Most studies show building strong bones as a teenager and young adult is the best way to dodge life threatening fractures that effect one in two women. The factors that threaten bone health, speeding mineral loss from the bones or impeding bone repair and rebuilding. The right diet can help in building your bones.
These include nutritional deficiencies, inadequate exercise, hormonal and dietary factors, drugs, and diseases of the thyroid, kidney, liver, or pancreas.
- It is much better off adding a diet to get 1,000 mg of calcium a day.
- The best food sources are low-fat dairy such as semi-skimmed milk and yoghurt, as well as bony fish, such as tinned salmon and sardines are also good for bones.
- Dried fruits such as figs and currants and breakfast cereals and fortified with calcium are also good sources.
- Leafy green vegetables such as kale, broccoli, and spinach are also rich in calcium.
Get more vitamin D
- Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium. Vitamin D is found in oily fish, our main source comes from the effect of sunlight on your skin.
- It’s estimated that half of us have a deficiency because we don’t get outside enough or because we always use sun block. As part of its Sunlight Campaign, the National Osteoporosis Society is advising people to catch some rays between May and September to keep their vitamin D levels topped up.
- Just 10 minutes of sunlight a day on bare arms and your face can cut your risk of bone fractures by a third.
The right moves
The vital way to boost your bones is weight-bearing exercise —basically anything that has you upright and stretching your muscles. Good choices include aerobics, dancing or brisk walking.
“Research shows that if you don’t exercise you end up weeing out all the calcium you take in instead of storing it in your bones,” warns Prof Skelton. “Ideally we should aim for 150 minutes of moderate activity per week.
“ Put simply, the more hours we spend on our feet, the fewer bone breakages we should have in later life.”
Quit the cigarettes and booze
People who smoke have significantly lower bone density, while drinking more than seven alcoholic drinks a week can prevent your bones from absorbing the maximum nutrients from your food.
Watch your stress levels
“High levels of stress make the body produce the hormone cortisol, which causes bone loss,” says Prof Skelton.
“Over a long period this can increase your risk of osteoporosis. Yoga, walking the dog or listening to music can all help bust stress.”