During your childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood you’re helping to build bone mass by incorporating important minerals into your diet. Building healthy bones is incredibly important because your bone mass declines as you age and your risk of developing fragile bones increases.
Once you’ve reached the age of 30, you’ve achieved peak bone mass. The good news is, you can still build strong bones and maintain their strength as you age with certain nutrition and lifestyle habits.
Here are four ways you can build healthy bones:
- Eat more vegetables. Vegetables are great for your health, including strengthening your bones. This is because vegetables are high in vitamin C, which helps increase bone density and stimulate the production of bone-forming cells. Vitamin C’s antioxidants also help to protect against bone damage.
- Perform strength-training and weight-bearing exercises. Exercise is important, but it’s also important to do specific types of exercise to help build bone mass. Weight-bearing exercises promote the production of bone cells and reduce bone-related inflammation. Strength-training exercise can also help build muscle mass as a part of physical therapy and chronic pain treatment.
- Eat plenty of protein. Protein is crucial for strengthening your bones because bones are 50% protein. The more protein you eat, the more calcium your bones absorb which improves bone formation and reduces breakdown. Aim for proteins that are plant-based like nuts and seeds. This way you can get the protein you need without increasing the risk of heart issues.
- Eat high-calcium foods throughout the day. Speaking of calcium absorption, it’s a good idea to eat high-calcium foods like almonds, broccoli, kale, okra, tofu, cheese, sesame seeds, and chia seeds throughout the day. High-calcium foods are important because your body only absorbs a little of the calcium eaten.
Osteoporosis and low bone mass are considered a major public health threat for Americans age 50 and older. When your bones become more porous and fragile, you increase your risk of suffering from a fracture. Unfortunately, the loss of bone mass can happen progressively and silently without you even noticing. It is important to get testing and to speak with your doctor about your risks.
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