Bones are our solid structure. Our body is built upon it. That is why it’s important to take care of them, keep them strong, dense and healthy.
Osteoporosis, or the loss of bone density, can be caused by aging, menopause, low body weight, hormonal imbalance, smoking, and medication. Women are more affected than men, studies show. Even if bone problems seem to appear at an old age, it’s better to know the causes and to prevent, then to treat them when it’s too late.
Osteoporosis is a silent disease, that you usually discover when you have a fracture or a change in posture (problems with the spine). Back pain is one of the first signs that should ring an alarm bell to you and rush you for some test.
Essential Nutrition For Bone Health
Vitamins & Minerals
Nothing helps more your bones than proper nutrition. Eating enough fruits and vegetables, which are the best source of vitamins, minerals, and proteins will assure you a strong bone structure.
One of the biggest animals, with the strongest bones, are elephants and cow, and they eat leafy greens. Leafy greens are abundant in calcium, vitamin K, potassium and many other nutrients needed for building strong bones.
- Vitamin C is related to development and health of the bone tissue, studies show. So, a diet consisting of fruits and vegetable rich in vitamin C will have a positive effect on your bone’s density and overall health.
- Also, get calcium from food. Milk, sesame, sardines, yogurt, kefir, dark leafy greens (kale, spinach, collard greens, turnips), almonds.
- Magnesium help converting vitamin D so that calcium gets absorbed. Either you take it from food sources (dark chocolate, avocado, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, bananas, or from magnesium supplements, know that magnesium will help you mineralize your bones.
- Zinc is another mineral that helps in building your bones. You can take it from foods like spinach, flaxseeds, oysters, pumpkin seeds or from colloidal zinc.
Bones are made 50% of protein, therefore, make sure you offer your body the protein amount and quality it needs to build strong, resistant, dense bones.
Studies show that neither high nor low amount of protein is healthy and that a balanced animal and vegetal protein based diet is recommended.
Best herbal proteins are oats, nettle, red clover, comfrey, and linden flower.
Best vegetable protein sources: soy, mushrooms, lentils, tofu, quinoa, amaranth, black beans, almond, peanuts, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, green beans, chickpea, spirulina, nutritional yeast.
Balanced Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fats
Omega-3 fats protect your bones from losing density, studies show. However, the key is always in the balance. As Omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties that help your body, the omega-6s have their role, too, in keeping the bones healthy and strong. That is why a ratio of 1:4 is recommended.
Alkalinize Your Body
A poor diet, depleted of any nutrients, and full of unhealthy fats, carbohydrates, and sugar, such as pizza, white bread, burgers, fried food, potato chips, and sweets create an acidic pH in your body. A healthy body has a neutral blood pH and your body will use important minerals like calcium, zinc, and phosphorus from alkaline tissues like bones, decreasing your bone density.
That is why, it is recommended to eat a healthy, alkaline diet, without refined sugar, flour, and oil, dairy, caffeine, and alcohol.
Balance Your Lifestyle & Hormones For Bone Health
Estrogen, progesterone and cortisol affect your bone health. When there is a hormonal imbalance, calcium absorption is decreased and so is your bone density.
If this is your case, try to balance your hormones, with the help of you doctors, as naturally as possible, to restore your health and your bone’s density, and avoid the risk of fractures.
Promote Bone Growth With Sun Exposure
Vitamin D is an important nutrient for bone density, and the best source is the Sun.
Sunbath for 20 minutes a day, during the safest hours (morning or evening), without using a sunblock (otherwise you won’t benefit of Vitamin D). Vitamin D will help your body to absorb and assimilate calcium into the bones.
Also, during the winter, when you can bask in the sun, take a vitamin D natural supplement.
“Work” Bones With Aerobic Exercise
Heavy and intense exercising, such as running, hiking, biking, weight-bearing, aerobic exercises, dancing, and even climbing stairs or walking to work, you know, just moving around for 30 minutes every day is helping your bones. Yes, exercising activates the osteoblasts, your bone cells, which helps them regenerate, reconstruct, regrow, build or regain their density.
Strengthen Muscles to Support Your Bones
Strengthening the muscles that support your bones (around your main bones) is a great way of strengthening your structure. Use an elastic resistance band is an easy way to help your joints and tendons, and strengthen biceps, for example.
Hold one end of the band with your foot and pull the other end with your hand, curling your arm upward. Repeat 10 times, and switch the sides (left-right).
Improve Balance and Posture with Yoga
Give your bones and muscles a good yoga boost, realizing yoga postures that strengthen your bones, muscles and help you grow bone density:
- Sun Salutation (a set of 12 dynamic and fun yoga poses that use all your body, muscles and bones, stimulating, stretching, and strengthening them)
- Padahastasana (stretches the hamstrings and calves, strengthens the thighs, relieves menopause symptoms, headaches, and insomnia, relieves stress and anxiety)
- Vrikshasana (strengthen the hip, pelvic, shoulder and spine bones, while helping you gain a state of balance).
- Trikonasana (stretches the hips, hamstrings, groins, calves, chest, spine, shoulders, arms, strengthens the thighs, knees, and ankles, stimulates the metabolism, relieves neck pain, sciatica, osteoporosis, and menopause).
- Sarvangasana (regulates the thyroid and parathyroid glands, stimulates metabolism, and stretches the spine, legs, shoulders, and neck, stimulating the blood flow in these regions, the muscles, and the bones).
Build Your Bones While You Sleep
Sleep is an essential element in your physical, emotional and mental health. During sleep, your body rests, replenishes, repairs, and regenerates itself. Bone cells make no exception.