Building strong bones in childhood and adolescence is essential so that your bone health remains optimum during adulthood and old age. Having healthy bones is important as bones not only provide structure to our body but also protect the organs and store calcium as well.
Your bone mass reaches its peak by the age of 30, i.e., your body makes new bones faster than the time it takes to break down the old bones. Once you cross 30, you lose more bone mass as compared to what you actually gain. Therefore, bone mass is a deciding factor in determining your likelihood of developing osteoporosis later in life.
There are many factors that affect bone health. These include:
- Tobacco and alcohol consumption
- Being a woman puts you at a higher risk as you have less bone tissue
- Your calcium intake
- The levels of physical activity
- Family history of osteoporosis
- Irregular hormone levels in men and women
- Weight-loss surgery
- Unhealthy eating patterns
- Taking certain medications that damage bones
- Being extremely thin
How can you keep your bones healthy? Read on to know…
- Consume a calcium-rich diet: Get in touch with your orthopedic doctor at Healing Hospital, Chandigarh to know about the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for calcium on a daily basis. Accordingly, you can include foods containing calcium in your diet. Some of these are: dairy products, broccoli, tofu, leafy greens, figs and sesame seeds etc. You will require supplements if your diet does not fulfil your daily calcium requirement.
- Keep your vitamin D levels in check: Vitamin D is essential for your body as it assists in absorption of calcium. Ask your orthopedic doctor regarding your vitamin D requirements and accordingly add food items or supplements to your diet. Certain good sources of vitamin D include: mushrooms, egg yolk, fortified cow’s milk and salmon etc. Sunlight is the best natural source of vitamin D.
- Stay physically active: It is important to incorporate walking, jogging and running in your daily physical activities so as to build stronger bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking: Consuming alcohol or smoking in any form can lead to a lower peak bone mass. This eventually increases the likelihood of bone fractures. So, it is advisable to either avoid alcohol and smoking completely or limit them strictly to keep your bones healthy.
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