Healthy bones are like the bank, the more calcium you store, more the chances of its withdrawal. Osteoporosis is a silent and slow disease which is becoming a threat, especially in women, but men are not immune to it either.
Osteoporosis is a condition of loss of bone mass which leads to porous and fragile bones which are more prone to fractures. The reasons for osteoporosis are:
• Poor nutrition
• Hormonal changes
Our bones play the same role in our bodies as iron bars do in a building. A strong frame provides a proper structure to the body, anchors the muscles and protects the internal organs. It is essential for maintaining good posture, balance and strength. Visit your nearest Apollo Clinic to get your bone density checked.
The best way to boost bone density is through taking in the right food. Some of the best foods that help include:
• Milk – It is the finest source of calcium for bone growth. Opt for fat-free or low-fat milk. Apart from calcium, milk provides essential nutrients like magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, riboflavin, vitamin D and B12, which are vital for bone health.
• Nuts and seeds – Almonds, flaxseeds and walnuts are packed with calcium, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, which boost bone health.
• Egg yolk – Egg yolk provides 6 per cent of our daily vitamin D requirement, which plays a vital role in the absorption of calcium and maintains bone density.
• Yoghurt and cheese – Dairy products like yoghurt and cheese often come packed with calcium and vitamin D as well as proteins and other vitamins that the body needs for the upkeep of our bones.
• Pumpkin and sunflower seeds – Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are some of the richest natural sources of magnesium, which activates the enzymes for bone formation.
• Fish – Sardines are rich in vitamin D and calcium, which play an important role in bone development. Salmon is another vital food component for healthy bones as it contains omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and calcium.
• Vegetables – Leafy greens, roots and stalks (containing iron, calcium, vitamins K and C), together with protein, help develop the collagen matrix for stronger bones.
• Fats – Consumption of healthy fat is also important for the overall health and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.
Some essential tips for strong bones are:
• Eat ample amount of green leafy vegetables.
• Reduce salt intake.
• Take at least 600 mg of calcium supplements each day.
• Take an adequate protein intake, largely derived from plant foods.
• Maintain an adequate store of foods rich in vitamin D.
• Limit caffeine and alcohol consumption.
• Limit intake of processed foods and soft drinks.
Physical activity has a huge impact in encouraging the body to build and retain strong bones, taking the necessary calcium from food rather than from the bones.