Top Ways of Preventing Osteoporosis

If you’ve realised that you’re at high risk of developing osteoporosis or simply to prevent this condition, you can do a lot of things.

Some surefire ways of osteoporosis prevention as recommended by experts are as:

  • Diet

Your diet should contain adequate amounts of calcium and other important minerals for bone health.

–          Most of us know that milk has a high calcium and mineral content.  Go for low-fat and skim milk, non-fat yogurt and low fat cheeses.

–          Love your fish! Canned sardines and salmon with bones are rich in calcium.

–          Eat your veggies! The best sources of calcium are leafy green veggies and herbs. Essentially, they also have potassium and other trace minerals that make up your bone and Vitamin K, which stops calcium bone loss. Broccoli, kale, turnip greens, spinach are loaded with calcium. Bananas are potassium rich. Chew your veggies well so that the calcium and minerals inside the plant cells will be available for absorption into your body and bones.

–          Soy is rich in calcium plus plant estrogen. Opt for soy floor instead of regular flour. Make malts or smoothies with soy. There are numerous ways of using soy such as tofu, miso and others.

–          Stick to your recommended allowance for protein. Too much protein leaches calcium from your bones and out of your body. The recommended allowance in women is 50 grams and 63 grams for men.

–          If you love coffee there’s no harm in limiting it to three cups a day. More than that causes calcium to be excreted from your body easily.

–          Eat your onions. Onions reduce bone breakdown that results to osteoporosis

–          Include fresh veggie juices and vegetable powders to ensure that calcium and other needed minerals reach your blood stream and into your bones.

–          Eat foods loaded with Vitamin C. Vitamin C synthesizes collagen which provides tensile strength for your bones. Citrus fruits and veggies are packed with vitamin C.

Vitamin D is very important for calcium to be absorbed from your food. Go out in the sunlight regularly at least 30 minutes a day before 10 A.M. and after 3 P.M. Use of sunscreen can block sunlight from acting on your skin to produce vitamin D.  If sunshine isn’t available as what happens in the northern and southern latitudes, then eat foods rich in vitamin D such as wild salmon, sardines, cod liver oil or a supplement.

Increase your intake of quality fats and good cholesterol that are sourced from extra virgin olive oil, avocados, coconut oil, eggs, nuts, seeds, cold water fish or fish oils. Healthy cholesterol maintains the integrity of your intestinal lining to absorb minerals into your bloodstream and into your bones. Now, if you have good cholesterol in your body, sunlight will act on it and produce vitamin D.

  • Calcium Supplements

If you think you’re not getting enough calcium in your diet, a calcium supplement can help especially in midlife. 1,500 to 2,000 mg daily for women after menopause and for men at age 65 can help. Take your calcium supplement twice or thrice daily in divided doses with Vitamin D. Vitamin D enhances its absorption.

 

  • Exercise

Exercise isn’t only good for prevention of heart disease, hypertension and cancer. It helps build bone and prevents osteoporosis too.

 

Weight bearing exercises halts bone loss and can build new bone. Additionally, it improves your posture, flexibility and balance to reduce your risk of falling. 30 minutes of exercise a week is a good recommendation. Walking, running, stair climbing, weight lifting a tennis or volley ball are excellent exercise options.

 

Stretch those muscles daily especially your largest groups of muscles. A couch potato lifestyle causes shortening of muscles, tendons and ligaments, and can cause undue stress on your bones.

 

  • Undergo screening tests
  1. Do bone density scans especially if you’re over 65 years old or you’re postmenopausal with one or more osteoporosis risk factors. Some experts recommend a dual energy x-ray absorptiometry test (DEXA). Early osteoporosis can be detected and treatment and prevention efforts can thwart a full blown case of the disease.
  2. Have your height measured annually and compare it with previous years. One or two inches loss can mean osteoporosis or you’ve undergone vertebral fracture unknowingly.

 

  • Other important factors:
  1. Drop that cigarette. If you aren’t into the habit, don’t start smoking. 80-year-old smokers have lower-mineral bone density and are more prone to spinal fractures. In women smokers, one in 8 hip fractures is linked to chain smoking.
  2. Limit your alcohol intake to once a day for women and two for men. Excessive alcohol prevents the absorption of calcium.
  3. Limit table salt, artificial sweeteners, sugar, cookies, cakes and pastries baked from white flour as they extract calcium from your bones.
  4. Most of all – be happy. Manage your stress or depression. See a doctor or therapist if you’re continually depressed. Depression increases the cortisol hormone in the body and saps calcium and other minerals from you bones.

These are simple steps to prevent you from developing osteoporosis and save your bones from debilitating consequences. Getting healthy bones throughout your life isn’t as difficult as it seems.

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