According to the most recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 9% of Americans over age 50 live with osteoporosis.  Tens of thousands of older adults suffer broken bones as a result of osteoporosis every year.  A diet that supports healthy bones is the best preventative medicine for avoiding this condition.  Here are some guidelines for eating your way towards sturdy skeletal health:

Get your fill of lean protein.  Our bones are constructed of a flexible protein framework that is filled in with hard minerals.  I imagine it like a chain-link fence (protein) with baseballs stuck in every opening (minerals).  If we don’t get enough protein in the diet, that chain-link fence could start to deteriorate!  A good rule of thumb for minimum protein intake is to consume 1 gram of protein for every kilogram of your body weight.  I weight 65 kilograms, so I need to consume a minimum of 65 grams of protein every single day.  For more specific protein recommendations, see your local friendly nutritionist.

Get some mineral-rich foods in every meal.  Calcium is definitely necessary for healthy bones, but it’s not the only mineral we need.  Iron, zinc, phosphorus, and copper are also necessary for maintaining bone density.  Dark leafy greens, beans, and seeds are great sources of all the minerals we need for strong bones.

Get moving!  Daily exercise is an integral part of joint and bone health.  Resistance training directly increases bone density at any age.  This includes weightlifting, resistance band training, or swimming.

Get outdoors.  Vitamin D is a necessary nutrient for bone health.  In addition to eating foods with vitamin D, our skin produces this vitamin naturally when exposed to sunlight.  The time for adequate exposure varies based on where you live, but 15-20 minutes outside will give you a nice dose of D in most locations.  Dairy products, eggs, salmon, and shiitake mushrooms are good food sources of vitamin D.

Adding alkaline foods to your diet can also support healthy bones, read more about a basic diet here.
1/9/2013 01:31:47 pm

Access to health care varies across countries, groups and individuals, largely influenced by social and economic conditions as well as the health policies in place. Thanks.

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1/21/2013 02:39:38 pm

Systematic activities to prevent or cure health problems and promote good health in humans are undertaken by health care providers. Applications with regard to animal health are covered by the veterinary sciences. Thanks.

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