Bone health is essential for overall health. Bones are crucial for good posture, movement, stability, and protection of internal organs. Therefore, it’s essential to pay attention to bone health. Otherwise, you could experience a loss of bone density, and with it, diminished quality of life.
But how can you improve your bone health? Is there anything you can do to reverse bone density loss? Are there any foods you can eat, or any exercises you can do to enhance the health of your bones?
The good news is that the body has the ability to repair bone. This is how children grow and people heal from fractures.
Can You Rebuild Bone Density or Reverse Bone Loss?
For the most part, bone density is built throughout childhood, adolescence, and during our 20’s. When one reaches their third decade of life, they’ve reached peak bone density. If one has poor bone health at this stage, they have an increased risk of developing osteoporosis. This means that bones are much more likely to break.
Signs of Poor Bone Density
There are several ways in which the body shows signs of poor bone health. These include:
- Height loss
- Bone pain
- Receding gum line
- Weak grip
- Brittle fingernails
- Poor balance
- Decrease in overall fitness
If you’ve noticed any of the signs above, schedule an appointment for a bone density test. This is especially important if you’re female, 65 years of age or older, or if you’ve broken a bone after the age of 50. If your bone density is low, your doctor may prescribe medication to prevent fractures. However, there are lifestyle changes you can make to improve your bone health.
Foods That Improve Bone Health
1. Dark, leafy greens. When most people think of salads, they think of lettuce as the base. Think about dark leafy greens instead: spinach, kale, arugula, swiss chard, collard greens, watercress, and endive are much more flavorful and nutrient dense. One cup of dark, leafy greens has about 20% of the daily calcium intake you need for healthy bones. You can eat several cups by spreading them throughout your daily meals, as well as drinking them in green smoothies.
2. Citrus fruits. Oranges, tangelos, tangerines, pink grapefruit… All of these contain Vitamin C, which can help you minimize bone loss.
3. Potatoes. Just as calcium is important, Vitamin D is necessary for your bones to be able to absorb it. This is where foods rich in magnesium come in. Whether mashed, baked, or sauteed with olive oil, there are many ways you can eat potatoes that will promote bone health.
4. Almond butter. While peanut butter is a standard American staple, though delicious, you might consider switching to almond butter. It’s available in creamy or crunchy versions, and it contains about 112 milligrams of calcium per serving.
5. Oily fish. Salmon, sardines, and mackerel are all good sources of Vitamin D and Omega-3 fatty acids that help the body build osteoblasts. Osteoblasts are cells that live in the bone marrow and help build bone density, thus protecting bones from osteoporosis.
Exercises for Bone Health
7. High impact aerobics. 15 to 20 minutes of aerobic activity, three times a week increases bone density. Specifically, exercises that include jumping at least 20 times, twice a day result in 75% greater bone density. Running, jumping rope, and stair climbing are also good aerobic exercises.
Should You Take Supplements?
Although Calcium and Vitamin D supplements may provide you with the nutrients, they won’t fully duplicate the benefits of eating whole foods. Real food contains micronutrients and fiber, which are beneficial to your overall health. That being said, ask your doctor about taking supplements if you have a medical condition that affects your body’s absorption of nutrients, are pregnant, menopausal, or are over 65 years of age.
Request an Appointment at The Orthopedic Clinic Today
At The Orthopedic Clinic, we want you to live your life in full motion. If you’re experiencing any issues with your bone health, let us help you. We’ll tailor a treatment plan that’s best for your lifestyle and get you back to doing the things you love.
Call us at (386) 255-4596 to schedule an appointment.