Bones are living tissues that constantly grow and remodel. They are composed of protein, collagen, minerals, and especially calcium. Several factors can contribute to osteoporosis, which is a condition that causes the weakening of the bones. A healthy bone appears like a sponge under the microscope, as they are naturally porous from the inside, however, the condition can lead to the development of larger pores.
When the pores become larger, the bones become brittle, which increases their fragility. Such bones are prone to fractures that can happen very easily even during bending or coughing. The good news is one can prevent this condition, and for that, it is necessary to implement the steps as early as possible.
Given below are some ways that can help prevent osteoporosis:
Increase your calcium intake
Calcium is an essential mineral, which has a crucial role in skeleton mineralization. This mineral confers strength, structure, and health to your bones. Your body cannot naturally produce calcium. It obtains calcium from your diet. Lack of calcium in your diet can gradually contribute to the weakening of your bones.
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, your bone density and bone mass are highest between the age of 25 to 30 years, after the age of 40, it starts declining gradually. Apart from bone strength, calcium is also needed by your body for carrying out several other functions. When there is a lack of calcium, your body fulfills its calcium requirement by breaking down your bones, which affects bone health. Therefore, you must consume calcium-rich foods.
Some foods that are good sources of calcium are dairy products such as milk, cheese, etc., leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, soy products, broccoli, and yogurt.
Get enough vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential for your bones and muscle strength. Vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium in the body. Without this vitamin, the calcium in the diet will not be effectively absorbed within the body and lack of adequate calcium will potentiate the risk of developing osteoporosis and several other health problems.
Having enough vitamin D levels in the body reduces the risk of bone loss and fractures. Interestingly, your body produces vitamin D naturally when your skin is exposed to the sun. Sunlight helps in manufacturing your body’s own vitamin D. So, soak yourself in the sun for around 10 to 15 minutes several times a week.
Food sources of vitamin D include oily fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, etc., liver, egg yolks, and red meat.
Make physical activity an important part of your daily routine
Your bones also need daily movement and physical activity for maintaining optimal health. Daily workouts enhance the strength of your bones and prevent bone density loss. Weight-bearing exercises can be extremely beneficial for your bone health. These are excellent because they make you carry the weight of your body against gravity.
You must do some weight-bearing activities including jogging, brisk walking, dancing, tennis, and badminton. Non-weight-bearing exercises are also necessary, which include cycling, swimming, water aerobics, incline crunches, and seated leg press. Besides, strength training and highly intense exercises are extremely important for bone health, such exercises eliminate the loss of bone mineral density.
One must combine weight-bearing exercises and strength training activities and perform them daily for around 30 to 40 minutes. These must be done 4 to 6 times per week.
Watch out for what you eat, because the food that is being consumed can have health-harming ingredients. Processed, junk, and canned foods are usually loaded with refined oils, flour, saturated fats, trans fats, excessive amounts of sodium and sugar, etc. Such kinds of foods can deprive your body of essential nutrients that contribute to gradual health damage. This is why you must increase your consumption of clean, natural, and nutritious foods – such as plenty of vegetables, leafy greens, fruits, nuts, seeds, dairy products, fish, eggs, whole grains, legumes, and pulses.
Healthy eating habits will get you adequate proteins, vitamins, and essential minerals, and keep your body functioning optimally.
Stop substance abuse
Multiple studies have revealed that chronic heavy drinking during adolescence and the young adult phase potentiates the risk of osteoporosis. Chronic drinkers experience dramatic bone density loss during the later stages of life. These people may not be aware that their bones have turned weaker, the only way they realize it is when they suffer a sudden fracture.
According to the PubMed Central website, alcohol prevents calcium absorption in the body. It interferes with vitamin D’s function in the uptake of calcium in the bones and muscles. Excessive drinking cause hormonal deficiencies, which can again impact bone health. Also, people under the influence of alcohol are prone to sudden falls, which can increase their risk of getting fractures very easily. Therefore, alcohol can contribute to bone loss and fractures, which is why you need to give up heavy drinking habits.