Bone health could be one of the most overlooked aspects of our general health. Those of us who are lucky enough to be born with a healthy bone structure may not realize the blessing they’ve been given. However, if we don’t take the proper care and precautions, our bone health could very well deteriorate over time.
NOTE: Always be sure to consult with your doctor on any health issues.
We’ve seen how brittle some bones can get, especially when it comes to the elderly. If a senior citizen falls down, they can easily break an important bone in their hip or leg. Even with immediate treatment, they might never recover from this trauma.
Moreover, issues like arthritis and osteoporosis are becoming more common with each generation. This might be due to the unhealthy diets we eat or simply a matter of genetic issues. Whichever the case, it’s obvious that we should take certain steps to avoid weak bones as far as possible. Getting the best safety and medical accessories is great, but the following steps could help us stave off such conditions to a large extent:
1. Brisk Walking
We might not get the time for even a half hour’s exercise every day, but here is definitely time for a ten-minute walk around three times a day. It would also help if we carried some weights while walking, as this will help to preserve our bone strength.
Of course, the ideal kind of exercise for strengthening our bones is to mix up muscle resistance, ground activity swimming, press-ups, etc. However, even a simple exercise like brisk walking should be our first target.
2. No Smoking
One of the main rules of thumb about general health is to quit smoking or not to start it at all. It’s even worse if a young person starts smoking, as this can have a severely negative impact on our bone-building cells. Under the age of 30, our bodies are still growing our bone structure. If we ruin things by smoking, the result is likely to be a higher risk of osteoporosis, fractures, etc.
Another interesting factor here is that smokers are less likely to have a padding of fat than non-smokers. This means that they have less protection against broken bones if and when they fall down.
3. Getting Hormone Replacement Therapy
HRT can help a lot of women stave off the issue of weak bones, especially if they’ve already crossed the menopause stage. This is when their ovaries don’t make that much estrogen anymore, which can lead to weaker bones and more chances of fragility fractures. With the right kind of therapy, such women might be able to have a stronger bone structure than before.
4. Getting Enough Vitamin D
On average, an adult person requires at least 700 mg of calcium per day. This is not really a whole lot, so chances are that we don’t need to take calcium supplements. As long as we maintain a balanced and healthy diet, we’d be able to get our daily requirement of calcium in any case.
However, the same cannot be said of another essential nutrient, which is Vitamin D. It can be difficult to get our daily dosage of Vitamin D from food alone, especially if we prefer a vegan or vegetarian diet. On the other hand, getting Vitamin D mainly from the sun is also a difficult and complicated process if we want to avoid harmful UV rays.
In addition to taking fish, eggs, meats, and other suitable items in our diet, we should also look at getting certain supplements to ensure a good level of Vitamin D. Here are some of the best vegetables for a healthy diet that can also help us along the way.
5. Know Your Risks
If someone in your family has developed osteoporosis, chances are that everyone’s at a higher risk for developing this disturbing condition. If you haven’t already talked about this with your blood relations, it’s time you did so. This way, you’d know whether you need to take special precautions in order to avoid getting the same condition.
With the right precautions, you might be able to control or even stave off the osteoporosis that runs in your family. If nothing else, you might start a healthier lifestyle and benefit from that in many other ways.
6. Take Vitamin K
Vitamin K is usually associated with blood clotting, but that’s not all it’s good for. With a healthy dose of this vitamin every single day, we can help our body get the protein we need for healthy and strong bones. While it’s still not clear just how Vitamin K helps out in this manner, studies have shown a positive link between intake of this vitamin and slow bone turnover.
There’s also some evidence that shows how vitamin K can help to reduce the calcium amount that the body naturally loses in a day. If we want to up our intake of this nutrient without synthetic supplements, we’d have to increase our consumption of foods such as Swiss chard, spinach, broccoli, and kale.
7. More Potassium
We might not think about potassium as a way of helping out our bones, but it’s an important mineral for muscle and nerve communication. Getting enough of this will also neutralize the problematic acids that excrete calcium from our systems.
We can get the potassium we need by consuming more bananas, sweet potatoes, white potatoes with skin, and yogurt. This could be the difference between a high bone density and a weak one as we grow older.
8. Less Caffeine
There’s no need to leave your daily cup of joe, but you might want to watch it with those third and fourth cups. Coffee definitely has a lot of health benefits, but too much caffeine is simply not good for the bones. This is because it can inhibit our body’s process of absorbing calcium.
There is some evidence that shows how a coffee consumption upwards of 18 ounces could negatively interact with our Vitamin D. 18 ounces is still a sizeable amount, so it shouldn’t be too hard to stay under this limit.
9. Getting Enough Protein
Around half of our bone structure is made up of protein, so getting enough of this food group is somewhat essential. A low intake of protein decreases the body’s capability to absorb calcium properly. This negatively affects bone formation, resulting in weaker bones than before.
However, this doesn’t mean that a high-protein diet is the best way to go either. This practice can actually leach away calcium from our bones, using it to fight off the increased blood acidity. Around 100 grams of protein daily should be quite enough, especially if we balance it out with a decent intake of calcium and plant-based foods.
10. Stay Away from Low-Calorie Diets
Many people advocate the use of low-calorie diets as an effective way to lose weight. While these might be beneficial to some extent, it’s generally not a good idea to consume very few calories on a long-term basis. This practice could end up slowing the metabolism and cussing us to lose muscle mass.
The negative effects also spread to our bones, especially if the diet allows less than a thousand calories a day. This will give is a lower than average bone density, regardless of whether we’re overweight, underweight, or a normal-weight person. Even resistance training might not stave off this disturbing condition.
If we want to lose weight yet still have strong bones, a diet providing at least 1200 calories daily should be on the charts. This should include the vitamins, vegetables, and protein that we’ve already discussed above.
Bones are literally the structure that supports us throughout our lifetime, so it’s only logical that we take good care of them. Our body is constantly working to rebuild and repair our bones while we’re still young, but that process will stop as we get older. It’s hence best to start on these healthy steps while we still can and reap the benefits in our old age.