, while carotene has antioxidant properties. Pumpkin also contains fiber, which beneficially impacts bones, providing both these nutrients.


To further enhance pumpkin's nutritional value, it is recommended to combine it with other nutrient-dense vegetables. Eating it alongside calcium-rich spinach or broccoli, and vitamin K-packed parsley or kale allows balanced intake of bone-benefiting nutrients.  


Pumpkin is a versatile, basic ingredient suitable for soups, salads, grilling, stewing and more. It can be considered an invaluable food for deliciously and nutritiously obtaining the vitamins and minerals that aid in osteoporosis prevention.



When was the last time you ate pumpkin?  


If you haven't had it this past week, why not try incorporating it into your meals today?