Protecting your bone health is easier than you think. Understand how diet, physical activity and other lifestyle factors can affect your bone mass.
Bones play many roles in the body — providing structure, protecting organs, anchoring muscles and storing calcium. While it’s important to build strong and healthy bones during childhood and adolescence, you can take steps during adulthood to protect bone health, too.
What affects bone health?
A number of factors can affect bone health. For example: A diet low in calcium contributes to diminished bone density, early bone loss and an increased risk of fractures. Also people who are physically inactive have a higher risk of osteoporosis than do their more-active counterparts.
Research suggests that tobacco use contributes to weak bones and regularly having more than one alcoholic drink a day for women or two alcoholic drinks a day for men may increase the risk of osteoporosis. Undeniable factors like gender, size, age, race and family history and eating disorders affect how bones develop.
What can I do to keep my bones healthy?
You can take a few simple steps to prevent or slow bone loss. For example:
Include plenty of calcium in your diet.
For adults ages 19 to 50 and men ages 51 to 70, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium a day. The recommendation increases to 1,200 mg a day for women after age 50 and for men after age 70.
Good sources of calcium include dairy products, almonds, broccoli, kale, canned salmon with bones, sardines and soy products, such as tofu. If you find it difficult to get enough calcium from your diet, ask your doctor about supplements.
Pay attention to vitamin D.
Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. For adults ages 19 to 70, the RDA of vitamin D is 600 international units (IUs) a day. The recommendation increases to 800 IUs a day for adults age 71 and older. Good sources of vitamin D include oily fish, such as salmon, trout, whitefish and tuna.
Additionally, mushrooms, eggs and fortified foods, such as milk and cereals, are good sources of vitamin D. Sunlight also contributes to the body’s production of vitamin D. If you’re worried about getting enough vitamin D, ask your doctor about supplements.
Include physical activity in your daily routine
Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, jogging, and climbing stairs, can help you build strong bones and slow bone loss.
Avoid substance abuse
Don’t smoke. If you are a woman, avoid drinking more than one alcoholic drink each day. If you are a man, avoid drinking more than two alcoholic drinks a day.
Source: mayo Clinic