It’s general knowledge that staying healthy helps to protect our bodies from many diseases like diabetes and heart disease, as well as improving our mental and emotional wellbeing. Keeping healthy is also vital for our bones, and a balanced diet can be the best defence against common diseases such as Osteoporosis.
As we age, most of us should expect to lose a certain degree of bone density – medically referred to as Osteopenia. Osteoporosis on the other hand, occurs when there is a loss of bone density beyond the normal amount. When Osteoporosis is present in the body, the bones become more fragile, which leads to a heightened risk of bone fractures and breaks.
Although a diet low in calcium or dairy products is often blamed as a major contributor to Osteoporosis, studies observing populations with an exceptionally low overall calcium intake such as the Okinawans, African Bantu, and Rural Chinese have concluded that lack of calcium may not be the culprit. In fact, these people have some of the strongest bones in the world, so some believe it would be better to associate Osteoporosis as a disease caused by excess loss of bone material and minerals (including calcium), rather than a disease caused by calcium deficiency.
A solution, therefore, is to increase bone formation and reduce bone loss. With this in mind, there are some simple steps we can take to help prevent Osteoporosis from occurring.
Bone building tips:
1. Participate in weight bearing activities such as walking, gardening, tai chi, or tennis.
2. Increase the intake of mineral dense, vitamin rich, alkaline producing fruits and vegetables. These include leafy greens and brightly coloured fruits and vegetables.
3. Consume more phytoestrogens (legumes, especially soy, linseed, beans and sprouts) as well as whole grains, nuts and seeds.
Maintaining bone density is very important for your body’s ongoing health and some easy lifestyle changes will ensure years of healthy, strong bones!