Tips that help to build healthy bones and prevent osteoporosis

Our bones are very important; together they provide structure to our bodies, protect our internal organs and hold muscles in place. They are constantly evolving; old bone breaks down, making way for new bone to be developed. When we’re young, our bodies are masters of this process but as we age everything begins to slow down. It’s vital that we take care to help our bones to stay as nourished and healthy as possible. Follow these tips to make sure your bones remain strong.

Take control

Eat a balanced diet – A calcium rich diet is very important for keeping bones healthy. The recommended adult daily intake of calcium is at least 700mg (1,200mg if diagnosed with osteoporosis). Calcium rich foods include dairy products such as milk, cheese and low-fat yoghurt; green vegetables such as spinach or kale; nuts, seeds, dried fruit and even tofu. Stock up on vitamin D to help your body absorb the calcium in your diet and keep your bones healthy. Oily fish, such as sardines and mackerel, are rich in vitamin D, as are eggs and fortified cereals. Research into the benefits of vitamin K has increasingly revealed its ability to help our bodies keep bones strong and healthy. You should be able to get all vitamin K you need by eating a balanced diet. Foods rich in vitamin K include: broccoli, spinach, kale, Brussels sprouts and parsley.

Get tips for a healthy diet

Exercise – Regular exercise will make your bones strong. Long periods of inactivity can lead to osteoporosis, so make sure you get active regularly. Sports such as tennis or golf are great for maintaining strong and healthy bones, but a brisk walk or run can be just as effective. 

Which exercises help you to lose weight?

Live a healthy lifestyle – Smoking can hinder the body’s ability to absorb calcium, as does alcohol, tea, coffee and fizzy drinks. Keep these beverages to a minimum and, where possible, choose alternatives such as herbal teas and juices.

Read about the benefits of stopping smoking!

Say ‘no’ to salt – Many nutritionists believe that salt actually encourages the body to lose its intake of calcium more quickly. Cutting down on salt in your diet will keep this problem in check. The recommended limit is 6g per day, and it’s worth checking the nutrition labels on packaging before you tuck in. Look out for a high salt content in products such as cheese, ready-made soups, cooking sauces and even gravy granules.

Factors you can’t control

Family history – Having a close family member diagnosed with osteoporosis can be an indicator that you might be at risk. If you are worried, it may be a good idea to talk to your doctor. He or she may recommend you take a bone mineral density (DXA) scan, a simple and painless procedure to measure the strenght of your bones. If the results are cause for concern, your doctor will be able to advise you on the best form of treatment. 

Age – Naturally, as we age, our bones get more brittle and the body’s ability to build new bone becomes slower and less efficient. Therefore, inevitably, the risk of osteoporosis goes up as we get older.

Gender – Women have a greater chance of getting osteoporosis than men. This is because, on average, they have smaller bones and, due to hormone changes relating to the menopause, women tend to lose bone faster than men as they age.

Osteoporosis: the facts

What is osteoporosis? 

Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to become weak and more likely to break. It has no obvious symptoms, so many people aren’t diagnosed until they suffer a break or fracture and have an x-ray taken.

How can osteoporosis be treated?

There are medications available to treat osteoporosis. The primary aim of treatment for this condition is to improve bone strength and help to prevent sufferers from incurring bone fractures. Many people choose not to take medication and opt instead for various vitamin supplements to boost and maintain adequate levels of calcium and vitamin D in the body.

You might also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and get
• FREE Competitions
• FREE Digital Magazines
• HOME and FAMILY News
And much more…

You have Successfully Subscribed!