Bone health: Taking the right steps

When we begin to realize that our bones are more alive than we think, protecting your bone health becomes important. Learn how to support and strengthen your bones through diet, exercise and good lifestyle habits.

I am in good health and have no aches or pains, so my bones are healthy right? Well depending on your age, gender, diet, and lifestyle the health of your bones may be weaker than you think, and you may not even know. Waiting for external signs like a fracture or other indications means you may be taking your bones for granted. Taking care and strengthening your bones is actually really simple and easy if you only pay attention.

Our bones are integral in keeping the body structure together, protects the brain and other organs and helps us move. They are also a storehouse of calcium and phosphorus that not only maintain the density of bones but also provide these essential minerals when the body needs them for other functions.

While we focus really hard on calcium for healthy bones when we are children and growing, we tend to completely neglect it as adults. But the fascinating thing about our bones is that they are continuously changing. Yes, our body makes new bone and the old is broken down, and this process is faster when we are young. As we get older the break down is faster than the rebuilding and our bone health gets compromised. To add to this there are several other factors such as our food and drink, stress, poor exercise, and lifestyle habits that can negatively affect our bones.

The Calcium Dilemma

When people consider bone health, most people automatically think of calcium as being the most important nutrient, which in turn often leads them to thinking they should increase their dairy intake. As we cannot produce calcium in our body, we do need to take it in from dietary sources. However, it is fair to point out, cows do not manufacture calcium either – so where do they get it from? Greens – that is where. It is also important to point out that the composition and formation of bone tissue involves a whole orchestra of nutrients, not just calcium. 

There are 2 kinds of bone cells – osteoblasts that build new bone and osteoclasts that break down and eliminate old bone tissue. Bones need calcium, phosphorous and magnesium as building materials. For calcium to be digested in the first place stomach acid is needed. The ability to absorb calcium into bones depends upon vitamin D and is assisted by the mineral boron. Vitamin C is needed to make collagen, the cement that holds the bone matrix together, and zinc is needed to help make new bone cells. Osteocalcin is a protein synthesized by osteoblasts and its mineral-binding capacity function requires vitamin K to be present.

Stay Alkaline

Bone health is also directly affected by our acid/alkaline balance. Eating and drinking acidic foods, as well as acidic lifestyle factors and continued stress, forces our body to borrow minerals – including calcium and magnesium from vital organs and bones to neutralize the acid safely and excrete it from the body. Basically, every time you have an energy drink, sugary ice-cream, coffee, or some processed food your bones are acting as buffers to try and maintain an alkaline balance. Luckily, many of the ingredients we can eat for alkalizing the body, do so because they contain the very nutrients we need to build healthy bones. Leafy green vegetables like spinach, Swiss chard, watercress, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale and broccoli are great bone foods. Cauliflower, tomatoes, whole grain cereals, soy, tofu and nuts and seeds are also great for our skeleton’s strength. Salmon and eggs, though acidic, are great sources of vitamin D which is also provided by sunlight. 

Incorporating these foods, alongside an abundance of alkalizing fruit and vegetables, regular exercise and avoiding acid-forming foods and lifestyle choices, will help your body to build and regenerate strong bone tissue.

Your bones are alive and need you to care for them before it is too late.

Disclaimer: “Our content is not intended to provide medical advice or diagnosis of individual problems or circumstances, nor should it be implied that we are a substitute for professional medical advice. Users / readers are always advised to consult their Healthcare Professional prior to starting any new remedy, therapy or treatment. Sanda Retreats accepts no liability in the event you, a user of our website and a reader of this article, suffers a loss in any way as a result of reliance upon or inappropriate application of the information hosted on our website.”

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