The Best Things You Can Do To Improve Your Bone Health
In this article, we’ll share some easy to follow tips that can help you improve your bone health.
Through the different junctures in human life, our body undergoes numerous developments and so do our bones. Beginning in the eighth week of embryonic development, our bones keep changing as we age.
There is a common misconception among many of us. It states that if a person is fed enough milk and other forms of calcium as a child, he/she is not at risk of osteoporosis or other bone-related problems in the future. However, the truth is that even though minerals are incorporated in our bones during childhood, it is only by the age of 30 that we reach our peak bone mass.
Even after that, bone remodeling continues. So, your bone health needs attention and maintenance through different stages of development.
Improve Your Bone Health
1. Weight-bearing Exercises
Like muscles, bones respond to exercise by an increase in strength. Exercising regularly has proven to be capable of achieving peak bone mass. Also, with greater muscle power, coordination, and balance, the chances of getting injured or fractured decrease.
Walking, jogging, and doing bench steps for about 30 minutes, 3-4 times a week can help your bones significantly. Strength training (pushing/pulling weights) is beneficial to the bones and also promotes overall health.
2. Proper Nutrition
In children and old people, a nutritious diet helps preserve bone mass and strength. Throughout a person’s life, adequate nutrition is necessary to mitigate and prevent Osteoporosis and Osteopenia. A proper diet prevents the bones from losing the minerals. Here’s what your diet should include:
- Calcium-Rich Foods: Calcium is the most vital and crucial mineral for bone development. An adult must consume 1000-1200 mg of calcium in order to maintain good bone health. Calcium doesn’t essentially mean having plenty of milk, yogurt, cheese, or other dairy products. Even though these products are high in calcium content and are highly recommended, there are alternatives for lactose-intolerant people. Including canned seafood, kale, broccoli, sardines, and soy products in one’s diet can fulfill the calcium requirement of the body.
- Protein-Rich Sources: A major portion of bones (about 50%) is made of protein and so, low levels of protein affect the rate of bone formation and recovery. Consuming whole eggs, oats, almonds, chicken, tuna, and lentils as a part of the daily diet can make up for the deficiency of protein in the body.
- Vitamin-D: Exposure to and consumption of Vitamin D is vital for the absorption of calcium in the body. If the levels of this vitamin are low in the body, calcium cannot be processed and absorbed. Hence, the externally consumed calcium is flushed from the body, and the body’s need for calcium is met by the dissolution of calcium present in the bones into the bloodstream. This makes the bones hollow and weak, increasing the chances of fractures and bone cracks. Exposure to the sun and consumption of fatty fish, soy milk, beef liver, and egg yolks help the body to maintain the necessary Vitamin-D levels in the body.
- Other Vital Nutrients: Potassium, Vitamin K, and Magnesium help the body use the consumed calcium. Eating a variety of healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and fish not only helps absorb calcium and make bones stronger but also helps strengthen the muscles.
3. Lifestyle Changes
Staying active for at least 30 minutes each day keeps our bones in a healthy state. It is vital to safeguard a healthy body weight, as being underweight is a strong risk factor for osteoporosis.
It is never a good idea to drop calories in order to lose weight. A diet providing lower than 1000 calories per day can lead to lower bone density in individuals of all weight categories.
If the daily requirement of nutrients is not met by food, supplements can help to meet the standards. Calcium, Vitamin D, Magnesium, and Vitamin K2 supplements can be extraordinarily beneficial to weak bones.
Preventive Measure to Avoid Unhealthy Bones
- Limit The Consumption Of Caffeine: Unduly high consumption of caffeine can affect the calcium absorbing capacity of the body negatively. One must not consume more than 400 mg of caffeine in a day.
- Quit Or Limit Smoking And Drinking Habits: Avoid excessive alcohol intake, as consuming more than 2-3 drinks in a day can lead to an increased risk of osteoporotic fractures. It is also advisable to quit smoking if suffering from any bone disease as it hampers the work of bone-building cells and increases the risk of bone-related injuries.
- Avoid Substance Abuse: Bone infections can easily be caused due to excessive consumption of intravenous drugs. Infections like Osteomyelitis can cause a variety of disabilities by ruining the structure of the bones and making them hollow. Addiction to cocaine or opium has led to a reduction in bone density and this causes Osteopenia. People who are under chronic stress and involved in drug abuse have low levels of Vitamin C and D3. Due to the deficiency of these vitamins, joint-repair becomes difficult and at times, can cause irreversible damage.
How to Prevent Future Fractures or Bone Damage?
After undergoing a fracture, most of us have the tendency to believe that it was merely because of a fall or injury that we broke our bones. However, it is highly probable for a person who has sustained bone damage in the past to have Osteopenia or Osteoporosis. In fact, around 1 billion people around the world suffer from Vitamin D deficiency. It is considered wise to go test yourself for Osteoporosis and other deficiencies so that the required supplements and precautions can be taken.
Improve Your Bone Health: Conclusion
It’s inevitable for our bones to resist change as we age. The key to healthy bones is maintaining the essential levels of minerals and vitamins in the body. Dietary approaches play an important role in skeletal health. It is highly advisable to take appropriate amounts of these in our daily diet to avoid the need for supplementation.
Each age group, ranging from infants to adults and the elderly, is exposed to the risk of bone-related problems. It is never too early or too late to start taking care of your bones as symptoms of weak bones don’t appear until bone loss or deformation is evident.
June 4, 2020 Sam Bell