Most risk factors for Osteoperosis are non-modifiable, for example, age, sex, and genetics. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t prevent it. What you do each day is part of the plan that helps in building strong bones.
People with the condition have weak bones that are more prone to fractures.
Normally, healthy bones are strong and have a sufficient amount of minerals like Calcium and phosphorous. The amount of minerals in the bones is known as BMD (Bone Mineral Density).
Foods for Healthy Bones
Proper diet and nutrition are very crucial in maintaining healthy and strong bones. Calcium and vitamin D play paramount roles in bone health. However, focusing on just these two is not beneficial for your bones. According to a report published by Harvard researchers, suitable dietary approaches are vital in preventing the condition. Well-planned dietary pattern of other food groups, minerals and vitamin is good for skeletal health.
Calcium and Dairy Products
Dairy foods comprise different nutrients that boost bone growth. Calcium is the principal constituent that makes the bones strong and prevents fragility. Increased milk and yogurt intake have a positive impact on the bone’s health. According to a study cited in the Journal of Bone Mineral Research, people who take more than 7 servings of milk each week are 40% more protected from hip fractures than people who drink less than 2 servings of milk each week.
Vitamin D is usually synthesized from the skin after exposure to ultraviolet rays. It is then activated in the liver and stored in the kidney. Vitamin D is released for calcium absorption from the intestines when its serum levels are low below the normal ranges. Some foods such as egg yolks, fortified products, and fish also supply vitamin D.
Seafood is known to have anti-inflammatory effects due to its omega-3 fatty acids. Therefore, suitable for protecting the bone against various inflammatory responses.
Potassium and Magnesium
Higher intake of potassium and magnesium tend to increase the mineral density of the bones, thus making them strong. Potassium and magnesium are found in vegetables and fruits. Potassium promotes calcium retention by acting at the kidneys, while magnesium act on calcium metabolism.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables come in a combination of different types of vitamins that are crucial for bone health. For example, vitamin C from oranges helps in improving the strengths of the teeth and dental hygiene. Other compounds such as carotenoids reduce loss of bone density and enhance overall bone health.
Foods to Avoid:
- Excessive salt intake
- Too much caffeine
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Wheat bran
- Excess vitamin A
Exercises That Build Healthy Bones
Exercises are known to reduce loss of bone mineral density to prevent and also treat this disease. However, your bones’ strength at a particular time is used to determine the type of safe exercise for it to withstand.
Types of exercises that improve the strength of your bones include:
- Weight-bearing exercises- dancing, walking, and jogging
- Resistance training- squats, weight lifting, and push-ups
Cycling and swimming are only good for the improvement of cardiovascular fitness. It also helps in building muscle strength, but not prevention of the disease.
Weight-bearing exercises are done while standing on your feet and allowing the force of gravity to act on your body—the high-impact weight-bearing exercises including jumping, aerobics, and running. The low impact weight-bearing exercises are walking and leisurely jogging. To get better outcomes from bone-strengthening activities, you need to practice weight-bearing routinely. Experts recommend an average time of 45 to 60 minutes in 3 days.
The exercise is also called strength training, whereby you lift the weights using legs or the arms. You can hold the weight using your hands, or you get it wrapped around your body. Free weights or resistance bands are cheap to purchase and easy to use in training.
Strength training puts the bones in a straining state that keeps them strong. As the body adapts to different levels of resistance, you need to progress to heavier resistance. Another critical thing to note about resistance training is that it increases the muscle mass that helps in enhancing the general stability of the body skeleton.
Foods and Supplements vs. Exercise
Combining both exercises and proper foods helps in building bone density, thus making them stronger. Keep healthy habits and always ensure that you meet the recommend nutritional values of every food and supplements to improve bone health.
Osteopenia vs. Osteoporosis
Most people usually get confused when these two are mentioned. To differentiate the two, you need to know that all are bone conditions based on bone mineral density. Osteopenia is considered a slight reduction in bone mass, while Osteoporosis is the severe thinning of bones due to vitamin D deficiency, Calcium, minerals, magnesium, and other vitamins.