Building healthy bones is absolutely important for our wellness. But most people take bone health for granted. The symptoms of bone loss appear very late when a significant damage has already occurred. Fortunately, there are so much precautions and measures that we can have to save our health. We need to discover some trustworthy ways that can help us to maintain healthy bones. These measures keep our body strong for the rest of our lives.
What are our bones made of?
Our bones are living tissues made of calcium and collagen (Dorozhkin, 2007). Collagen is a protein that provides softness and flexibility (An et. al, 2004). Whereas calcium is such a mineral that provides hardness and strength to bones. This ideal combination makes bone flexible and strong. The bones become hard enough to bear the pressure.
Natural break down of bones
At a young age our body makes new bone faster than it breaks down old bone. Our bone mass keeps increasing. Bones reach their maximum mass density when we are around age 30. After that, bone remodeling starts. We lose little more bone mass than we gain. The higher our peak bone mass, the more bone we have; in the bank’ and the less likely we are to develop osteoporosis as we grow old. osteoporosis means our bones become fragile as we age. Luckily, many diet and lifestyle habits can help build solid bones and maintain their strength.
When to start a Healthy bones plan?
The ideal time to make our bones healthy is always now. Because it is always necessary to take care of our bones at every age. We have to make sure that as we get older our bones stay healthy too. There are many things to take into consideration to keep our body healthy and strong. Bones not only carry the weight of our bodies but also allow us to move. They protect our vital organs from injury as well.
11.Factors that play a great role in the development of osteoporosis
1.Physical activity: People who are physically sedentary have a higher risk of osteoporosis than those who stay active
2.Gender: You are at more risk of osteoporosis if you are a woman, because women have less bone tissue than do men.
3. Ethnicity: You are at greatest risk of osteoporosis if you are Asian.
4.Family history: If you have a parent or sibling who has osteoporosis that puts you at more risk of getting this condition.
5.Hormone levels: Too much thyroid hormone can cause bone loss. In women, bone loss increases intensely at menopause due to dropping 6.estrogen levels. Prolonged absence of menstruation before menopause also increases the risk of osteoporosis. However, in men low testosterone levels can cause a loss of bone mass as well.
7.Age factor: Your bones become thinner and weaker as you age.
8.Stature: You are at risk if you are tremendously thin or have a small stature because you might have less bone mass to draw from as you age.
9.The Quality of diet: A diet low in calcium contributes to reduce bone density, early bone loss and an increased risk of fractures.
10.Smoking and alcohol: Research suggests that tobacco use backs up weak bones. likewise, regularly having more than one alcoholic drink a day for men may increase the risk of osteoporosis.
11.Eating disorders and other conditions: Strictly restricting food intake and being underweight weakens bone in both men and women. More over weight -loss surgery and conditions such as celiac diseases can affect your body’s ability to absorb calcium.
Parents must make sure that their children get the vital ingredients in food for healthy bones.
10 natural ways to keep our bones healthy
Eating plenty of vegetables
We need vegetables that are rich with minerals and vitamins. Vegetables are great help for our bones. They are one of the best sources of vitamin C, which stimulates the production of bone -forming cells. Moreover, antioxidant effects of vitamin C may protect bone cells from damage.
Vegetables also seem to increase bone mineral density. A high intake of green and yellow vegetables has been linked to increased bone mineralization during childhood and the maintenance of bone mass in young adults.
Strength training and weight-lifting exercises
The resistance training or weightlifting exercises help to increase bone density. These are high impact exercises. The reason is that bones grow in response to pressure and weight. When we put more weight on our bodies, our bones send signals to our bone matrix to become thicker. The heavier you lift the stronger your bones will become. Weightlifting also increases circulating levels of hormones like testosterone and growth hormones. These have a valuable effect on bone mass.
Get enough proteins and potassium
Getting enough proteins is very important for healthy bones, in fact, about 50%of bone is made of protein. Researchers have reported that low protein intake decreases calcium absorption and may also affect rates of bone construction and breakdown.
‘However, concerns have also been raised that high-protein diets filter calcium from bones in order to counteract increased acidity in the blood’.
Still, studies have found that this does not happen in people who consume up to 100 gram of protein daily, as long as this is balanced with adequately of vegan foods and enough calcium intake.
In fact, research suggests that older women, in specific, appear to have better bone density when they consume higher amount of protein.
What is more, diets containing a greater percentage of calories from protein may help preserve bone mass during weight loss. If you need to boost the amount of potassium in your diet menu, make healthy food choices. Bananas, oranges mushrooms prunes, dates peas, pumpkins zucchini, potatoes apricot, tomatoes are rich with potassium.
Eat high calcium foods throughout the day.
Calcium is the most important and the most basic mineral for the health of our bones. We must consume adequate amount of calcium through our food each day. Good sources of calcium include yogurt, orange juice, mozzarella cheese, milk, sardines, soy, okra and salmon. Calcium is important for bone health as well as proper functioning of our nerves, muscles, and bread.
Naturally old bone cells are regularly broken down and replaced by new ones, it is important to consume calcium daily to protect bone structure and strength,
The RDI for calcium is 1000, mg per day for most people, although teens need 13000 mg and older women require 1200 mg.
It is also best to get calcium from foods rather than supplements
Get plenty of vitamin D and vitamin K
Our skin makes vitamin D through sun exposure. But this amount of vitamin D is not enough for our body. Vitamin D and vitamin K are extremely important for building strong bones. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. People with low vitamin D levels incline to have lower bone density and are more at risk for bone than those who get enough.
You may get enough vitamin D through sun exposure and food sources such as fish, liver and cheese. The best sources of vitamin k1 are leafy green vegetables. Even then many of us need to supplement with up to 2000 IU of vitamin D daily to maintain best levels. Getting satisfactory amounts of vitamin D and K2 from food or supplements may help protect bone health.
Stay away from very low- calorie diets
Low – calories diet can harm our bones, create muscles mass loss and slow down our metabolism. Studies have shown that diets providing fewer than 1000, calories per day can lead to lower bone density in normal- weight, overweight or obese individuals. To build and maintain strong bones, follow a well- balanced diet that provides at least 1200, calories per day. It should include plenty of protein and foods rich in vitamins and minerals that support bone health.
Low – calories diet reduces bone thickness, even when combined with resistance exercise.
The benefits of taking a collagen supplement
There is evidence that suggests collagen supplements may help protect bone health. Collagen is the main protein for bones. It contains the amino acids glycine, proline and lysine, which help build bone, muscle, ligament and other tissues.
Collagen comes from animal bones and is commonly known as gelatin.
Sustaining a constant, healthy weight
Apart from eating a nutritious diet, maintaining a healthy weight can help support bone health. For example, being underweight increases the risk of osteopenia and osteoporosis. This is especially the case in postmenopausal women who have lost the bone -protective effects of estrogen.
In fact, low body weight is the main factor contributing to diminish bone density and bone loss in this age group. On the other hand, some studies suggest that being overweight can damage bone quality and upsurge the risk of fractures due to the stress of excessive weight.
Overall, repeatedly unstable weight gain seems mostly damaging to bone health, as well as losing a large amount of weight in a short time. Furthermore, maintaining a stable weight, rather than repeatedly losing and regaining it, can help preserve bone density.
You need nutrition high in magnesium and zinc
Along with Calcium many other minerals also play a role for maintaining bone health including magnesium and zinc. Magnesium plays a key role in adapting vitamin D into the active form that promotes calcium absorption.
Although magnesium is found in small amounts in most foods, there are only a few excellent food sources. Dark chocolates, avocados, almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, legumes, tofu, chis seeds are high in magnesium. Supplementing with magnesium glycinate, citrate or carbonate may be beneficial.
Zinc is a trace mineral needed in very small amounts. It helps make up the mineral portion of your bones. Zinc endorses the formation of bone-building cells and prevents the excessive breakdown of bone.
Good sources of zinc include beef, shrimp, spinach, flaxseeds, oysters and pumpkins seed
Consume foods high in omega -3 fats
Omega-3 fatty acids are well known for their anti- inflammatory effects.
They have also been shown to help protect against bone loss during the aging process. In addition to including mega -3 fats in your diet, it’s also significant to make sure your balance of omega -6 to omega-3 fats is not too high. Omega -6 fatty acids are found in corn, soybeans, sunflower oils, fish, nuts, eggs, poultry and meat. Generally speaking, it is best to aim for an omega -6 to omega-3 ratio of 4:1 or lower.
Plant sources of omega -3 fats include chia seeds, flaxseeds and walnuts.
Bone health is important at all stages of life. By optimizing your diet, supplement, and fitness regime you can actually keep your bones healthy and strong. You can slow down the process of bone loss with aging our bones lose density. Nevertheless, having strong bones is something people incline to take for granted. Luckily, there are many nutrition and lifestyle habits that can help build and maintain strong bones – and it is never too late to start
Dorozhkin, S. V. (2007). Calcium orthophosphates. Journal of materials science, 42(4), 1061-1095.