Osteoporosis has become a huge public health issue and as our population ages, it’s bound to become even more prevalent.
Everyone and their aunt (and uncle too) seems to be aware that calcium and vitamin D supplements are critical to maintaining optimal bone mass as we age.
But even though people are downing calcium and vitamin D pills at a record pace, the incidence of osteoporosis and debilitating bone fractures continues to rise.
Surely there are additional factors that contribute to osteoporosis and other preventative steps you can take.
Here’s a list of some frequently-recommended steps you can take to improve bone health. Most of these haven’t received the in-depth research scrutiny that calcium has, so their role hasn’t always been medically proven. But you don’t have to wait for scientists to cross every “t” and dot every “i” – your bone health is too important. Take charge of your health today.
- Eat a diet high in alkalizing foods (fresh fruits and vegetables, for instance) and lower in acid-forming foods (sugar and carbohydrates.) Your body’s chemistry is exquisitely sensitive to the acid-alkaline balance of your bodily fluids, so it will automatically do whatever it takes in order to balance your internal pH. This includes releasing the calcium you’ve got stored in your bones to buffer excess acid. Eat right — don’t force your body to sacrifice your bone health.
- Cigarette smoking and high intake of alcohol increase your risk of osteoporosis. But you already knew these habits were evil.
- Low levels of physical activity are also harmful. Here’s an exercise you can try: get a sledgehammer and smash your TV.
- Some medicines can block your ability to absorb calcium. These include steroids, anticoagulants and thyroid supplements.
- Drinking soda leads to bone loss.
- Beyond calcium, there are other minerals needed in smaller amounts to build strong bones. We know the most about the roles that magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc play. It might be wise to use a good all-around mineral supplement in addition to one for calcium.
- A diet that’s too high in protein can lead to loss of bone calcium. If you’re a hard-core carnivore, you may need to scale it back. And because of the negative effects of too much protein, some experts recommend that you not rely on dairy products as your primary source of calcium.
Don’t let loss of bone mass derail your health. There are a number of simple steps you can institute today to ensure the future health of your skeleton.