It is so important to protect your bones! After all, they are your foundation! Your bones play many roles. They provide structure, they protect your organs, they anchor your muscles, and store calcium! Wow! What a powerhouse! It’s a great idea to take care of them and give them what they need. As our bodies grow and get older, the needs of the bones change.
There’s a constant change going on with your bones. New bone is constantly being made and the old bone is being broken down. When you are young, your body makes new bone way faster than it breaks down the old. But as we age, new bone growth slows down. Osteoporosis is a condition that causes your bones to become weak and brittle. So, it’s a great idea to give your bones what they need early on in your life. But if you are older, there are still things you can do to help keep your bones healthy.
Factors that affect bone health
- Calcium is a major factor. A diet low in calcium contributes to a decrease in bone density. Early bone loss greatly increases the risk of bone fracture.
- Lack of physical activity also increases the chances of osteoporosis.
- The use of tobacco and alcohol may cause weaker bones.
- Women are at greater risk than men because they have less bone tissue than men.
- If you are extremely thin with a small body frame, you are at risk.
- As you age, your bones become weaker and thinner. Remember, what I said about new bone growth slowing down?
- Race and family history also puts you at risk. If you are white or of Asian descent, you have a greater risk. And if someone in your family has a history of fractures, you are at risk.
- Hormones also play a role in bone health. Too much thyroid hormone can cause bone loss. Menopause causes a drop in hormones, so there’s bone loss. For more on menopause, check out this post. Men also experience testosterone levels decreasing, therefore loss of bone mass.
- Certain medications can also cause bone loss.
How to help your bone health
First of all, you want to make sure you are getting plenty of calcium in your diet. Good sources include low-fat dairy products, almonds, broccoli, kale, canned salmon with the bones, and tofu. If you find it difficult to get the necessary calcium in your diet, then supplementation may be needed. Book a call with me today to discuss ways that I can help you with your healthcare and bone health goals.
Your body also needs vitamin D to absorb the calcium. Good sources include oily fish like salmon or trout, mushrooms, eggs, and fortified foods like milk and cereals. Enjoy this recipe that includes mushrooms. To get more recipes like this, make sure you check out my meal plans that I have available! Another way to get vitamin D is sunlight! The sun helps the body produce vitamin D. Make sure you spend at least 15 minutes outdoors each day to soak in that vitamin D. You could also take a supplement if your dietitian or doctor recommends it.
Exercise! Weight-bearing exercises such as walking or climbing stairs help build strong bones and will help slow bone loss. Before starting any exercise program, it is a good idea to speak with your healthcare professional.
Avoid smoking and limit your alcohol intake. Women should not drink more than 1 alcoholic drink per day and men should not have more than 2.
It’s important to make healthy choices that include calcium and vitamin D at an early age, but it’s never too late to start thinking about your bone health. So, if you haven’t made the right choices and you think it’s too late, it’s not! Just make the changes now and let’s increase bone growth and slow down the bones breaking down!
If you already know that you need a dietitian’s help, schedule your initial consultation with me today! I am ready and willing to help you reach your lifestyle goals!
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