Preventing osteoporosis should be a lifelong endeavor, especially for females in particular who most commonly fall prey to this disease. Osteoporosis is most common and detrimental in old age but the effects of the condition can be felt much sooner, if not nipped in the bud early on.
If you’d rather not have to battle bone fractures, aches and pains due to osteoporosis, you can win the war by preparing now.
A Lifetime of Prevention
Breast Milk – Moms should start their babies’ defense against osteoporosis as early as birth by doing what comes natural – breastfeeding. Breast milk is full of the nutrients, vitamins and antibodies that Mom has, that the baby has yet to acquire on its own. The first week after birth is especially important for breastfeeding, since antibodies are probably most concentrated and rich. It’s the first way moms can begin to protect their babies and prepare them for the world of germs and diseases like osteoporosis.
Calcium – It doesn’t stop with Mom’s breast milk though. Whenever possible, girls should be drinking calcium-rich milk and orange juice and eating calcium-rich foods like leafy, green vegetables; sardines; yogurt; soybeans; and fortified cereals. A daily dietary regimen that incorporates calcium (between 1,000 mg and 1,500 mg for adults) will prepare your bones for your latter years when they need all the strength they can get. Some of the most common ailments elderly women experience are broken hips and worn-down knees – likely due to osteoporosis and thinning bone and cartilage over the years. Calcium strengthens and keeps bones and teeth healthy.
Calcium absorption doesn’t come easy for everyone. In such cases a little boost is needed to make sure calcium is able to be metabolized so it can do its job. In fact, everyone could use a boost to be sure. Incorporating magnesium (30 mg) and vitamin E (400 IU) with calcium will produce maximum effectiveness.
Also, be careful not to eat too much protein or sodium, as these can actually cause you to lose calcium. High-sodium diets can cause problems in other areas too, especially the heart with issues like high blood pressure, clogged arteries, etc. In fact, the calcium that you lose from eating too much sodium or protein may be inadvertently deposited into the arteries, forming dangerous clots or carried out through the urine and eventually leading to painful kidney stones. So keep sodium to a minimum and eat protein proportionate to your weight. You may need to consult a dietician or your doctor for a dietary plan that’s right for you.
Strengthen Bones With Exercise
Exercise is also crucial for your bone health. All the bone strengthening in the world is not sufficient if you’re not mobile. Inactivity produces stiffness, bad posture, illness, etc., whether you’re eating right or not. It doesn’t take much either. Just 30 minutes a day doing something you love like a leisurely walk or a low-impact sport such as tennis or swimming will keep bones strong, prolong your life and keep you looking and feeling good.