Preventing Osteoporosis

The main battle in preventing osteoporosis is to know which foods to eat and which foods to avoid. Also an active lifestyle also plays a key factor in keeping our bones strong.

Another way is by taking a bone mineral density test (BMD) to give you a better idea of the strength of your bones. This is the best way to determine your bone health.

The test can identify if you have osteoporosis and also determines your risk for fractures (broken bones).

It is a painless test that measures the bone density of the hip and spine areas and a helpful tool in preventing osteoporosis if done in time.

If there is the slightest doubt that you or a loved one may have the onset of this condition please consult your physician or health care provider to arrange a bone density test.

It is especially important to request this test if you belong in any of the categories listed below:

  • Women 65 or older
  • Men 70 or older
  • Postmenopausal women under the age of 65
  • Men, women and children who may have bone density issues caused by illness or medications to treat illness. Examples could be Chrohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis, use of anticonvulsants or steroids such as prednisone.

Check out the causes of osteoporosis for more information.

So in preventing osteoporosis the body must absorb a combination of calcium and vitamin D daily. We need both because vitamin D helps us absorb calcium, they tend to work very well together.

The table below outlines the recommended daily amounts of Calcium and Vitamin D.

Calcium and Vitamin D Intake

Obviously the bone density test is one thing but the main key in preventing osteoporosis is through a diet that provides enough calcium and vitamin D to keep our bones strong.

Common Sources of Calcium:

Dairy Foods:
Milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs

Salmon, trout, sardines, cod, kelp

Green Leafy Vegetables:
Dandelion greens, mustard greens, kale, collards

Other Vegetables:
Asparagus, cabbage, broccoli, okra, parsnips, green beans

Black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, white beans, black-eyed peas

Herbs and Spices:
Parsley, dill weed, thyme, basil, garlic, peppermint leaves, cinnamon, oregano, rosemary

Bone Broth:
Drinking bone broth is an incredible tonic for bone health

Any homemade soups that contain vegetables provide much needed minerals and nutrients

Common Sources of Vitamin D:

Halibut, tuna, mackerel, oysters, salmon, sardines, cod liver oil

Eggs, butter, fortified milk

Dandelion greens, shiitake mushrooms, sweet potatoes, vegetable oils, some breakfast cereals

Natural Sunlight:
One of the best ways to absorb Vitamin D is by sun exposure. Yes the warmth of the sun on your skin.

The body responds to the action of the sunlight producing usable Vitamin D in the body.

Beware of Calcium Leachers:

Caffeine – Excess caffeine causes increased calcium excretion through the urine and decreases calcium absorption in your body.

Items that contain caffeine are coffee, many soft drinks, energy drinks and chocolate. Black and green teas also contain caffeine but not as much as coffee and green teas can be quite beneficial.

White Sugar – Causes calcium excretion through the urine, not to mention it is a stimulant that is filled with calories offering no real nutrition.

Animal Protein – Protein plays an important part in keeping a healthy diet, but eating too much has been linked to osteoporosis.

Many people use a high protein diet for weight loss which works very well, just remember the duration of this type of diet shouldn’t go on for long periods of time.

Alcohol – We all know alcohol can do many damaging things when it is abused. It places hardship on the liver, kidneys, brain and is filled with unnecessary calories.

But alcohol also inhibits calcium absorption which can lead to a negative effect on the bones. Drink within reason to avoid these symptoms.

Salt – Causes calcium excretion through the urine. Some people love their salt and automatically salt the food before even tasting it.

One handy tip is to taste before you salt. You may not have to add more salt at all.

What what does this all mean? My interpretation is not only to eat healthy but to get out and enjoy the sunshine often.

Wishing you health and happiness

Return from Preventing Osteoporosis to Why Exercise

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