Osteoporosis is a condition that is more commonly diagnosed in mature women over 50, however, there are many women in their 30s and 40s being told they have the onset of osteoporosis.
Now, osteoporosis is a contentious subject for many women and health experts. After all, it was never once a disease, and yet now, almost every mature-aged woman is diagnosed with osteoporosis and prescribed a pill to build up her bone density.
Why is that? Are women today laxer with their diet and exercise, which means their bones are lacking a healthy density? Or is it another way the pharmaceutical companies can make a dollar?
That argument aside, statistics show that one in three women aged 50 and above experience fractures due to low bone density, or osteoporosis. A prior fracture also means 86% increase in risk of another fracture.
While males are not exempted from osteoporosis, women are massively more affected.
The best way to prevent fractures from occurring in the first place is to arm yourself with bone-healthy lifestyle habits, which includes healthy bone-nutrition and exercise.
What is Osteoporosis?
Bones are living tissues that are regularly broken down and then replaced by the body. However, when the production of new bone is not fast enough to replace the older shedding bone, that’s when osteoporosis is diagnosed.
The loss of bone density may manifest as brittle, porous, weak bones that increase the likelihood of suffering from fractures. Most cases of fracture related to osteoporosis occur in the hips, wrist, spine and shoulders.
How Do You Prevent Osteoporosis?
Although your genes largely dictate the height and strength of your skeleton this does not mean that there is nothing you can do to prevent osteoporosis. There are many ways to strengthen your bones beyond what your genetics have provided.
Here are a few simple yet powerful ways to prevent osteoporosis.
– Regular Exercise
Women are recommended to spend at least thirty minutes each day exercising. Weight-bearing exercises cause your body to resist the effects of gravity which stimulates cells that are responsible for producing new bones.
Strength training is additionally beneficial for improving flexibility and strengthening the muscle holding the bones. Strong muscles support the skeleton and greatly reduce the risk of fractures, and of falls that can cause them.
– Calcium and Magnesium-Rich Foods
Now, you need calcium for strong, healthy bones, but you need to balance the calcium with magnesium. These two minerals go together like peas and carrots! So, increase your intake of calcium-rich foods, but at the same time, increase your intake of magnesium-rich foods.
Don’t just rely solely on supplements for your calcium or magnesium needs. There are plenty of foods that are good sources of these minerals.
While any mention of osteoporosis seems to focus on increasing calcium intake, more people suffer from inadequate magnesium than calcium. Without magnesium, calcium in any quantity is wasted, as it cannot form bone without magnesium, and unused excess will be excreted from the body.
– Vitamin D from The Sun’s Rays
Your body’s ability to strengthen your bones also depends on adequate vitamin D intake. Your exposure to sunlight is crucial for your bone health and life! Remember that exposure to sunlight is a good thing. You don’t need to cover up all day long, just don’t overdo it and cook your skin.
If sunlight seems to be elusive in the area where you are geographically located, or your work prevents sun exposure, you can obtain your vitamin D from salmon, canned tuna, cod liver oil, yogurt, fat-free milk and fortified yogurt. Vitamin D supplements are also available.
– Cut Back on Coffee
Coffee has mixed acclaim in health circles, claimed to a tonic by some and a toxin by others. In regard to bone health, excess coffee is a no-no, as caffeine does cause calcium to be excreted via the bladder.