Bones provide structure for the body, protect the organs, anchor the muscles and store calcium. We often hear how important it is for children to get an adequate amount of calcium to build strong bones, but it’s just as important to take steps during adulthood to ensure that your bones stay healthy and strong.
The bones are constantly changing – new bone is being made while the old bone is being broken down. In children, new bone develops at a faster rate. Most people reach their peak bone mass around the age of 30. After that, the bone cycle continues, but the bone mass you lose becomes greater than the bone mass you gain. The risk of osteoperosis largely depends on how rapidly the bone mass is lost. A number of factors can affect bone health, including:
- The amount of calcium in the diet – a diet low in calcium may lead to early bone loss
- Physical activity – those who are physically inactive have a higher risk of osteoporosis
- Tobacco and alcohol use – exessive use contributed to weak bones
- Gender – Women are more likely to develop osteoperosis
- Age – the bones become thinner and weaker with age
- Family history – the risk increases with a family history of osteoporosis
- Hormone levels – too much thyroid hormone can cause bone less
- Eating disorders – anorexia and bulimia contribute to bone loss
- Certain medications – long term use of corticosteroid medications are damaging to bone
Foods to Protect Your Bones
At any age, it’s important to ensure that your body is getting the nutrients it needs to protect your bones and keep them healthy and strong. Consider adding these ten osteoporosis-fighting foods to your diet.
Yogurt contains Vitamin D and calcium that will help promote bone health. Try adding sesame to your yogurt for an extra manganese, magnesium and selenium boost!
Spinach is a great way to get calcium if you aren’t a fan of dairy products. One cup of cooked spinach contains almost 25% of the recommended daily intake of calcium. Spinach also contains fiber, iron and Vitamin A.
3. Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes contain magnesium and potassium which can also promote bone health. Being low on magnesium can affect your Vitamin D balance, which can in turn affect your bone health.
Add a grapefruit to your breakfast each morning and you’ll be on your way to preventing bone loss. One whole pink or red grapefruit has about 91 milligrams of Vitamin C!
Five fresh medium-sized figs contain around 90 milligrams of calcium, along with other bone-saving nutrients like potassium and magnesium. Time to add them to your grocery list!
6. Almond Butter
Yum. Made from fresh ground almonds, almond butter is a sweet and delicious way to boost your calcium intake. Almonds also contain potassium and protein!
Fresh milk is a great way to get calcium (if you by local), but if dairy isn’t your thing, check the ingredients on almond milk or coconut milk. Many varieties still contain a boost of calcium and Vitamin D!
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that contains calcium and Vitamin K – an essential nutrient for forming the type of protein found in bones.
9. White Beans
White beans are high in calcium, soluble fiber, iron and potassium – the essential nutrients to reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
Check out more bone health foods in the video below!
[h/t: Stay on the Healthy Path]
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