Your bones will achieve its maximum bone mass when you are around 30 years old. By the time you reach 50, your body will slowly begin to lose its ability to rebuild bones and start to lose bone mass. Not to mention the loss in estrogen levels in women after menopause. Estrogen loss will put your bones in serious trouble after menopause if you are a woman.
However, you are not completely helpless. We have put forth six simple and easy to follow strategies through which you can retain and gain more strength to your bones.
Consume the right amount of calcium
One mineral that strikes your mind whenever you think about bones is calcium. It is so because calcium is the primary mineral found in your bones and it is very vital for your bone strength and structure.
Naturally we assume that consuming large quantities of calcium will strengthen our bones. However, consuming too much calcium will result in lesser absorption of the mineral.
The trick is to consume smaller amounts with each meal. Doctors recommend consuming no more than 1000mg to 1200mg a day. This is equivalent to drinking 1 glass of milk, a small cup of yogurt, and a couple of beans servings.
Also, keep in mind that calcium alone wouldn’t do the trick. You need other minerals such as vitamin-D, zinc, magnesium, and other minerals for proper absorption of calcium. Magnesium, in particular, is considered very vital. This is because it converts Vitamin-D into an active form that helps with better calcium absorption.
Excessive calcium absorption with very little levels of magnesium in your body is considered bad for your health. Low magnesium levels will result in calcification of your arteries which in turn will increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Another risk of insufficient levels of magnesium is osteoporosis.
This theory is confirmed by a recent study where people who took calcium supplements regularly increased their risk of heart disease by 22 percent. If you are planning to supplement your calcium intake, then try to avoid the ones that contain calcium carbonate. This is considered as a poorly absorbed form of mineral and is of low quality.
This might sound counterintuitive, however, the more impact you put on your bones, the more it responds by becoming denser and stronger. You can choose any form of exercise that puts a little impact on your bones. This can be jogging, running, walking, tennis, jumping rope, or any form of exercise you love to do every day.
Vitamin-K works in tandem with vitamin-D and other minerals involved in bone building. Vitamin-K also greatly reduces calcification while supplementing calcium or consuming it through natural sources. A recent study found that people who consumed high levels of vitamin-K reduced their risk of cardiovascular disease by 57 percent and an 81 percent reduction in fractures.
Kale, spinach, collards, chard, turnip, greens, and dark leafy greens are some excellent sources of vitamin-K.
Additionally, green vegetables and fresh fruits are rich sources of other bone-building minerals such as magnesium, potassium, boron, and calcium. Welcome those healthy vegetables and fruits to your table with open hands next time.
Consume right levels of protein
Protein makes up for nearly 50 percent of your bone volume and it provides their structural matrix. However, dietary protein is found to be more beneficial for your bones, depending upon the type of protein you eat.
There are quite a few studies that suggest higher intake of protein can actually cause your body to excrete calcium and deplete your bones of the vital mineral. This is believed to increase your risk of osteoporosis.
In order to compensate your protein intake, you need to balance it outrightly with the sufficient intake of calcium and plant foods. When you have a good intake of calcium along with alkalizing fruits and vegetables in your diet, protein intake will more likely be helpful for your bones.
Maintain a healthy weight
In general low body weight is considered to be bad for your bones. It can reduce bone density and bone loss in menopausal women. This can also increase the risk of osteoporosis.
Rapidly gaining and losing weight isn’t good either. In one study, bone lost during weight loss was never regained even after regaining the lost weight. People who fast and are on a very low-calorie diet will lose their bone density as well regardless of their existing weight.
This doesn’t mean people who are too heavy are safe. Obesity and overweight can put excessive stress on the bones and increase the risk of fractures.
Add collagen to your diet
Alongside calcium, magnesium, and other minerals essential for your healthy bones consume collagen as well. It makes up the soft matrix of the bones. There are few studies that support the beneficial effects of collagen to your bones, especially in people suffering from arthritis.
Bone broth is an excellent source of collagen if you eat meat. For vegans and vegetarians fruit-based jello, dummies, or marshmallows are some collagen-rich snacks.
Not a fan of snacks? then try to consume nutrients that support collagen synthesis, most vital ones include vitamin C, biotin, silica, and amino acids.