Health + Wellness

Keeping your Bones Healthy

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Build strong bones to prevent osteoporosis

When you were young, your body was very capable in developing new bone fibres faster. However, it’s inevitable that our bones weaken as we age. Once we pass the age of 30, there is a higher chance of developing osteoporosis. This is the condition where the formation of bone fibres is unable to keep up with the loss of bone mass. As a result, our bones becomes more frail, thin and weak.

Here are some tips to keep our bones strong and healthy:

Minimise sugar intake

Sugar affects the levels of critical nutrients for bones such as magnesium, calcium and copper. Aim to keep our sugar consumption to a minimum.

Look for healthy alternatives such as fruit slices if you need to satisfy sugar cravings. It’s best to consume fruits rich in antioxidants as the substances aid in bone health. Abstain from sugary drinks so that we can protect the tooth enamel from the acid created by oral bacteria, that can result in cavities. If we do not treat cavities in time, the infection could cause pain and even tooth loss.

Eat calcium-rich foods

Consume foods that are high in calcium such as milk, yogurt and cheese. If you are lactose-intolerant, try diary-free food sources such as white beans and leafy green vegetables such as Bok Choy.

Avoid high-sodium foods as it can cause the kidneys to excrete calcium. Add herbs and spices to your food if you want to enhance the flavour of food dishes. If you still have difficulty incorporating calcium in your diet, purchase and consumer calcium supplements from pharmacies and clinics.

Get enough vitamin D

Vitamin D helps the body absorb and process calcium effectively. These can lead to the development of strong and healthy bones. Insufficient vitamin D causes bone pain and muscle weakness.

We can get a dose of vitamin D by spending time under the sun or through supplements. There are also foods that are rich in vitamin D such as tuna, sardines, egg yolks and fortified milk.

Fix your diet

Plan a diet that contains nuts, beans, whole grains, fruits and vegetables to keep bones healthy. However, be sure to soak beans such as peas in water for a few hours before consumption. This is done to minimise the phytate level, a substance found in these beans that prevent the body from processing their calcium.

Reduce the intake of processed food as they have a high level of sodium in order to preserve the food. Go for a wide variety of ingredients in your meal to achieve a balanced nutrition for positive bone health.

Be Active

Exercise for a minimal of 150 minutes every week to keep your bones strong. Walk, run, hike or sports such as tennis or golf to stay physically active. Try out various resistance activities and stretching exercises to lower the risk of contracting osteoporosis.

Limit caffeine

Eating foods that are high in caffeine can also have a negative influence on calcium absorption by the body. Caffeine limits calcium intake and also contributes to harmful effects on bone health, especially when it’s mixed with sugar.

Limit your caffeine intake by restricting coffee consumption and sugary foods. Switch from caffeinated foods and drinks to decaf.

Forget about smoking

Smokers have a higher risk of fracturing their bones as compared to non-smokers. This is caused by poor circulation of oxygen in the blood system due to damaged blood vessels. Smoking releases harmful toxins that affect hormone production required for the bones to stay strong. It accelerates the rate of bone loss as well.

Seek professional help if you’re determined to quit smoking. Gather family and friends and tell them that you want to quit and ask for their time and support. Invest in nicotine patches or sugar-free sweets to curb your smoking addiction.

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