5 pillars of strong bones
Bone health is important throughout life. Osteoporosis comes on suddenly, and in silence, it doesn’t announce itself except with some complications, such as fractures, pain, the curvature of the back, or even a decrease in height, and to avoid infection with this disease, proper nutrition comes at the front of the rows, prevention and treatment, so what are the basic pillars of bone health?
Dairy products, bone maestro
Milk (milk) is rightly considered the maestro of bone-building, not only because it contains calcium essential for building bones, but for several reasons that are not combined in other food:
It contains vitamin D, which is required for calcium to enter the bones.
• Although some nutrients contain more calcium than milk; they contain substances that impede the absorption of calcium, such as phytates and oxalates.
• The ratios between the different nutrients in milk are the optimal ratios for absorption.
• Milk contains potassium, protein, (vitamin A) and (vitamin B complex) in proportions that help absorption.
• The presence of many forms of eating milk, such as yoghurt, curd, labneh, and cheese, or using it as cream or bechamel.
As for what is raised about milk is not the best food for the bone, this is due to other reasons, such as a rise (vitamin A) in fortified milk, or a deficiency (vitamin D) as a result of a manufacturing or the source of food for cattle that have been milked and not to breast milk.
Dairy is not only rich in calcium.
For those who cannot eat dairy products due to an allergy to milk or lactose, other calcium-rich products are beneficial to be added to meals, such as:
• Dark-coloured vegetables, such as broccoli, leeks, radishes, watercress, parsley, mint, grape leaves, mallow and okra, and one cup of these vegetables may contain 200 mg of calcium, and it also contains (vitamin K) which is important for bone health.
• Pulses and soy, which are rich in phytoestrogens and help keep the bones after menopause.
Salmon and sardines are whole with bones.
• Almonds and almond milk. It can be made at home by soaking some almonds in water overnight, then peeling and mixing with a mixer with a cup of water. It can be sweetened with honey.
• Sesame and tahini, which in addition to calcium contain other nutrients for bone health, such as magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, phosphorous and vitamins D – K, and a daily handful of it’s sufficient.
The calcium content of some meals
- A cup of full or low-fat milk
- A cup of yoghurt
- Half a cup of cheese 28 g
- Mackerel 90 g
- Salmon with bone 90 g
- Sardines 90 g
- 1 cup cooked broccoli
- A cup of raw cabbage
Vitamin D must be present in the meals for calcium to be used. If the level of calcium in the physique decreases for any reason, the body responds in several ways, the most important of which is that the inactive vitamin (D) transforms into the active form that works in the intestine and kidneys, which helps to absorb calcium in the intestine and scale back Loss in the urine.
A person needs between 400 to 600 international units per day, and direct exposure to daylight must be about 15 minutes a day, provided that this is in the early morning or before sunset, and that is by exposure to direct rays and not from behind the glass.
Among the foods rich in vitamin D:
• Milk and dairy products, especially fortified milk products.
Butter and cream.
Fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, tuna and mackerels.
Crustaceans such as shrimp.
• whale liver oil.
• liver of cattle and poultry.
Vitamin (K) performs a key role in regulating calcium and bone formation, and there is a close relationship between vitamin deficiency and weak bones. The improvement of the vitamin level in the body via foods or dietary supplements leads to an increase in bone density.
Vitamin K is found in green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, lettuce, and leeks, and the darker they’re, the better the results.
Protein is the fourth pillar for building strong bones, but with moderation and diversification of protein sources, such as lean meat and poultry, as well as fish and beans.
The importance of exercising regularly
Bone health is determined by childhood. Children who are very physically active and who consume satisfactory amounts of calcium-rich foods are those with higher bone density, as it’s possible to increase the great mass and reduce the loss while strengthening the muscles that protect the bones from fracture, via physical activity in each Age stages, not only in childhood and youth.
It was found in some recent studies that staying in bed for a period of 4 months may lose about 10% of the bone density in the body.
Some sports are better than others, so weight-bearing and resistance exercises with weights are optimal for bone health, and bones can be built by 1 – 3%, followed by flexibility and balance exercises. We do not forget walking, as it was found in a recent study that women who walk 4 hours per week. At least they have fewer hip fractures by 40%.
It’s always advisable to have an experienced coach for the best results and avoiding risks, particularly falls.
However, having strong bones is something people tend to take for granted, as symptoms often don’t appear till the bone loss has progressed.
Fortunately, many feeding and lifestyle habits can help construct and maintain strong bones – and it’s never too early.