If the doctor says that you are suffering from low bone density, it may lead to the condition of Osteoporosis. As soon as you discover this, you still have a chance to delay the progression of the disease.
Fortunately, the steps that you can take towards healthier bones are habits that one should ideally have on a routine basis.Safeguarding bone health is much easier than one thinks.
We must understand how physical activity, diet, and other lifestyle factors work together to offer us a healthier bone structure as we age.
Why Should One Prevent Brittle Bones?
Most people are not aware that the body’s bones are in a constant state of change, new bone is created when the old one is broken down. When we are young, we make new bone faster than the old one that breaks.
On top of that our bone mass increases too. After we reach 30, this remodeling of the bones still goes on but at a slightly different pace; we lose more bone mass than we can gain. This is why Osteoporosis is caused when we age.
We need strong bones to anchor muscles, store calcium and protect the organs inside our body. Here are the top five changes you can make towards healthier bones.
1. Eating Vegetables
Vegetables are a great source of Vitamin C, the vitamin that encourages cells that make bone. There are plenty of studies which also show that the antioxidant element of Vitamin C can protect these cells from damage.
Another advantage of consuming vegetables is that they increase bone mineral density. Bone density is determined by the amount of minerals and calcium present in your bone. You must have a higher bone density to lower your risk of developing Osteoporosis.
When deciding what vegetables to eat you should go for green and yellow ones as they are connected to bone mineralization during your childhood and sustaining bone mass in adolescence. An interesting study once showed that women who ate onions more had a lower risk of porous bones.
2. Calcium And Vitamin D
Do not take Calcium in isolation. It is important that you have Vitamin D that will help absorb that calcium in your body. Women need 1200 milligrams of calcium and around 400 to 600 IU of vitamin D after hitting menopause. Both in sync contribute to improved bone health.
Most people do not get enough of vitamin D in their daily diets, in fact around 500 mg less than what they need. We all know that sunlight is the best source of Vitamin D, what we don’t know is that as we get older, our skin isn’t as good at functioning to make this vitamin. Also using ample sunscreen puts us at risk of not absorbing enough vitamin D.
Here are some foods that you should incorporate in your diet to boost your calcium levels:
- ½ cup broccoli which has 40 mg of calcium
- ½ cup spinach and collard greens which has 100 mg of calcium
- 3 ounces of canned salmon which has 180 mg of calcium
- 8 ounces of yogurt which has 250 to 400 mg of calcium
- 16 ounces of cottage cheese which has 300 mg of calcium
- 8 ounces of soy or low-fat milk which has 300 mg of calcium
3. Strength Training
There are specific types of exercises that you can do that will help build and maintain strong bones. The best and easiest way to do this which will benefit you in multiple ways and not just bone health is indulging in high impact or weight-bearing exercises so that they stimulate the formation of new bone.
The good thing about this is when you train your body towards stronger muscles and bone health you are preparing for the old age without the bone loss. Studies show that older people who through time did weight-bearing exercises have a higher bone mineral density, low markers of bone turnover, and fewer signs of inflammation.
Do not mix your exercises if bone density is your main goal. For example, you may assume that swimming is an excellent way to get healthier and it’s recommended to prevent arthritis. While that is true, but swimming does little to improve bone health, since our bone structure is relaxed and doing nothing to hold itself up.
4. Quit Smoking
Smoking has a negative impact on your bone-building cells, and this does not exempt younger people who may still be at no risk of brittle bones. Smokers are at a higher risk of fractures. The only way to counteract joint, shoulder conditions is to stop smoking.
The connection between bone health and smoking is complicated. If smoking has led you to lose weight, then it is definitely impacting your bones as well. On top of this smoking damages the ovaries after menopause women’s bodies keep the bones strong through estrogen that the ovaries produce. If you continue to smoke, you are not likely to have that either.
5. Consume Protein
Around 50% of bone is made of protein. When you have low protein rate in the body, it decreases calcium absorption and also affects the rate of bone breakdown. In your old age consuming protein helps with bone health and structure. It shows signs of higher bone density in areas such as the hip and the spine.
What is more interesting is that diets that have a higher calorie percentage just from protein are a good way to preserve bone mass as you lose weight, which means you can definitely improve bone health while pursuing your weight loss goals.
However, it is important to not have too much protein either. High-protein foods suck the calcium from your bones to battle the high acidity levels in your blood. Therefore it is important to stick to the 100 grams of recommended daily intake of protein every day.