A Diet to Prevent Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a condition that happens when the bone loses consistency and thickness, which makes it vulnerable to fractures and injuries. All bones can be affected by this condition, which is why it is very important to take the necessary precautionary measures to prevent this.
Doctors agree that women are more prone to suffering from Osteoporosis because their bones are thinner and have less density, as well as the hormonal changes they undergo during menopause, which cause a reduction in bone density.
The diet to prevent Osteoporosis should contain:
If you want to treat or prevent Osteoporosis, the most important nutrient is calcium. We know that bones are mostly composed of it, but this mineral is also vital for other bodily functions like muscle movement, nerve function, and immune system activation.
If your diet is not healthy or balanced, your body may use your bones as an energy reserve. This is not a serious problem when it’s been a day that you couldn’t eat healthy and then you go back to your good habits. In this case, you just need to eat a little bit more calcium in order to substitute what has been taken out from your bones. However, if your diet is very poor, this substitution will not happen and although your body may continue taking calcium from your bones, you will suffer from Osteoporosis and its consequences at some time.
At age 30, your bones will be at their most strongest and dense. That is why it is important for children and adults to consume the necessary amount of calcium. Once women reach menopause, their bone density reduces due to the hormonal changes that occur during this stage. This will facilitate Osteoporosis and calcium consumption will become vital.
It’s best to consume between 1000 and 1200 mg of calcium a day. Although there is a large variety of dietary supplements that give you this amount, it is important to choose natural food. If you are taking a supplement, you should make sure it does not exceed 2500 mg because excessive consumption can cause kidney stones and difficulty in absorbing minerals.
Foods rich in calcium are canned sardines, eggs, dried figs, oranges, garbanzo beans, clams, carrots, pine nuts, onions, tofu enriched with calcium, low fat milk, etc.
Although calcium is necessary, it is useless for fighting Osteoporosis without vitamin D. Vitamin D facilitates the distribution of calcium to the parts of the body that need it, including your bones. The lack of vitamin D in adults causes your body to get the calcium it needs from your bones without replacing it. All of that facilitates the onset of Osteoporosis.
The amount of vitamin D that we recommend you consume daily is 800 IU. The best foods to find this nutrient in are salmon, sardines, fortified milk, soy milk, fortified yogurt, egg yolks, and mushrooms.
Magnesium has many functions in your body. One of them is facilitating calcium absorption. Some scientific studies have shown that proper consumption of magnesium increases bone density and reduces the onset of Osteoporosis and fractures. It is common for dietary supplements that contain calcium and vitamin D to also have magnesium. Although this facilitates its consumption, it causes stomach problems.
You don’t need to take dietary supplements. Just add a few of these foods to your daily diet: pumpkin seeds, spinach, amaranth, sunflower seeds, almonds, white potatoes, beans, peanuts, peanut butter, whole wheat bread, and sesame seeds.
Potassium facilitates bone formation, improves calcium balance, increases mineral density in the bones, and reduces bone reduction caused by metabolic acids. In a study done on 3000 premenopausal and postmenopausal women, it showed that those who still menstruated and increased their consumption of potassium, they also increased bone mineral density by 8%.
Although scientists said that this effect was also modified by the natural properties of fruits and vegetables, it is clear that potassium is an ally for Osteoporosis.
Foods rich in potassium are white potatoes, yogurt, soy, fish, sweet potatoes, avocado, bananas, lettuce, spinach, melon, pumpkin, milk, carrots, lentils, peaches, papaya, pistachios, soy milk, watermelon, tomatoes, mushrooms, raisins, peanuts, almonds, oranges, broccoli, sunflower seeds, etc.
Vitamin K is essential in the formation of osteocalcin, a protein that is only found in bones. They have found that people who have a high consumption of vitamin K have less chances of fractures and Osteoporosis. It is important to consume plenty of vitamin K. Before you use any dietary supplements, you should see a doctor.
Foods that give you vitamin K are spiniach, kale, chard, cabbage, endives, mustard, lettuce, broccoli, parsley, Brussel sprouts, watercress, asparagus, etc.
Most people think that protein increases the risk of Osteoporosis because the more protein you eat, the more calcium is discarded in the urine. Scientists have done studies that have shown that excess protein is the problem, not the protein itself.
The truth is that protein is a key element in bone strength. This nutrient is present in foods that must be eaten in order to have strong bones: meat, fish, eggs, beans, lentils, soy, and walnuts. You should make sure to eat foods that are high in fat are not consumed very often or smaller quantities: milk, cheese, and yogurt.
The diet to prevent Osteoporosis must not be restrictive or too different than what you are used to. As you can see, a well-balanced diet can give you the necessary minerals and nutrients in order to keep your bones healthy.