It’s very important to start focusing on your bone health from a young age. Your bone-building process starts when you’re in your mother’s womb and continues through your childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. You reach your peak bone mass only by the age of 30. If you do not have optimum bone mass by this age, your bones might become fragile as you age. Fortunately, there are several natural ways to build bone strength. Here are 7 things you can do to keep your bones healthy and strong regardless of your age.
1. Make Sure You Have Enough Vegetables
Vegetables are great for your bones because they provide you with a host of nutrients that keep your bones healthy. Vitamin C from vegetables stimulates the production of bone-forming cells. Having more green and yellow vegetables can help increase bone mineralization during childhood and maintain bone mass in young adults. Eating vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, parsley or other plants high in bone-protective antioxidants can decrease bone loss and prevent osteoporosis in women.
2. Begin Strength Training
Working out at the gym regularly not only builds muscle but also makes your bones stronger. Weight-bearing or high-impact exercises promote bone health by stimulating your body to form new bone. It can also be highly beneficial for preventing bone loss in older adults. Women too can benefit from engaging in strength training.
3. Consume Enough Protein
About 50% of your bones are made of protein which is why it’s important that your diet is rich in protein if you want your bones to be strong. Protein also helps your bones absorb calcium helping them maintain their density. To keep your bones strong, you can consume up to 100 grams of protein daily, balanced with plenty of plant foods and adequate calcium intake.
4. Have Plenty Of Vitamin D And K
Vitamin D plays many different roles in bone health including helping your body absorb calcium. Children and adults with low vitamin D levels tend to have lower bone density and are more at risk for bone loss. You can get vitamin D through sun exposure and food sources such as cheese, liver, and fatty fish. Vitamin K aids bone health by modifying osteocalcin, a protein involved in bone formation. Have more liver, eggs, meat, cheese, and sauerkraut for vitamin K.
5. Eat High-Calcium Foods
It’s no secret that calcium is crucial for bone heath. It’s also the main mineral your bones are made of. Just like your skin, your old bone also breaks down while new bone formation happens simultaneously. To keep up with the calcium loss, you should be taking 1,000 mg of calcium per day if you’re an adult. However, rather than taking supplements, it’s best to consume more calcium-rich foods like broccoli, milk, kale, and sardines.
6. Don’t Ignore Magnesium and Zinc
While calcium is important, it’s not the only mineral your bones need. Minerals like magnesium and zinc also help in bone formation. Magnesium plays a key role in converting vitamin D into the active form that promotes calcium absorption. Women who consume magnesium every day tend to have 2–3% higher bone density. Zinc is a trace mineral that’s part of your bone material and helps in the formation of bone-building cells.
7. Have More Omega-3 Fats
You begin to lose bone density as you age, which is why you should make sure you’re having enough omega-3 fatty acids. They have been shown to help protect against bone loss during the aging process. However, it is important to note the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats isn’t too high because a high ratio could lead to bone loss. The ideal omega-6 to omega-3 ratio should be 4:1 or lower.