The human body is composed of 206 bones and the skeletal system performs one of the most important functions in the body: it provides structure and support to all the organs. Yet, we often tend to ignore our bone health and do not focus enough on maintaining this powerhouse completely. The human body builds bone mass until a person reaches twenty years of age and once a person reaches thirty, (s)he reaches the peak of building bone mass. This is the reason why our bones get more fragile and brittle after thirty with the lack of proper attention. If our bones are taken ample care of, we can still prevent or reduce the risk of fragile bones, osteoporosis, and other degenerative bone diseases as well as bone breakage and fractures, all of which commonly occur at later stages in life.
To prevent our bones from getting weaker at any age, a few simple guidelines must always be followed to both build and maintain bone mass and ensure optimal health of our bones.
1. Lose The Fear Of Consuming Certain Fatty Foods
Who says fat-rich foods are a bane to humans? Good fats are always important to stay healthy. Healthy and high-quality fats are essential to provide nutrients to our bones. In fact, fats also come with a fistful of other benefits such as absorption of enough calcium and fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin D and vitamin K. It is recommended that you always choose to eat polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Essential fatty acids are present in nuts, nut butter, seeds, coconut oil, olive oil, fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel, etc.
2. Consume Various Calcium-Rich Foods
Calcium alone is the only nutrient required for bone health and it is believed to be one among the most critical nutrients. Dairy and egg whites are considered to be the best sources of calcium, but there are other sources of calcium available as well. Some of them are cauliflower, parsley, kale, bok choy, broccoli, turnip greens, Brussels sprouts, sweet potato, almonds, seaweeds, soft shell crabs, sardines, anchovies, and even mineral water. With these diverse options available, you can easily get enough calcium for your bones.
3. Do The Right Exercises
It has been found that weight training helps in building bone mass at any age. Weight-bearing exercises also improve posture and balance. It is also highly recommended that you do a few stretches as well. Stretching promotes flexibility and improves joint mobility.
4. Get Your Daily Dose Of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is very essential for our bones. This nutrient actively participates in the formation of bones, helps in the absorption of calcium in the body, and it is stored in the body when there is a presence of healthy fats. A deficiency of vitamin D can increase the risk of suffering from bone breakage and fractures. It has been found that the primary and most natural way to get vitamin D is by exposure to sunlight without getting sunburned. To do this, expose your face and arms to sunlight without wearing sunscreen for about twenty minutes two to three times every week. The sun rays in the morning are considered to be more useful as you don’t get sunburned easily during that time. While getting yourself exposed to the sun, always keep in mind that there exists a line between healthy sun exposure and overexposure. It has also been noted that overexposure of sunlight can be different for different people.
5. Reduce Your Sugar Intake
You must always know which foods can weaken your bones. Refined sugar, alcohol, and caffeine are acid-forming foods that weaken the bones by depleting the calcium and other minerals present in bones. This means that the body uses these nutrients to metabolize these acid-forming foods. It is advised that you decrease your sugar intake and also, cut down on caffeine and avoid alcohol as much as possible to support bone health.
Always choose to consume foods that promote bone health. This will help you age gracefully and help you maintain healthy bones throughout your life.