Basic information about the skeleton:
The overall structure of the skeleton is strong, lightweight and flexible. There are 2 major divisions of the skeleton:
- Axiel – skull, vertebral (spinal) columns, ribs, and sternum. Consists of 80 bones
- Appendicular – shoulder bones, arm, wrist and hand hips legs ankles feet 64 upper append and 62 lower append skeleton
The skeleton makes up almost one fifth of a normal healthy body’s weight. It is a highly flexible framework and gives the body the external shape we see. Overall, it supports all parts of the body. As a framework, it is used for muscle to grow around. In fact our body would simply collapse without the framework the skeleton gives us.
Another important role the skeleton plays is to support the vital internal organs, such as the heart, kidneys and lungs. It does this by building a protective framework around them better known as the ribcage. The delicate brain is also protected by the part known as the skull.
There are 206 bones in the average adult human skeleton. Babies are born with 300 bones, some of which merge together and the total becomes 206 by the time they become adults.
Bones are also full of holes much like a honeycomb structure which allows them to be strong yet lightweight. Bone is a tissue that is strong as steel but light as aluminium. The skeleton has a structure which is constantly breaking down and rebuilding it-self.
Bone is an active tissue. The bones themselves are reservoirs of important minerals, especially calcium. Another vital role the bones play is to manufacture new blood cells, which are produced in the bone marrow.
Other parts of the skeletal system such as the cartilage, ligaments and tendons are intertwined with the bones to allow them the elasticity needed to constantly be able to remain strong and supportive yet mouldable.
Additionally, the bones of the ear (which are the smallest in the body) not only aid in our hearing but also help the general balance of our body.
The skeleton is able to repair itself when damaged by thickening and strengthening bones where necessary i.e where there is extra stress levels caused by certain physical activities. Thus the growth, injury and stress response of bone allows for adjustment of size and shape. However it is important to take precautions in order to protect the bones. This is generally advised that protective headgear and suitable clothing be worn when engaging in dangerous activity.
Keeping the skeleton healthy requires a proper diet of nutrients. The chart below shows foods suitable to building and repairing and general upkeep of strong bones.
Bone is most repairable in children and becomes difficult to replace as quickly when we get older. This is why it is important to look after our bones because when problems arise it is difficult to repair as age progresses.
|Dairy products such as low-fat and non-fat milk, yogurt and cheese||Calcium. Some dairy products are fortified with Vitamin D.|
|Canned sardines and salmon (with bones)||Calcium|
|Fatty varieties such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines||Vitamin D|
|Fruits and vegetables|
|Collard greens, turnip greens, kale, okra, Chinese cabbage, dandelion greens, mustard greens and broccoli.||Calcium|
|Spinach, beet greens, okra, tomato products, artichokes, plantains, potatoes, sweet potatoes, collard greens and raisins.||Magnesium|
|Tomato products, raisins, potatoes, spinach, sweet potatoes, papaya, oranges, orange juice, bananas, plantains and prunes.||Potassium|
|Red peppers, green peppers, oranges, grapefruits, broccoli, strawberries, brussels sprouts, papaya and pineapples.||Vitamin C|
|Dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, collard greens, spinach, mustard greens, turnip greens and brussel sprouts.||Vitamin K|
|Calcium and vitamin D are sometimes added to certain brands of juices, breakfast foods, soy milk, rice milk, cereals, snacks and breads.||Calcium, Vitamin D|
Chart from: www.nof.org/foods