When most people hear of osteoporosis, they tend to think of it as a condition that plagues the elderly. True enough, most people experiencing troubles with bone density/ mass loss are older adults, however with proper prevention techniques the level and intensity decrease significantly. There are ways to get started and ahead of the game when it comes to losing bone mass, which I will share with you today.
Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become thin, fragile and extremely brittle with an increased likelihood of getting frequent broken and fractured bones from falls and daily routine movements. We never truly realize how important maintaining healthy bones are when we are younger since many of us take our youth for granted. With this condition , the earlier you get a head start, the less impact you feel with age. Naturally bone loss occurs with age, but osteoporosis makes the bone loss much more significant and impacts the quality of aging and life.
So how can you get a head start preventing?
There are 3 components that remain very crucial to the maintenance of bone density that tends to decline as we age, these are: calcium, vitamin D and exercise.
MayoClinic.com states that for both men and women between the ages of 18 and 50, the recommended intake is 1,000 milligrams per day, which later increases to 1,200 after the age of 50 .
Some common foods that are high in calcium include:
-dark green vegetables
-canned salmon/sardines with bones
-low fat dairy products and any calcium fortified natural fruit juices and cereals
-dried fruits and nuts ( figs and almonds )
-Beans ( White or Navy Beans)
-Black Strap Molasses
-Flax Seeds or Sesame seeds
This list is a short one in comparison to the many other calcium rich sources out there.
Next up is Vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium. According to MayoClinic.com ,the recommended starting point is 600- 800 I U per day.
Vitamin D can be found in:
-Many fruits such as : (guavas, Kiwis, papayas, oranges, strawberries and clementines)
-Dark green vegetables such as: ( Kale, Mustard Greens, Garden Cress)
- Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Brussels Sprouts
- Herbs such as: ( Parsley and Thyme)
Now to our last preventive tip…. Exercise!
Exercise plays a huge role in prevention against many diseases and conditions. Exercise helps build and strengthen both bones and muscles, which work together overall to support balance, coördination and posture. The National Osteoporosis Foundation suggests weight-bearing exercises (walking) and weight lifting .
Both styles of exercising require you to move against gravity and give you the most benefits for your workout.
With a combination of these 3 tips I have provided, you will be well on your way to preventing and decreasing the onset of osteoporosis in your future.
If you are already faced with this debilitating condition, these tips can also be of some benefit to you as well. Consult with your physician and start your prevention today!