FITNESS KENYA

Natural Ways to Build Healthy Bones

Building healthy bones is extremely important.

Minerals are incorporated into your bones during childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. Once you reach 30 years of age, you have achieved peak bone mass.

If not enough bone mass is created during this time or bone loss occurs later in life, you have an increased risk of developing fragile bones that break easily

Fortunately, many nutrition and lifestyle habits can help you build strong bones and maintain them as you age.

Here are some of the natural ways to build healthy bones.

1. Eat Lots of Vegetables

Vegetables are great for your bones.

They’re one of the best sources of vitamin C, which stimulates the production of bone-forming cells. In addition, some studies suggest that vitamin C’s antioxidant effects may protect bone cells from damage.

Vegetables also seem to increase bone mineral density, also known as bone density.

Bone density is a measurement of the amount of calcium and other minerals found in your bones. Both osteopenia (low bone mass) and osteoporosis (brittle bones) are conditions characterized by low bone density.

A high intake of green and yellow vegetables has been linked to increased bone mineralization during childhood and the maintenance of bone mass in young adults.

Eating lots of vegetables has also been found to benefit older women.

SUMMARY:Consuming a diet high in vegetables has been shown to help create healthy bones during childhood and protect bone mass in young adults and older women.

2. Perform Strength Training and Weight-Bearing Exercises

Engaging in specific types of exercise can help you build and maintain strong bones.

One of the best types of activity for bone health is weight-bearing or high-impact exercise, which promotes the formation of new bone.

Studies in older men and women who performed weight-bearing exercise showed increases in bone mineral density, bone strength and bone size, as well as reductions in markers of bone turnover and inflammation 

SUMMARY:Performing weight-bearing and resistance training exercises can help increase bone formation during bone growth and protect bone health in older adults, including those with low bone density.

3. Consume Enough Protein

Getting enough protein is important for healthy bones. In fact, about 50% of bone is made of protein.

Researchers have reported that low protein intake decreases calcium absorption and may also affect rates of bone formation and breakdown

However, concerns have also been raised that very high-protein diets leach calcium from bones in order to counteract increased acidity in the blood.

Nevertheless, studies have found that this doesn’t occur in people who consume up to 100 grams of protein daily, as long as this is balanced with plenty of plant foods and adequate calcium intake

Protein sources: lean meats ,poultry , fish and seafood ,eggs, dairy products nuts (including nut pastes) and seeds,legumes and beans

SUMMARY:A low protein intake can lead to bone loss, while a high protein intake can help protect bone health during aging and weight loss.

4. Eat High-Calcium Foods Throughout the Day

Calcium is the most important mineral for bone health, and it’s the main mineral found in your bones.

Because old bone cells are constantly broken down and replaced by new ones, it’s important to consume calcium daily to protect bone structure and strength.

The RDI for calcium is 1,000 mg per day for most people, although teens need 1,300 mg and older women require 1,200 mg

However, the amount of calcium your body actually absorbs can vary greatly.

Interestingly, if you eat a meal containing more than 500 mg of calcium, your body will absorb much less of it than if you consume a lower amount.

Therefore, it’s best to spread your calcium intake throughout the day by including one high-calcium food  at each meal.

It’s also best to get calcium from foods rather than supplements.

Good sources of Calcium: fortified flours, green leafy vegetables, milk, cheese, meat, fish that you eat the bone, bone soup

SUMMARY:Calcium is the main mineral found in bones and must be consumed every day to protect bone health. Spreading your calcium intake throughout the day will optimize absorption.

5. Get Plenty of Vitamin D and Vitamin K

Vitamin D and vitamin K are extremely important for building strong bones.

Vitamin D plays several roles in bone health, including helping your body absorb calcium. Achieving a blood level of at least 30 ng/ml (75 nmol/l) is recommended for protecting against osteopenia, osteoporosis and other bone diseases.

Indeed, studies have shown that children and adults with low vitamin D levels tend to have lower bone density and are more at risk for bone loss than people who get enough.

Unfortunately, vitamin D deficiency is very common, affecting about one billion people worldwide

You may be able to get enough vitamin D through sun exposure and food sources such as fatty fish, liver and cheese. However, many people need to supplement with up to 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily to maintain optimal levels.

Vitamin K2 supports bone health by modifying osteocalcin, a protein involved in bone formation. This modification enables osteocalcin to bind to minerals in bones and helps prevent the loss of calcium from bones.

Vitamin D sources: beef, liver, dairy products, fish, cereals, cheese, eggs etc

Vitamin K sources: Green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, cereals, fish, liver , meat

SUMMARY:Getting adequate amounts of vitamins D and K2 from food or supplements may help protect bone health.

6. Avoid Very Low-Calorie Diets

Dropping calories too low is never a good idea.

In addition to slowing down your metabolism, creating rebound hunger and causing muscle mass loss, it can also be harmful to bone health.

Studies have shown that diets providing fewer than 1,000 calories per day can lead to lower bone density in normal-weight, overweight or obese individuals.

To build and maintain strong bones, follow a well-balanced diet that provides at least 1,200 calories per day. It should include plenty of protein and foods rich in vitamins and minerals that support bone health.

SUMMARY:Diets providing too few calories have been found to reduce bone density, even when combined with resistance exercise. Consume a balanced diet with at least 1,200 calories daily to preserve bone health.

7. Consider Taking a Collagen Supplement

While there isn’t a lot of research on the topic yet, early evidence suggests that collagen supplements may help protect bone health.Collagen is the main protein found in bones. It contains the amino acids glycine, proline and lysine, which help build bone, muscle, ligaments and other tissues.

Collagen hydrolysate comes from animal bones and is commonly known as gelatin. It has been used to relieve joint pain for many years.

FOOD SOURCES OF COLLAGEN: fish ,chickens, egg whites, cirtrus fruits, berries, garlic, leafy greens, avocado, bell pepper, soy, beans, tomatoes

SUMMARY:Emerging evidence suggests that supplementing with collagen may help preserve bone health by reducing collagen breakdown.

8. Maintain a Stable, Healthy Weight

In addition to eating a nutritious diet, maintaining a healthy weight can help support bone health.

For example, being underweight increases the risk of osteopenia and osteoporosis.

SUMMARY:Being too thin or too heavy can negatively affect bone health. Furthermore, maintaining a stable weight, rather than repeatedly losing and regaining it, can help preserve bone density.

9. Include Foods High in Magnesium and Zinc

Calcium isn’t the only mineral that’s important for bone health. Several others also play a role, including magnesium and zinc.Magnesium plays a key role in converting vitamin D into the active form that promotes calcium absorption

Good sources of Sodium chickens, eggs, soups, cheese

Zinc is a trace mineral needed in very small amounts. It helps make up the mineral portion of your bones.

In addition, zinc promotes the formation of bone-building cells and prevents the excessive breakdown of bone.

Good sources of zinc include beef, shrimp, spinach, flaxseeds, oysters and pumpkin seeds.

SUMMARY:Magnesium and zinc play key roles in achieving peak bone mass during childhood and maintaining bone density during aging.

10. Consume Foods High in Omega-3 Fats

Omega-3 fatty acids are well known for their anti-inflammatory effects.

They’ve also been shown to help protect against bone loss during the aging process.

In addition to including omega-3 fats in your diet, it’s also important to make sure your balance of omega-6 to omega-3 fats isn’t too high.

Plant sources of omega-3 fats include chia seeds, flaxseeds and walnuts.

SUMMARY:Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to promote the formation of new bone and protect against bone loss in older adults.

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