Health Matters: Learn More About Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a condition in which cone become weak and brittle. This degenerative condition naturally occurs as we age. As we age we loss bone density, osteoporosis goes beyond normal bone loss and can lead to broken bones, pain and loss of mobility. One in 2 women and one in 4 men over age 50 will break a bone due to this condition. Although this disease is treatable and even preventable please take this disease serious. As men and women become older, their bones lose mass & strength due to a decline in the body’s bone-rebuilding process. In fact, women can lose up to 5% of their bone mass during the first six years after menopause. In addition to natural bone weakening, adults over the age of 50 are less likely to perform high-intensity, bone-stimulating exercises.
Bone density loss can lead to a range of issues, including osteoporosis, fractures and even life-threatening falls. The good news is there are multiple steps you can take to help strengthen your bones and reduce the threat of pain or injury.
Calcium- The average woman over age 51 needs 1,200 mg of calcium per day, and many fall short of reaching that amount. Drinking milk is an obvious way to consume calcium, but there are plenty of other way to get calcium that have less fat. Yogurt, cottage cheese and fish are great for adding calcium into your diet.
Increase your intake of vegetables —leafy greens like kale, collards & spinach are great! These vegetables also contain other excellent nutrients such as magnesium, potassium and vitamin K that contribute to overall health.
Prunes and plums- are also known to increase bone density. In a recent studies, researchers discovered that eating as few as five dried plums daily for six months helped prevent bone loss in older postmenopausal women with low bone density.
Just as important as consuming food to build strong bones there are also bad food for your bones. Here is what you should avoid- Caffeine should be consumed in moderation, as it can leach calcium from bones. Salt can also pose problems to your skeletal structure, causing calcium loss and weakening bones. Go easy on bread and other grains, as well. Sulfur compounds found in grains can trigger an increase in the body’s acidity and cause bone deterioration.
People over 50 who get less than six hours of sleep a night had a higher risk of osteoporosis than their peers who slept longer. Poor sleeping habits can damage your body’s ability to self-repair while you sleep. Getting adequate rest will allow your body the time to it needs to rebuild multiple body systems — including your bones.
Despite the warnings we hear to avoid the sun’s rays, sunlight remains an effective way to take in vitamin D, a valuable resource for maintaining bone health. This vitamin helps to improve the absorption of calcium and enhances muscle function. Fortunately, 15 minutes in the sun is all your body needs to absorb a helpful amount of vitamin D.
What could be easier than enjoying a beer or glass of wine to help strengthen bones? Studies of moderate drinkers compared to non-drinkers have shown that moderate drinking, which is no more than two drinks per day for men and one for women, can be linked to higher bone density. Beer may be especially beneficial because of its dietary silicon, a nutrient for bone strength. Remember to stick to only one or two drinks as more than that can weaken bones.
Maintaining an active lifestyle that includes regular exercise may be the most important thing you can do to keep bones healthy and strong. Specifically, activities that require muscle strength such as lifting weights can improve muscle mass and support bone health.