It is never too early or too late to start thinking about the health of your bones.
Strengthening your bones probably isn't high on your list of health priorities. And in all honesty, fretting over bone health is almost a luxury as it takes your mind off other concerns like high blood pressure, blood sugar levels and high cholesterol.
Your list of health concerns is longer than your daughter’s Christmas wish list. And while heart disease and cancer are towards the top of your list, bone health is probably down near the bottom. But we think it should be higher up on your list of health concerns.
This is because early in life, we pass our peak bone mass. That is, in our mid 20’s, we begin to lose bone faster than we can build it. Net bone loss can start occurring around the age of 30, or even earlier.
Studies show that one in two women and one in four men will suffer a fracture over their lifetime due to osteoporosis. This statistic is more than just six weeks in a cast and on crutches, studies show that women who break their hip after the age of 65 are five times more likely to die within the next year than their peers with strong hips.
It is a sad fact of life: As you age, your bones become thinner and lose their density. This means that over time, you become more prone to injury. But there are ways in which you can halt the thinning of your bones.
Vision Imaging of Kingston, your medical imaging service, offer tips for healthy bones.
Omega-3 fatty acids are well-known for their anti-inflammatory effects. They are also known because they help protect against bone loss.
One study showed that men and women who consumed a higher ratio of Omega-3 fats tended to have a higher bone density than those who didn’t consume as much of the fatty acid. It was also found that people who consumed higher amounts of Omega-3 fats enjoyed increased bone formation.
Zinc and Magnesium
Calcium isn’t the only mineral key to bone health. There are several others that play a role including zinc and magnesium. One study found that women who consumed 400 mg of magnesium per day tended to have two to three percent higher bone density than those women who consumed half that amount.
Zinc helps make the mineral part of your bones. It is a trace mineral that promotes the formation of bone-building cells and helps prevent the breakdown of bone. A good source of zinc includes spinach, shrimp, beef and oysters.
A nutritious diet is important in maintaining healthy bones, a healthy weight is just as important. And being underweight is just as unhealthy for your bones as is being overweight. As a matter of fact, low body weight is the main factor that contributes to low bone density and bone loss.
On the other hand, some studies show that being obese can impair bone quality and it certainly increases the risk of fracture due to the stress of that excess weight.
Studies also show that repeatedly gaining and losing weight is very detrimental to bone health. This vicious cycle of gaining and losing weight may lead to bone loss over the years.
It is never a good idea to drop too many calories from your diet all at once. Studies show that diets providing fewer than 1,000 calories a day can lower bone density. In one particular study, obese women who consumed only 925 calories a day experienced a significant loss of bone density.
In order to build and maintain strong bones, you should follow a diet that provides a minimum of 1,200 calories per day.
Vitamins D and K
Vitamins D and K are critical for building strong bones. Vitamin D plays multiple roles in good bone health. There are several studies that show adults and children with low levels of vitamin D tend to have lower bone density and are at a higher risk of bone loss than those who get enough.
It is unfortunate that vitamin D deficiency is so common and affects about a billion people worldwide.
If you aren’t able to get enough vitamin D through sun exposure and diet, you should seriously consider a supplement.
Vitamin K supports bone health by modifying a protein involved in bone formation. This modification enables the binding of minerals to bone and helps prevent loss of calcium.
The most important mineral for good bone health is calcium. It is also the main mineral found in your bones.
Old bone cells are constantly broken down and replaced by new ones. So it is important that you get enough calcium in your diet. It is also a good idea to get your calcium from foods rather than through a supplement.
Plenty of Protein
About half of bone is made up of protein. Research shows that low protein intake decreases calcium absorption and may affect the way in which bones form and breakdown. A large study showed that a higher protein intake was linked to a lower risk of fractures and higher bone density.
Certain types of exercise will help you build and maintain strong bones. One of the best types of activities you can do for strong bones is weight-bearing exercises. These types of exercises promote the formation of new bone.
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