Weak bones can damage the skeleton, making the bones weak. Bones, therefore, become vulnerable to fractures. Bone diseases can occur to any person regardless of age, gender or sex. The density of the bones reaches its peak mass by the age of 30.
It is thus essential to nourish the bones before this time to avoid risking various bone diseases. Low bone density, osteoporosis, Paget’s disease, rickets and bone cancer are some of the diseases related to bones. Genetic factors, nutrition or the rate of bone growth are some causes for bone diseases.
Calcium and Vitamin D are your nutritional friends that will help you maintain good bone health. Medical experts recommend an intake of 1000mg of calcium and 400mg to 800mg of vitamin D, every day. Women over the age of 50 require about 1200mg of calcium every day. Milk, dairy products, dark green vegetables are excellent sources of calcium. Pumpkin seeds, nuts, and beans are other natural sources of calcium.
Vitamin D is necessary since it helps in maximum assimilation of calcium in the body. Exposure to sun shine, every day for about 10 minutes (without sunscreen in the morning) is a healthy way to get Vitamin D.
As you age, the body becomes less efficient in integrating calcium in the body. You may want to check your deficiency of vitamin D through a blood test, after which your doctor will be able to prescribe the right supplements. Cod liver oil, fish, eggs and Vitamin D fortified foods, or drinks are some natural sources of Vitamin D.
Bones also need Vitamin K and other minerals such as magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, boron and manganese. Consuming leafy greens and nuts regularly will help you get most of these nutrients.
Thirty minutes of physical activity each day will keep you away from bone ailments. Weight bearing exercises such as running, jogging, using dumbbells is beneficial to keep the bones and muscles strong. Walking, gymnastics, aerobics, sports such as football, volleyball, basketball are some best exercises that strengthen the bones.
Focusing on leg-based exercises will develop only the lower body muscles. It is important to exercise the upper-body muscles, since it provides muscular health and balance to the body.
- Restrict intake of alcohol and quit smoking.
- Cut back on sodium since calcium can drain through urine. Go low on processed foods and keep the saltshaker away from the dining table.
- Avoid carbonated drinks. Phosphorus present in the drinks makes the body to discharge calcium out of the body.
- Red meat also lets calcium leach out from the body. Go low on high-protein foods.
- Reduce intake of caffeinated drinks and focus on having more milk per day.