Osteoporosis is a disease wherein the bones become very weak and fragile. People with osteoporosis have an increased risk for fractured bones, even from minor falls or accidents.
It is always considered that elderly women are prone to osteoporosis, but this is not true. Damage to the bone starts at an early age. In order to maintain strong and healthy bones and prevent osteoporosis, you need to take certain precautions from an early age.
Milk and milk products
Include a healthy proportion of low fat milk and milk products (cheese, yogurt, paneer, skimmed milk powder) in your meals. The calcium and proteins in the milk makes the bones strong and healthy.
Having a fistful of nuts daily provides one’s body with the required minerals like calcium, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus. Almonds and Pistachios in particular are good sources of calcium.
Include brocolli, chinese cabbage, cauliflower, beetroot and okra in your daily diet to strengthen your bones.
Ragi has around 330 mg to 350 mg of calcium per 100gms of dry weight which makes it one of the most sought after cereal for improving the bone status.
Dates are particularly good sources of calcium with manganese. Copper and magnesium helps in improving the bone mineral density.
Some amount of sun exposure is required to produce vitamin D beneath our skin. Vitamin D along with calcium helps in strengthening the bone health of individuals
Include fruits like like oranges, guava, strawberries, and pineapples etc, these fruits will provide vitamin C to the body which in turn will strengthen our bones. Also include banana and apple.
Dark green leafy vegetables
Though dark green leafy vegetables are touted as one of the major means for improving one’s calcium status.
This one could be tricky because spinach has good amount of calcium but the presence of oxalate prevents the absorption of calcium.
Instead opt for collard greens, mustard greens, methi, amaranth, mustard green and turnip greens for getting enough calcium in the diet.
100gms of Black gram dal (urad dal) has around 200mg of calcium. Also soyabean, Horsegram, lima beans and lentils can be included in one’s daily diet to get the required quota of calcium.
Eggs are a good source of many minerals. Eggs are one of the only foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin D.
20-30 mins walking daily helps stop further weakening of bones. Weight bearing exercises such as low impact aerobics, stair climbing, running, skipping helps to strengthen our bones.
Calcium fortified foods
One can rely on calcium fortified foods (orange juice, soy beverages, tofu products, rice milk, etc) these days to ensure that they are getting enough calcium to support a healthy structure.
Omega 3 fatty acids
These can have a positive impact or even prevent serious degenerative illnesses rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.
One can get omega 3 fatty acids from various seeds like pumpkin seeds and flaxseeds or fish oils.
Opt for calcium asparginate or calcium citrate tablets to improve your bone structure.
Deep water fishes like sardines, salmon, tuna and mackerel have good amounts of calcium and other minerals. These fishes when consumed with their bones increase the calcium three folds.
Also a word of precaution – Cut back on cigarette smoking and excessive alcohol intake as it depletes the calcium levels in the body. Also cut back on your salt consumption and avoid salty foods as it leaches the calcium out of the bones.