Although more people today are more concerned about being diagnosed with cancer or diabetes, weak bones are a force to be reckoned with. According to recent studies, 1.5 million people every year suffer a fracture due to a bone-related disease. In some cases, broken bones can take months to heal properly, but the number of other conditions that may occur during bed-locked recovery is nothing short of intimidating. That is why maintaining strong bones is essential to a healthy life – and here are some simple and 100% natural pick-me-ups that can help you stay fit and energetic 24/7.
The stuff healthy bones are made of: Calcium
You probably know by now that calcium is one of the most important minerals for building and preserving strong bones. But do you know where to look for your calcium? In addition to dairy products, calcium is also found in spinach, sardines, dried figs, kale, black strap molasses, bok choy, white beans, canned salmon, oranges, sesame seeds, and almonds. If you are struggling to meet your calcium RDA, you can also reach for calcium supplements to cover the difference.
Magnesium for strong bones
According to some studies, magnesium is as important for strong bones as calcium – if not even more critical. Increased magnesium intake has been linked to higher bone mineral density, which is why most physicians recommend upping magnesium and calcium intake for people afflicted by bone diseases. The best natural sources of magnesium include cacao, nuts and seeds, avocado, fish, bananas, spinach, and okra.
Vitamin shots straight to the bone: Vitamin D
Without Vitamin D, the human body would have a hard time absorbing calcium, so if you are eating your calcium, you may as well add a dose of D to your plate. Vitamin D is found in sardines, egg yolks, tuna, shrimp, orange juice, and fortified cereals, but the body can also produce it on its own when exposed to the sun for at least 15 minutes three or four times a
The key to bone quality: Vitamin K
One more vitamin in the strong bone mix, Vitamin K facilitates protein synthesis necessary for preserving optimal bone mineral density. In cases of osteoporosis, medical experts usually prescribe increasing intake of both calcium and Vitamin K to lower bone loss and brittleness.
In addition to its bone mass benefits, Vitamin K can accelerate blood clotting and wound healing, which is a nice extra to have when the immune system takes a sudden drop. For a scoop of Vitamin K, try dark leafy greens such as Kale, Swiss chard, spinach, as well as brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli.
Exercise is essential for both muscles and bones
Although most people associate tough workouts with improved muscle strength, regular physical activity also plays an important role in bone health. This is especially true for people with a sedentary lifestyle: all that sitting is silently wreaking havoc on the state of your bones.
For optimal bone density, include 30-minute resistance or weight-bearing workouts in your agenda at least three times a week.
Go easy on caffeine and cigarettes
Too much caffeine can reduce the body’s natural calcium absorption, so if you are a coffee lover, you may want to reconsider your habits. The same goes for tobacco: in addition to ruining your respiratory health and skin, smoking can contribute to decreased bone mass, which is one more strong argument in favor of quitting cigarettes for the sake of improved bone health.
With a few dietary and lifestyle adjustments, bone disease is unlikely to ever come knocking on your doors – and considering the pain and complications that go hand in hand with fractures, strong bones are a major asset for a 21st-century person regardless of age, sex, and profession.
Healthy bones are happy bones!