Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones that is characterized by slow decrease in bone mass and density. This makes the bones brittle and easily breakable. Here are some tips to help you prevent suffering from osteoporosis
Calcium rich foods
Eat lot of green leafy vegetables. Drink a lot of milk and non-fat yoghurt. Cheese is a great source of calcium. Go fish. Canned sardines and salmon are also rich in calcium. Mackerel and other oily fish are rich in vitamin D.
Say hi to soy
Soy not only has the richness of calcium and proteins; it also has plant estrogens that can work wonders in maintaining your bone density. Substitute soy flour for regular flour in recipes from pancakes to cupcakes. Nibble on roasted soybean “nuts” instead of peanuts. Reach for soy cereal and soy cheeses. Make malts and smoothies with soy milk.
A program with regular weight-bearing exercises help in building bone strength and prevent development of osteoporosis. By improving your posture, balance, and flexibility, it also reduces your risk of falls that can break fragile bones. Exercise for at least 30 minutes three times a week. Try walking, running, weight lifting, stair climbing, tennis, or volleyball. Swimming won’t do; your bones and muscles must work against gravity for a bone-building effect.
Choose calcium. Both women and men need 1000 mg of elemental calcium a day during midlife. The need rises to 1500 to 2000 mg daily after menopause in women and after the age of 65 in men. Most people don’t get enough in their diets, so supplements are recommended. Because the body can absorb only a limited amount of calcium at once, take supplements in two or three doses during the day, preferably with meals. Make sure the supplement contains vitamin D, which facilitates the absorption of calcium.
Quit smoking. Among 80-year-olds, smokers have up to 10% lower bone-mineral density, which translates into twice the risk of spinal fractures and a 50% increase in risk of hip fracture. One in eight hip fractures in women is linked to long-term cigarette use. What’s more, fractures heal slower in smokers, and are more apt to heal improperly.
Avoid excessive alcohol
Too much alcohol prevents your body from absorbing calcium properly. Limit yourself to one drink a day.
Don't let depression linger
Depression causes your body to produce cortisol, a stress-related hormone that saps minerals from bones. One study showed that women with clinical depression had lower bone densities in their hips and spines. So see a doctor or therapist for treatment.
Soak up some sun
Early morning sunrays have the necessary ultra-violet rays that are essential for your body to synthesize Vitamin D. Vitamin D is the factor that helps the body absorb all the calcium that you have eaten. Hence it is very essential that you go for a walk in a nearby park the first thing in the morning.