As a person ages, their bones lose critical mass, turn thinner and become prone to fractures. While the process of aging cannot be avoided, you can do a lot in your twenties and thirties to strengthen your bones, so that they can withstand the wear and tear caused by aging and lifestyle.
The best way to preserve your bones is through an optimum diet and regular exercise. Adopting the following habits will help you avoid bone-related injuries and diseases.
Eat more calcium
Calcium is the building block of your bones. If you don’t like milk, you can get your daily calcium fix from other sources such as seafood, calcium-fortified drinks, beans, spinach, broccoli, kale, cabbage, nuts, seeds and oatmeal. With regular intake of calcium, your bones with stay strong for years to come.
Give up harmful foods
Unhealthy foods and toxins in alcohol and tobacco smoke interfere with the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Whether it’s excess sugar or salt, artificial beverages, smoking and alcohol, or even excess caffeine, each of these vices contribute to rapid bone loss, especially as you age.
Unless you kick those habits, even the most nutritious foods won’t benefit your body the way they should.
Do some heavy lifting
Lizette Pompa from Yogateket says that weight bearing exercise like yoga helps improve bone density, creating stronger bones. Research also shows that people who do strength training regularly tend to have stronger bones and muscles. Take up full-body workouts such as deadlifts, squats and lunges, which encourage new bone formation and bone repair.
Check your Vitamin D levels
Calcium-rich foods aren’t of much benefit if your body lacks vitamin D, which is essential to process calcium in the body. Get plenty of sunshine or take vitamin D supplementation until you reach the desired levels.
Eat more protein
Fifty percent of your bone is protein, which is why eating only calcium is not enough if you don’t support it with protein-rich foods. Research shows that low levels of protein in the body hamper bone formation and also affect the absorption of calcium. A balanced diet rich in protein improves bone density and prevent bone loss.
Avoid fad diets
Nothing harms your body more than depriving it of essential nutrients by going on a fad diet. Instead of making you healthier and stronger, such diet programs greatly affect your body’s natural defenses and restoration processes, affecting your bone and muscle repair mechanisms and degrading your immunity levels.
Ditch the fad diet for a healthy lifestyle that’s your second nature and doesn’t require additional effort.
Eat foods rich in magnesium and zinc
Magnesium and zinc are the wonder micronutrients that play a crucial role in bone repair and renewal. While magnesium helps in the synthesis of calcium by converting vitamin D into a more usable form, zinc inhibits bone loss and enhances bone formation at the cellular level.
The good news is that you don’t need these super nutrients in large amounts and can easily get your daily required intake from everyday foods.