Remember that moment when you drop a pen and bend down for it but can’t get back up without some effort and a cracking sound? It happens to a lot of people. And you have got to take good care of your bones to avoid this situation in the future. Here are some of the things that you can do to help keep bones healthy and flexible through your 60s.
Our bones do contain 99.5 percent of the total calcium in our body so to keep osteoporosis at bay. The first thing to do is make sure you consume enough of this nutrient. Osteoporosis is a health condition that makes your bones fragile and weak. It affects an estimated 75 million people in Europe, USA and Japan that makes it super widespread. Important and priceless calcium leaves your body daily through your skin, nails, hair, sweat, urine and faeces. Our body isn’t trained to make calcium on its own, so it needs to get it from food.
When it doesn’t get enough, it starts consuming the calcium in your bones. According to the National Osteoporosis foundation, the amount of calcium you need both from food and supplements depends on your gender and age. Women aged 50 and younger need a thousand milligrams daily while ladies aged 50 and older need 1200 milligrams daily. Men age 70 and younger need 1000 milligrams daily and those who are 70 and older need 1200 milligrams daily. The best sources of calcium are sardines. A 3-ounce serving has 325 milligrams of calcium. Canned salmon will give you 180 milligrams of calcium with a 3-ounce serving. Other sources include soybeans, tofu, almonds, cheese, milk, spinach and orange juice.
According to the International osteoporosis foundation, osteoporosis causes more than 80.9 million fractures annually. This results in an osteoporotic fracture every three seconds. Vitamin D is one of the most important micronutrients in our bodies. It’s also called the sunshine vitamin as it’s produced in your body when you’re exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is involved in numerous processes including brain function.
It’s also essential for healthy bones and teeth simply because it helps to absorb calcium. Even if you get enough calcium but not enough vitamin D, you are still at risk of getting osteoporosis. Beside s that you may also exposed to osteomalacia, a softening of the bones. The National Institute of Health recommends 15 micrograms daily from ages 1 to 70. This including periods of pregnancy and breastfeeding and 20 micrograms for older people. Your best sources of vitamin D are fatty fish like tuna and salmon, dairy products, cereals, beef liver, cheese and eggs.
A strict diet may help you lose a couple of extra pounds but it’s not a healthy way to deal with them. More importantly losing weight especially during the early postmenopausal period put your bones at risk of low bone mass and increased bone loss. On the other hand, obesity is also a risk factor contributing to bone fractures and breaks. This was proven by a group of scientists working for the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. The best option is to maintain your regular weight without setting yourself on a weight rollercoaster with abrupt ups and downs. Never go on a crash diet or a low-calorie diet and try not to put on too much weight especially in short periods of time. Adopt a healthy lifestyle, opt for a well-balanced diet plan and stay physically active.
After the age of 30 our bodies start to lose their bone mass gradually. To help your bones stay healthy for as long as possible, you need to keep them in shape with physical activity. Our bones need exercise just like our muscles do. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases recommends weight-bearing types of exercise, weight training, brisk walking, jogging and even dancing. Consult your doctor before starting any program and remember to listen to your body.
Recent studies by a group of scientists at King’s College London Dental Institute show that nicotine has a direct negative impact on bone density. In addition, smoking delays skeletal healing by as much as 60% after a fracture or break. If you’re a smoker, the first and best thing you can do is try to quit. Maintaining healthy and strong bones is great motivation. You can start by reducing the amounts of nicotine you get every day until you feel like quitting for good. Not only will your bones thank you but your entire body will benefit from it.
Swedish scientists suggest that caffeine when taken in large amounts is responsible for reduced bone mass and increased fractures because it has a negative effect on calcium absorption. Doctors assure us that it’s safe for the average adult to have up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day, that equals 4 cups of brewed coffee. If you have four or less there’s nothing to worry about, but don’t drink more than that.
Combined with moderate physical activity, omega-3 fatty acids work miracles for your bone mineral density. They boost the production of bone forming cells called osteoblasts plus polyunsaturated fatty acids can help reduce joint pain from osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. According to the National Institute of Health, the average adult male needs 1.6 grams and the average female requires 1.1 grams of omega-3 per day. You can get omega-3 from fatty fish like mackerel, seafood, walnuts and chia seeds.
Did you know that your organic bone mass is 90% collagen? As you age, in addition to the loss of bone density, the collagen level in your body reduces dramatically which may eventually lead to brittle bones and fractures. To get collagen naturally, include fish, gelatin, citrus fruits, bone broth, eggs, pumpkin seeds and bell peppers in your diet. Since it’s very hard to get the required amount of collagen from these products, you may want to try supplements. Always follow the directions on how much to take before trying a supplement and consult your doctor.
Numerous studies have shown that protein intake is directly associated with a higher index of bone density. In fact, calcium and protein work together to maintain your bone health. Protein is a source of meat on your bones so it’s no surprise that athletes consume it in huge amounts to bulk up but if you’re not on your way to becoming a fitness guru you might want to have just enough of it. The Harvard Medical School Health blog recommends calculating your ideal amount by multiplying your weight in pounds by 0.36 before going on a high-protein diet. Consult your doctor because too much calcium can lead to serious health problems. Sources of protein include seafood, white meat, poultry, milk, cheese, eggs and beans.
Japanese scientists state that an excessive sodium intake put your bone health at risk. Most of us get sodium from regular table salt which is bad because salt causes a loss of calcium. It can eventually lead to weak and brittle bones. So to prevent osteoporosis try to reconsider your diet and your sodium intake in particular. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2300 milligrams per day and an ideal limit of no more than 1500 milligrams per day for most adults.
Studies prove that women aged 50 and older have a rate of osteoporosis 4 times higher than men of the same age. We start to lose bone mass after we turn 30. Although it’s an ongoing process that takes time, it’s probably the best time to finally adopt a healthy lifestyle and realize the importance of regular physical activity.
Unfortunately, if either of your parents has been diagnosed with osteoporosis, it means you also have a genetic disposition to get the disease. According to data from the International Osteoporosis Foundation, Asian and Caucasian women are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis than women of other ethnic backgrounds. If you’re in any of these risk groups, you’d better take your bone health even more seriously