BUILDING A STRONG STRUCTURE.
Bones play an important role in the body by providing structure, anchoring muscles, protecting organs, and storing calcium.
While it's important to build strong and healthy bones during childhood and adolescence but you can take steps during adulthood also to protect bone health.
WHY IS BONE HEALTH IMPORTANT?
Your bones are continuously changing new bones are made and old bones are broken down. When you're young, your body makes new bones faster than it breaks down the old bones thus your bone mass increases. Once you reach 30 years of age, you have achieved peak bone mass. After that, bone remodeling continues, but you lose slightly more bone mass than you gain. If not enough bone mass is created by this time then bone loss occurs later in life and you will have an increased risk of developing osteoporosis.
It is a condition that causes bones to become weak and brittle that break off easily; depending on how much bone mass you attain by the time you reach age 30 and how rapidly you lose it after that.
WHAT AFFECTS BONE HEALTH?
- The amount of calcium in your diet.
- Physical activity
- Tobacco and alcohol usage
- Sex / Gender
- Family history
- Hormone levels
- Eating disorders and other conditions
- Certain medications
WHAT TO DO TO KEEP BONES HEALTHY?
So when it comes to building healthy bones, then there are two key nutrients: Calcium and Vitamin D. Calcium supports your bones and teeth structure where as vitamin D improves calcium absorption and bone growth.
If you develop osteoporosis, that is a disease characterized by brittle and weak bones then getting plenty of calcium and vitamin D may slow the disease and prevent fractures.
Adults up to age of 50 should consume 1,000 milligrams of calcium and 200 IUs (international units) of vitamin D per day.
Adults over 50 should consume 1,200 milligrams of calcium and 400 to 600 IUs of vitamin D per day.
GET NUTRITION and STAY HEALTHY!!
Fortunately, many nutrition and lifestyle habits can help you build strong and healthy bones and also maintain them as you age.
Good sources of CALCIUM include:
- Milk, cheese and other dairy foods
- Green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage and okra, but not spinach as it also contains oxalic acid, which reduces calcium absorption
- Soya beans
- Soya drinks with added calcium
- Breads or anything made out of fortified flour
- Fish where you can eat the bones, such as sardines and pilchards
Good sources of VITAMIN D:
- Oily fish, such as salmon, sardines and mackerel
- Fortified fat spreads
- Fortified breakfast cereals
- Some powdered milks
It's difficult to get all the vitamin D that our body needs from our diet. Thus daily periods of sun exposure on our skin without sunscreen is enough for are body to get vitamin D.
WHO IS AT RISK?
Women are at a greater risk of osteoporosis because women have less bone tissue than men.
Women also lose bone more rapidly for a number of years after the menopause when their ovaries stop producing oestrogen, which has a protective effect on bones.