This month we are increasing awareness about preventing osteoporosis and maintaining good bone health. Osteoporosis is a medical condition in which the bones become brittle and fragile due to bone loss. The bone loss may be caused by several factors including sedentary lifestyles, deficiency of nutrients like vitamin D and calcium, and hormonal changes. Bone health is important at any age, because bones support and protect our body. Childhood and adolescence are bone building years, and peak bone mass is attained between late teens and early twenties. Higher peak bone mass is associated with decreased risk of osteoporosis later in life.
Here are some ways to increase or protect your bone health, as recommended by the National Osteoporosis Foundation.
1. Get sufficient vitamin D through sunlight, diet (fatty fish like mackerel, tuna and salmon and fortified foods like milk, orange juice and cereals) and/or vitamin D supplements if recommended by your healthcare provider.
2. Exercise, especially weight-bearing exercise like weight training, walking, hiking, jogging, tennis, and dance.
3. Eat a well-balanced diet including:
– Calcium-rich foods like milk, yogurt, green leafy vegetables and beans
– Lean protein like lean meat cuts, fish, eggs, beans, peas, nuts and dairy
– Vitamin C-rich foods including citrus fruits, cantaloupe, mango, broccoli and bell peppers
– Vitamin K-rich foods including kale, collards, turnip greens and beet greens
– Potassium-rich foods
– Magnesium-rich foods like whole grains, dates, nuts, seafood, spinach, potato, sweet potato,
chard, okra and pumpkin
– Omega 3 Fatty Acids-rich foods:
Plant based foods like flax seeds and oil, chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, canola
oil, seaweed, purslane and edamame
Fatty fish including tuna, anchovies, sardines, halibut, oysters, salmon and
4. Make healthy lifestyle choices by avoiding smoking and reducing alcohol consumption
Hope you have a healthful and happy Osteoporosis Prevention Month!