Although all elderly are familiar with the bone weakening debility of osteoporosis, it is not an evitable element of aging and can be avoided with the right diet. Your best defense against the condition is getting the highest bone density you can by your 30’s and aspiring to minimize bone loss after that. However, if you have already hit your midlife or beyond, your efforts need to be directed at replacing the lost bone structure and preserving the one you have.
Until a few years ago, the no-frills formula for women concerned about fortifying their bodies against any potential bone and heart ailments, was to consume a daily calcium supplement and get regular bone mineral density checks once they hit menopause. However, we now understand that several factors besides calcium can affect the health of the bones and heart, and need to be addressed. Here are a few secrets to building stronger bones and heart:
Get Your Supply Of Calcium
Calcium is one of the most important nutrients for slowing the pace of bone loss and building stronger bones. However, calcium is only one of the secrets of attaining healthy bones, and too much of dairy products or calcium supplements might be detrimental.
Ample research has proven that high calcium consumption increases the risks of prostate cancer in men, thus they should shy away from taking calcium rich antacids and calcium supplements, and only rely on natural dietary sources to fulfill their daily requirement. Some rich sources of calcium include:
- Bok choy: Also known as chinese cabbage, this
vegetable packs 74 mg of calcium per cup.
- Figs: These crunchy, sweet and smooth fruits are
loaded with 240 mg of calcium per cup, as well as rich in fiber, vitamin K and
- Yoghurt: Every 100 grams of yoghurt contain
about 85-100 mg of calcium.
- Cheese: Every 100 gm of cheese contains 721 mg
- Spinach: Every 100 grams of spinach contain 99
mg of calcium.
- Orange: Each orange contains 60 mg of
- Milk: One cup of milk (100 grams) contains 125
- Almonds: One serving of almonds (approximately
19 almonds) contains about 75 mg of calcium
- Sardines: These have 383 mg of calories in a
The recommended daily intake of calcium is:
- Children 1-3 years old: 700 milligrams (mg)
- Children 4-8 years old: 1,000 mg
- Children 9-18 years old: 1,300 mg
- Adults 19-50: 1,000 mg
- Women 51 to 70: 1,200 mg
- Men 51 to 70: 1,000 mg
- Women and men 71 and over: 1,200 mg
With the passing years, the ability of the intestines to absorb calcium from the diet exacerbates, and even the kidneys become less apt at conversing calcium within the body. Since calcium is needed for a plethora of vital metabolic functions, your body starts to steal calcium from the reserves in bones.
Consume Vitamin-D Rich Foods
Calcium has an indispensable accomplice when it comes to building stronger bones; Vitamin D. This vitamin assists the body in absorbing calcium and researchers seem to believe that enhancing the vitamin D consumption would help prevent a multitude of bone and cardiovascular maladies. Some milk brands are fortified with this vitamin. In addition, Vitamin D rich foods include:
- Salmon: 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of farmed
Atlantic salmon contains 526 IU of vitamin D
- Herring: This small fish provides 216 IU per
3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving
- Canned Sardines: one can (3.8 ounces) contains
177 IU of the Vitamin.
- Cod liver oil: This oil contains 448 IU of
vitamin D per teaspoon.
- Canned Tuna: Canned tuna packs up to 268 IU of
vitamin D in a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving.
- Egg yolk: one egg yolk contains 37 IU of vitamin
- Wild mushrooms: A whopping 2,300 IU per
3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving.
Furthermore, soaking in the sun rays can aid your body in
producing its own Vitamin D. The best time of the day for sun exposure is
between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. 20 Minutes of sunlight, twice a week, to your back,
legs, arms, and face, without sunscreen, would enable your body to get its fill
of this essential vitamin. The recommended daily intake for Vitamin D is 1,000
Load Up On Vitamin K2
This fat-soluble vitamin activates the protein Osteocalcin,
which has a vast impact on bone mineralization. It tends to bind to
hydroxyapatite2, the mineral component of bone, and helps in strengthening the
bone structure and rendering them less vulnerable to fracture and fissure. This
makes vitamin k2 a vital player in your bone health.
Not only does vitamin K2 helps incorporate calcium in to bones, it also works to steer it clear of the heart’s arterial vessels, which otherwise leads to calcification, or arterial hardening, and enhances the risk factors of cardiovascular diseases. In addition, when combined with vitamin D, Vitamin K serves to impede osteoclasts, the cells responsible for bone resorption.
Get Your Minerals
Fresh vegetables and fruits incorporate nutrients that are
indispensable for achieving healthy heart and bones. Here’s a list of important
minerals needed by your body:
Magnesium: Magnesium works in
collaboration with calcium to fortify bones. Most Americans seem to have low
levels of magnesium, and this is one of the factors which contribute to osteoporosis
and cardiovascular diseases.
Manganese: This trace mineral
is essential for healthy bone growth. A deficiency of Manganese can cause
skeletal abnormalities and impaired growth.
Our bodies are constantly laboring hard
to repair old bones build new ones, and we can assist our bodies with smart
food choices, some moderate exercise, and a few supplements vital for the
process. Doing so would go a long way in warding off osteoporosis and
cardiovascular diseases in the long run.