Health & FitnessBone Health

Looking after yourself is extremely important, and the same goes for building and maintaining healthy bones and joints. During childhood, adolescence and early adulthood, minerals will be incorporated into your bones and once you reach the age of 30, you will reach peak bone mass. If you don’t create enough bone mass during the time before, you will experience bone loss later in life. This will increase your risk of developing issues such as fragile bones. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to build strong bones and to maintain them as you age. Here are 6 natural ways to do so.

Eat Vegetables

Vegetables are brilliant for our bones. They are a great source of vitamin C, which stimulates the formation of cells that form bone and there are studies to suggest that its antioxidant effects may even protect our bone cells from being damaged. Consuming high amounts of yellow and green vegetables has been linked to an increase in bone mineralization in children and in young adults, and it has also been linked to the maintenance of bone mass.

Exercise

There are specific exercises you can do to build up and maintain strong, healthy bones. Performing exercises such as weight-bearing and resistance training can contribute to an increase in bone formation during bone growth. It is also said to reduce orthopedic conditions in older adults, including those who have low bone density.

Consume Protein

Around 50% of bone is made up of protein, so it is clear why you need to consume enough of it for healthy bones. If you have a low intake of protein, it can lead to bone loss. However, if you have a high intake of protein, you can help protect the health of your bones as you age and if you lose weight.

Eat Calcium-Rich Foods

You need to consume calcium every day for healthy bones because calcium is the main mineral found in them. Old bone cells are constantly being broken down and replaced, so to protect the structure of your bones, you need to make sure you are consuming enough calcium. Spreading the amount that you take in throughout the day will optimize the amount you absorb.

Take Supplements

Making sure you are getting an adequate amount of vitamins D and K2 in your diet, either through food or a supplement, is said to protect bone health and reduce the development of orthopedic conditions. New evidence suggests that taking collagen supplements will reduce the breakdown of collagen, which will maintain the health of your bones. Magnesium and zinc are should also be consumed in plentiful amounts as they play key roles in achieving childhood peak bone mass.

Weight Management

Being over or underweight can have a negative effect on your bone health. Maintaining a stable weight rather than letting it fluctuate, can contribute to preserving bone density. If you do need to diet, avoid ones that are too low in calories because these can reduce bone density, even if you exercise alongside the diet.

During every stage of our life, bone health is important. Strong bones are something many of us take for granted. Symptoms of orthopedic conditions don’t show until bone loss is advanced, so sticking to these nutrition and lifestyle habits can protect us before it’s too late.

Image credit: Bone Health via Tethys Imaging LLC/Shutterstock

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