We’re all aware of the importance of maintaining good bone health as we age. However, ensuring we build bone density early could help reduce the risk of bone diseases later in life. Read on to find some excellent natural methods of naturally increasing bone density.
Protein is well-known for its importance in building strong muscles. However, it is also an important component of our bones.
Studies suggest that not getting enough protein can limit the body’s ability to absorb calcium – therefore compromising bone density. Research into those who choose low-protein diets shows lower rates of bone formation.
Older women in particular, who are at the most risk of developing osteoporosis, tend to experience improved bone density when they consume higher quantities of protein in their diet.
More specifically, a long-term and large-scale study of postmenopausal women noted a reduced incidence of arm fractures in those with higher protein intake.
Getting enough calcium
When we think of bone nutrition, we often think of calcium. Sufficient calcium is needed to replenish the bones. Our skeletons are more ‘alive’ than we think: old bone is resorbed, and new bone grows each day. Therefore, it’s imperative to include adequate calcium each day – adults aged 19 to 64 need 700mg.
Excellent sources of calcium include dairy products such as milk, yoghurt and cheese. Vegans should opt for leafy greens like kale for their intake.
Our Bone Health Goals formulation offers calcium and other crucial nutrients for bone health, all from natural and traceable sources.
Check your lifestyle
Diet clearly plays a role in maintaining healthy bone density. However, lifestyle factors may also be responsible for undoing bone health.
For example, regular heavy alcohol use can decrease the intestines’ ability to absorb calcium and the pancreas’ ability to absorb Vitamin D.
This disruption to Vitamin D and calcium absorption makes it more difficult for your body to grow strong bones continually and may weaken bone density.
Indeed, some studies suggest a correlated relationship between alcohol use and osteoporosis incidence. The more alcohol that is consumed, the higher the risk.
Smoking tobacco is another risk factor for osteoporosis. There are several reasons why: smokers tend to be thinner, drink more alcohol, and women who smoke often experience menopause earlier – all of which are risk factors for decreased bone density.
Smoking may also impact your body’s ability to absorb calcium and reduce blood flow, nourishing your bones and joints.
Exercise is generally healthy for most of us, and its potential benefits are endless. However, specific kinds of activity may have a tremendous impact on maintaining bone density.
Weight-bearing exercises like stair-climbing and jogging, and high-impact exercises such as jumping, can help the body form new bone.
Weight-bearing exercises that are high impact essentially involve being up on your feet and adding some force throughout your skeleton.
Studies in older people have found that regular weight-bearing exercise can boost bone density and strength.
Strength training, such as weight-lifting, is often used to improve muscle mass. However, studies in women suggest that this can of exercise may help reduce bone loss – even in those already experiencing osteoporosis and osteopenia.
Getting Vitamin D and Vitamin K
Vitamins D and K work as a team in a process known as calcium metabolism.
Among other benefits, vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. However, if the body lacks adequate calcium levels from food sources, vitamin D must draw calcium from the bones.
This can lead to scary consequences over time, including osteoporosis and bone loss.
However, vitamin D isn’t the only nutrient responsible for utilising calcium correctly. Vitamin K has two roles in helping the body use calcium.
Firstly, it activates a protein called osteocalcin, which makes sure calcium is built around bones and teeth. Secondly, vitamin K also helps make sure calcium doesn’t accumulate where it shouldn’t be – such as in the walls of your veins and arteries. Known as vascular calcification, this build-up of mineral deposits is associated with atherosclerosis, kidney disease and diabetes.
The recommended daily amount of vitamin D is 10mcg. For vitamin K, the recommended dose is 90µg for women and 120µg for men (1µg is 1000th part of a milligram). In addition, our Bone and Joint Health Goals supplement has been specially formulated with vitamins D3 and K2 and calcium to help maintain normal bones and joints.
Stay away from low-calorie diets
Low and ultra-low calorie diets are sometimes touted as a route to quick weight loss. While these diets may induce rapid weight loss in the short term, they are unlikely to contribute to long-term health and weight management.
Furthermore, researchers have found that consuming <1000 calories per day can cause reduced bone density in those with healthy BMIs.
Building healthy bone density requires a nutritious diet closer to the recommended calorific quantities of 2000 calories per day for women and 2500 for men.
There is no instant fix for healthy bones – it requires a lifetime of a healthy diet, appropriate exercise and positive lifestyle choices. However, reducing your risk of osteoporosis and other bone and joint diseases may extend your quality of life into your senior years.
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You must not rely on the information on this blog as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or therapist. If you have any specific concerns about your mental or physical health, you should consult your doctor and you should not delay seeking medical advice, or treatment for your mental health, because of the information on this blog.