4 Ways To Build Strong Bones
Today is World Osteoporosis Day which is a campaign that aims to put a spotlight on the condition and wants to raise awareness of the prevention, diagnosis and treatment for osteoporosis. If you didn’t know, osteoporosis is a condition when bone structure weakens and is more susceptible to fracture, it occurs when new bone does not replace as fast as old bone.
There is no known cure, but there are treatments to help improve bone density or to slow or stop bone loss from continuing to occur. Osteoporosis is very common, with more than 200,000 cases per year in the UK alone. Bone density is also affected during menopause when estrogen drops meaning fractures are more common as women age.
In today’s blog, we will be rounding up some of the very best ways you can build strong and healthy bones.
1. Vegetable rich diet
Diet is very important for our bone and overall health. Vegetables are one of the best sources of vitamin C, which stimulates the production of bone-forming cells. In addition, vitamin C has also been shown to protect bone cells from damage. Vegetables can also increase bone density (bone density is a measurement of the amount of calcium and other minerals found in your bones). Osteoporosis and similar conditions like osteopenia are characterized by low bone density.
A high intake of green and yellow vegetables has been linked to bone mineralization in children and maintenance of bone mass in young adults. In older women, those with diets high in antioxidant rich veg like broccoli, cabbage, parsley and onions show a decrease in bone turnover (the rathe which bone is broken down) and around 20% lower risk of developing osteoporosis.
2. Strength training
Any exercise would be beneficial to your body and bones, but weight-bearing or high impact exercise is the best for promoting new bone growth. In children, strength exercises have been shown to increase the amount of bone created during the peak years of bone growth. In older people, weight-bearing exercises increased bone density, bone strength and bone size as well as reduced bone turnover and inflammation. Strength training can also help to reduce bone loss in young and older women including those with osteoporosis, osteopenia and breast cancer.
3. Foods high in calcium
Calcium is the most important mineral for our bone health and is the main mineral found within our bones. It’s what makes up the structure of our bones and teeth. It’s important we consume calcium daily to protect bone strength and structure. The daily guide amount for calcium is 1,000mg for most people, although most teenagers need around 1,300mg and older women about 1,200mg. The amount of calcium our body can absorb can vary a lot. It's best to consume calcium in smaller amounts throughout the day as the body finds it easier to absorb this way. Where possible, it’s best to get our calcium from food sources like dairy, seeds and nuts and canned fish like sardines.
4. Vitamin D and K
Vitamins D and K are the next most important vitamins for bone health. Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium and studies confirm those with low vitamin D levels tend to have lower bone density compared to those with high vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiencies are very common and are putting many people at risk of developing osteoporosis later in life.
Usually you can get enough vitamin D through sun exposure and through food sources like fatty fish, cheese and liver. Many people find that supplementing vitamin D in tablets or spray helps them boost their levels. Vitamin K helps modify a protein that enables minerals to bind in bones. This is vital to prevent loss of calcium from bones. Vitamin K can also be found in foods like eggs, liver, meat and fermented foods. Like with vitamin D, many find that taking a supplement is useful to maintain healthy levels.
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