Eating Your Way Out of Osteoporosis
Some people are genetically predisposed to osteoporosis, women even more so than men, but does that mean there is nothing to be done about it? While it is true that you cannot prevent osteoporosis, there is a number of things you can do to significantly slow down the process of bone loss. Nutritionists and physicians from all over the world agree on the following: the right diet will help you stay healthy and keep your bones strong for a very long time.
Statistics show that osteoporosis has an important genetic component, for example parental history of fracture implies an increased risk of fracture in children as well. Bone marrow density BDM was used for identification of people with osteoporosis, but today doctors are trying to identify patients with high risk of fracture, since clinical outcome of osteoporosis is almost always fracture. Smoking also leads to lower bone density, and the risk increases with age, so if you are currently a smoker you should consider quitting.
Keep drinking coffee
People who try to eat healthy usually give up coffee for some reason, but they don’t have to. Debate over whether coffee is healthy or not concluded that unless you are drinking an unhealthy amount of coffee (meaning more than eight cups per day), your bones will not suffer. Coffee is a good antioxidant, and if you add a bit of milk to it you can take in calcium along with caffeine.
Calcium is a must
Everyone knows that calcium is good for the bones, this is one of the reasons children should have a regular intake of this mineral (to keep their bones strong while growing), but it is equally important for the elderly. Cheese, yogurt, and milk are among the greatest osteoporosis foods out there, and you should try to increase the amount of these groceries per day. For those who are lactose intolerant or vegan, there are other options – dark green and leafy vegetables contain healthy dose of calcium, especially spinach and broccoli.
Vitamin D is a necessity too
Years ago it was advisable to have children drink fish oil in order to get enough vitamin D, due to its bad taste it was regarded by the kids more as a punishment than medicine. Luckily, today there is a long list of delicious foods rich in vitamin D which everyone can enjoy. The best are, of course, different oily fish such as salmon and tuna, but canned sardines are just as good. You should also include liver, mushrooms, and egg yolks to your diet, since these contain great amounts of vitamin. Furthermore, spend as much time outside as you can, vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin for good reason.
Find good source of magnesium
While it may not be as efficient as calcium or vitamin D, magnesium is important for keeping the bones strong because it fortifies their structure. Furthermore, magnesium helps body absorb more calcium, and increases bone density. To get enough magnesium without getting supplements, make sure you eat a lot of pumpkin seeds, potatoes, spinach, all kinds of beans, wholegrain bread, and brown rice.
What to avoid
Number one ingredient you should avoid is salt, immediately followed by processed sugar. Avoid processed meats such as hot dogs and deli turkey. Canned soups and vegetables are also a bad idea because of additives. You should try eating fresh vegetables whenever you can. Another great option is to cook or eat out often, and limit your alcohol intake too. Staying clear of these ‘bad’ foods and getting enough vitamins should help you keep your bones strong for a long time.
Osteoporosis is a serious condition that requires a lot of attention. You will not miraculously cure it if you take in enough calcium, but rather if you monitor even the smallest changes, exercise a bit, and eat food which will help you. Remember that your health needs more attention as you get older than it did before. So don’t be reckless, better to slow down a bit now than have to endure pain or worse – broken bones later on.