Osteoporosis is a progressive bone disorder associated with thinning of bones that result in painful fractures. Aging adults, women undergoing menopause, individuals with low body weight or low sex hormones are at greater risk of osteoporosis. The biggest problem with osteoporosis is that it does not have any symptoms other than backaches, gradual loss of height accompanied by a stooped posture. So, how to prevent osteoporosis in an effective manner? Well, the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis includes a diet rich in calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients, regular exercise and medications.
3 Essential Nutrients for Prevention of Osteoporosis
No matter what amount of supplements you take, a healthy diet rich in essential bone-building nutrients is what your body needs to fend off osteoporosis and maintain healthy and strong bones. Following are the three most important nutrients that must be included in the osteoarthritis and osteoporosis diet.
Calcium - It is needless to emphasize the role of calcium in developing healthy bones. The body uses calcium each and every day for various processes, and some of the calcium is lost during this process. This loss and replacement of calcium also leads to the formation of stronger bones. But, bone loss occurs when calcium loss is greater than replacement. The human body is not able to make this essential mineral, and therefore, it must be supplemented by foods and diet. The required daily dosage of calcium is 1200 milligrams for adults over 50 years of age, 1000 milligrams for adults aged between 19 and 50 and 1300 milligrams for children aged between 9 and 18. But, in reality, most people get only half the recommended amount of this mineral that leads to bone loss through erosion.
Vitamin D - Vitamin D or the sunshine vitamin is the other essential nutrient for strong bone that is required for optimum absorption of calcium from foods, and it also helps to prevent bone loss. Sunlight is the best source of vitamin D, and people can meet their daily vitamin D needs by getting just 15 minutes of sun exposure every day. But still many people are deficient in this important vitamin. The daily recommended dosage of vitamin D is 400 to 800 IU for adults aged below 50 and 800 to 1000 IU for adults aged 50 and above. People deficient in vitamin D may benefit from taking vitamin D supplements of 400 to 600 IU.
Protein - Protein is another important nutrient for maintaining bone health. It is extremely important to eat proteins in moderation because both a high-protein diet and low-protein diet can affect the body’s ability to use calcium. Consuming too much protein can cause excess calcium to be exerted by the body whereas, consuming too less protein can lead to low bone mineral density leaving you more susceptible to fractures. The protein requirement for women is 46 grams per day and for men is 56 grams per day (1 gram/Kg of body weight).
7 Healthy Foods that Prevent Osteoporosis
A balanced and well-planned diet rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins and other nutrients is the best natural way to prevent osteoporosis and weak and fragile bones.
Milk and Dairy Products - It is no surprise than milk and dairy make it to the top of this list. Milk is undoubtedly the super-food for prevention of osteoporosis because it is loaded with bone-strengthening calcium that is crucial for building healthy bones. You can opt for low-fat or skim milk if you are trying to lose weight. Some other calcium rich foods are yogurt, cheese, and cottage cheese. Aim to consume at least 3 servings of dairy on a daily basis.
Salmon - Canned sardine, salmon, tuna and other cold water fish are packed with a healthy dose of vitamin D along with calcium. Vitamin D present in these fishes helps the body to absorb and process calcium in a more effective manner.
Almonds - Almonds are the healthiest of nuts are brimming with health-benefitting nutrients but how can you prevent osteoporosis with almonds? Well, almonds promote bone health in a number of ways. Almonds are loaded with protein, calcium, and magnesium – the 3 essential nutrients for building strong and healthy bones. It helps to maintain bone mineral density. You can enjoy a handful of nuts (23 almonds) every day as a healthy snack.
Fortified Breakfast Cereals - Fortified foods such as milk and breakfast cereals are enhanced with essential vitamins and minerals such as calcium and vitamin D. You will benefit from eating at least one serving of fortified foods every day if you don’t get enough of these 2 nutrients from other food sources. Some other fortified foods to include in your diet are fortified whole grain bread and fortified orange juice.
Vegetables - Along with calcium, vitamin D and proteins other nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin K must also be included in a diet to prevent osteoporosis because these nutrients help to prevent bone loss. Leafy green and colorful vegetables are the finest sources of these bone-friendly nutrients. Some of the best vegetables for developing stronger bones are collard greens, turnip greens, kale, dandelion greens, mustard greens, broccoli, spinach, beet greens, okra, artichokes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, papaya, red and green peppers, etc.
Green Tea - Green tea is not only beneficial for weight loss; it can be a part of the bone-healthy diet as well. The components epigallocatechin, gallocatechin and gallocatechin gallate found in green tea have strong effects on osteoblasts. Epigallocatechin, in particular, promotes bone growth by boosting the release of a key enzyme and preventing osteoclasts that tear down bones.
Steel Cut Oats - Steel cut oats are packed with healthy micronutrients like zinc and copper that are required for healthy bone maintenance. It also contains silicon, manganese, and B-complex vitamins – all of which promote healthy bones. Start your day with a bowl of piping hot oats topped with almonds and sunflower seeds to stay full for a prolonged period and load up on bone-healthy nutrients.
Diet plays a critical role in prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Include these above-mentioned foods in your daily diet to build strong and healthy bones and reduce the risk of fractures.
All the treatments – medicines, injections and vaccines are for general information of the reader. Please consult a doctor and get a formal prescription before taking any medicines, supplements and injections.
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