How to Improve Bone Health: A Simple Guide to Prevent Osteoporosis
When you buy a new car, it runs super smoothly. The tyres do not skid, the suspension is great and the engine is pretty much noiseless. By and by, though, the performance of the car declines – the tyres start skidding a little, the braking mechanism is not as smooth and the engine develops issues due to wear and tear.
This is exactly what happens to our bodies as well. Research shows that our bodies reach their optimum around 30. Then, the performance starts to decline. Our organs and bones start showing signs of wear and tear. Since birth, our bones are consistently going through a remodelling process. The body breaks down the existing bones and rebuilds them. Before we reach 30, the new bones start developing slightly faster than the old bone begins breaking down, ensuring a stable bone density.
After the age of 30yrs, the bone starts to degenerate faster than it regenerates, and eventually we begin to lose bone mass. This, in turn, causes bones to become weak and brittle and puts you at risk of developing Osteoporosis.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition where bones lose their natural strength and elasticity, become fragile, and break very easily. Thankfully, Osteoporosis is preventable. If you take the correct measures to maintain a healthy bone mass even after you reach the age of 30, you shall be less likely to develop Osteoporosis.
How to Improve and Maintain Bone Health
Building and maintaining bone mass is a continuous process that starts in childhood. Improve bone health with proper, nutrient-rich diet with the required amount of calcium, vitamins B12, C & D, protein, magnesium, and other essential vitamins and minerals is the cornerstone of maintaining healthy bones. This is easily achieved if the diet includes milk (or milk products), lots of green & leafy vegetables, and adequate protein derived from lean meats, soy products, or legumes.
It is never too early to start taking care of your bone health. Children and adolescents must include the following dietary requirements:
- Calcium: For children of ages 4-18, the daily recommended intake is 1300mg per day, while for adults, the amount drops to 1000mg per day. For women above 50 and men above 70, the recommended amount increases to 1200mg daily. Some calcium-rich foods are:
- Milk: Approximately 300mg of calcium is found in 250ml milk. Milk is also rich in vitamins A, D, and protein.
- Other dairy products: Yogurt and cheese might be more your style, especially if you are lactose intolerant. Do check the labels for the calcium content in individual products.
- Nuts & Seeds: Chia seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, etc., not only contain a healthy dose of calcium, but are also often rich in other essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, copper, iron, zinc, and magnesium. Almonds are also an excellent source of calcium.
- Beans & Lentils: They offer a lot more nutrients than calcium. Most varieties of lentils and beans are rich in fibre, plant-based proteins, iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium, folate, etc., in addition to a healthy serving of calcium.
- Green leafy vegetables: Collard greens, spinach, and kale are particularly high in calcium content. However, the presence of oxalates makes the calcium unavailable for absorption in the body. Spinach has a higher oxalate content than collard greens or kale. You should also avoid combining leafy greens and carbohydrates in the same meal, as carbs also inhibit the absorption of calcium.
- Vitamin D: This is the other cornerstone of good bone health. Vitamin D helps the body in absorbing calcium. While most people in tropical countries can get the necessary amount of vitamin D from sunlight, if you are in a place where the sun is weak or if you are dark-skinned, you may need to seek alternative sources. The recommended daily intake is 8.5 to 10 micrograms (a microgram is one-thousandth of a milligram). Egg yolks, liver, and red meat are good natural sources of Vitamin D.
- Other Vitamins (A, B12, C, K): Include adequate dairy products, eggs, fresh fruits, and vegetables for a balanced diet.
- Protein: Protein, like Vitamin D, helps the body absorb calcium. While the best source of protein is through lean white meats like chicken and turkey, you can also substitute lentils and soy products to get your protein fix.
- Minerals: While zinc and magnesium contribute the maximum towards maintaining and improving bone health, other minerals like iron, manganese, sodium, potassium, and folate play an important role in maintaining overall health.
Continue the good eating habits:
As an adult, maintaining a healthy diet and incorporating all the above nutrients into your daily food habits is the key to maintain good bone health.
Include weight-bearing exercises in your daily workout routine:
The best way to strengthen your bones is to include exercises that involve weights. These exercises might use the body’s weight (deep knee bends, push-ups, etc.), or use external weights like dumb-bells (for strengthening your biceps, triceps, etc.).
Avoid unhealthy eating habits:
Unscientific crash dieting and very low-calorie diets do more harm than good, contrary to popular opinion. Concentrate instead on maintaining a healthy weight and BMI. A well-balanced diet of at least 1,200 calories per day, that provides plenty of protein, vitamins, and minerals, is essential to improve and maintain bone health. Also, avoid ingesting the whole of your calcium intake at one go. Opt, instead, for small portions spread throughout the day.
Say no to substance abuse:
It is well established that tobacco users have weaker bones. Regularly going over the limit of one (for women) or two (for men) alcoholic drink/s a day also increases the risk of Osteoporosis.
Despite how consciously you try to maintain the dietary requirements, you might fall short of the recommended daily intake of calcium or vitamin D. If you are concerned that you are not being able to take adequate care of your bone health , or you feel you are at a higher risk for osteoporosis specifically among adults, consult your doctor and ask if you should include vitamin D supplements. A bone density test might be in order, and based on the results, your doctor will guide you on how best to control the rate of your bone loss, if necessary, with the help of the right dietary supplements. We at ZIM Labs, in an effort to ensure that you remain healthy and fit, and live a longer, healthier, and happier life, have developed a range of affordable and safe dietary supplements. Do take a look at the products available. We feel confident that our dietary supplements shall cater to all your requirements and live up to your expectations.
About ZIM Laboratories
ZIM Labs is an innovative drug delivery solution provider focusing on improving patient convenience and adherence to drug intake. We offer a range of technology-based drug delivery solutions and non-infringing proprietary manufacturing processes for the production and supply of innovative and differentiated generic pharmaceutical products to our customers globally. At ZIM Labs we provide our customers a comprehensive range of value-added solid dosage differentiated generic products in semi-finished and finished categories/formulations. These include granules, pellets (sustained, modified, extended-release), taste-masked powders, suspensions, tablets, capsules, and recently developed Oral Thin Films (OTF).