How to Keep your bones strong as you age?  How to Keep your bones strong as you age?

As we get older,  we don’t have as much stamina as we used to, our eyesight isn’t as strong as it once was, and we find ourselves going to bed at an earlier hour. Additionally, it’s not uncommon for our bones to start giving us trouble. Bones are especially vulnerable to damage as we age so it’s important to do everything you can to keep them strong. 

Critical Nutrients for Bones 

Vitamin D and calcium are essential nutrients for your bones. 

Calcium is a mineral that is responsible for keeping your bones and teeth strong. It also plays a role in regulating your heartbeat and making sure your blood clots normally. Nearly all of the calcium in your body is stored in your bones with the rest found in your blood, muscles, and other tissues. 

Foods rich in calcium include: 

  • Milk 
  • Dairy
  • Sardines
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Sesame seeds
  • Poppy seeds
  • Rhubarb
  • Soya beans

Vitamin D is created naturally by your body when your skin is exposed to direct sunlight. Because so much of our lives are spent indoors, many people have a vitamin D deficiency without realizing it. This deficiency can become worse as you age because your body doesn’t produce as much vitamin D as it used to. 

If you aren’t getting enough vitamin D from sun exposure, there are many foods you can add to your diet to help. This includes many of the foods you start your day with like fortified cereals, orange juice, and milk. 

Other foods rich in vitamin D include: 

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Egg yolks
  • Mushrooms

Bone Strength Goes Beyond the Nutrition Basics 

While calcium and vitamin D are vital for your bones to stay strong and healthy, there are other nutrients your bones need, too, like vitamin C, magnesium, vitamin B 12, and protein. The best way to get these vitamins and minerals into your system is by eating a diet of whole foods packed with nutrients. 

Wherever possible, avoid processed foods or foods high in sodium and sugar. Try to choose foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Especially with fruit and veg, choose some in a variety of colours to get the most out of your diet. Some recommended foods are: 

  • Bulgar wheat
  • Quinoa
  • Leafy greens
  • Red peppers
  • Whole oats
  • Brown rice
  • Squash
  • Blueberries 
  • Beets

Bone Loss and Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition that causes the bones to become so weak and brittle that they become more susceptible to damage and breaks. Even a slight fall or misstep can cause a fracture when you have osteoporosis. This is why falls are such a concern for those older in age. 

Your bones are living tissue that is in a constant state of being broken down and replaced. Normally, your body produces enough new bone that any losses are more than made up for. However, when you have a condition like osteoporosis, you aren’t producing enough new bone to keep up with the loss. 

To help prevent osteoporosis or to keep it from getting worse, you should take measures to build up your bone strength. In addition to a nutrient-rich diet, you can practice weight-bearing exercises and take Calcium or vitamin D supplements. 

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