One aspect of our health that may, occasionally, fall to the wayside is our bone health — which is key in protecting vital organs. It is known that, as we age, we lose bone mass or density. This can become a dangerous factor because the loss of bone mass or density can lead to greater risk fractures when falling and even decreases in height. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four women and one in 20 men, age 65 and older, are affected by osteoporosis, which is a condition where bones become weak and brittle. Aging may be inevitable, but we can do our best to keep our bodies and bones strong.
To help improve bone health, a good diet is a crucial first step.
Although a few of these do have health benefits, we’ve gathered a few foods that can impede the process of strengthening our bones.
Since a high intake of salt is known to take calcium out of the body, try reducing your salt intake to no more than 2,300mg of sodium per day.
Spinach, Rhubarb, Beets
Even though these veggies are beneficial and highly nutritious for the body, they are also high in oxalates, which can make it difficult for the body to absorb calcium — which is essential for bone health, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. When trying to up your calcium intake, look for a different source.
Since heavy drinking can lead to bone loss, it’s best to limit consumption to no more than 2-3 drinks in one day, according to the website.
Another drink people should watch out for are sodas. According to the website, sodas often contain phosphorus — which can also reduce absorption.
Wheat Bran and Beans
These popular foods can have high levels of phytates which also hinders calcium absorption.
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, here are a few healthy foods that contribute to proper bone health:
Good sources of calcium:
Low-fat and nonfat milk, soy milk, yogurt, cheese, canned sardines, salmon, okra, kale and broccoli.
Mackerel, tuna, rice milk, certain brands of juices and cereals.
Potatoes, sweet potatoes, raisins, plantains, artichokes and tomato products.
Papaya, oranges, prunes and bananas.
The National Institutes of Health recommends females 19-70 intake 1,000mg of calcium daily. For males 19-50, 1,000mg and 51-70 1,200mg daily.
To further ensure we are taking care of our bones, taking vitamin D, Magnesium, vitamin K or a collagen supplement can be helpful. Although often associated with improving skin elasticity, collagen can assist in strengthening bones and help improve calcium absorption.
Regular exercise also plays a vital role in taking care of our bones and making them stronger, according to NIH.
Implementing these habits such as regular, physical activity and eating healthy, nutrient-rich foods can help put you on the right track for healthy and strong bones as you age. Your body and bones will thank you later!