Bone problems are common, especially as people grow older. Follow these tips on how to keep your bones healthy.
Make Healthy Food Choices
Your bones need a variety of nutrients, including calcium and vitamins, C, D and K.
Low-fat dairy products are well-known sources of calcium, and many are fortified with vitamin D. You can also get calcium in nondairy foods, like salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, white beans and tofu. Fruits and vegetables are the best way to get these important vitamins and minerals. You’ll get calcium and vitamin K from kale, collard greens, broccoli, spinach and cabbage. Vitamin C is high in red and green bell peppers, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, oranges and pineapples.
If you’re not getting the recommended amount of these important vitamins and minerals from food alone, you may need to take supplements, but talk to your doctor first.
And cut the fat: Consuming too much saturated fat can lead to a high level of homocysteine – a chemical in the body known to decrease bone mass. Source: Arthritis
Consume Less Caffeine
Caffeine does have some health benefits, but unfortunately those benefits aren’t for our bones. Too much of it can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb calcium. One study showed that drinking more than two cups of coffee per day accelerated bone loss in subjects who also didn’t consume enough calcium. Another study (albeit on elderly women) showed that more than 18 ounces of coffee per day can accelerate bone loss by negatively interacting with vitamin D. So enjoy the java, but keep it in moderation and consume enough calcium, too. Source: Greatist
Make Exercise a Priority
Seriously. Regular exercise is key to keep a number of health issues at bay, and bone health is no exception. In fact, living a sedentary lifestyle is considered a risk factor for osteoporosis. One study comparing bone density in college women with various body weights and activity levels found that athletes with low body weight had the highest bone density of any group in the study, showing exercise (and low body weight) can have a positive effect on bone density.
What type of exercise is most effective? Weight-bearing exercises like running, walking, jumping rope, skiing and stair climbing keep bones strongest. Resistance training has also been shown to improve bone health in several studies, so pick up the weights after going for a jog. Bonus for the older readers: improved strength and balance helps prevent falls (and the associated fractures) in those who already have osteoporosis. Source: Healthland.Time
For more tips on keeping your bones healthy and strong, contact us!
Dr. Brian Floyd
3721 Delbrook Ave #119, North Vancouver, BC V7N 3Z4