Did you know? When we are born, we had about 300 bones in our bodies. However, as we reach adulthood, this number decreases to around 206 bones left.
No, they do not just simply disappear, but rather, they fuse together.
Our bones start off joined by tough membranes. The bones are malleable to be able to pass through the birth canal easier.
Reaching adulthood, they merge and become the foundation of our being, protecting our internal organs.
Our bones are sturdy enough to support our body, but that doesn’t mean that they are not prone to sickness. One common condition that our bones can possibly develop over time is what we call as osteoporosis.
What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition that causes our bones to become weak and fragile. When this happens, they become prone to fracture.
Bones that are strong and healthy are high in minerals. During our 20s, our bones are naturally high in minerals. But as we age, they tend to lose these minerals which cause our bone density to decline.
Osteoporosis means “porous bones”. Healthy bones look like honeycombs when viewed under a microscope. Meanwhile, bones that are affected by osteoporosis have holes and spaces that are larger. This is because the bones have lost density or mass and have abnormal tissue.
While changes in our bones happen naturally as we grow old, we can take steps to keep them in tip-top condition. Follow these tips to keep your bones strong and healthy.
1. Drink your milk
Milk has a lot of calcium in them, which your body needs for building and maintain bones.
99% of our body’s calcium is stored in our bones and teeth, while the other 1% is in the blood and other tissues. By having an adequate amount of calcium in the body, you are providing a firm foundation for your body in the future.
Fortified milk also contains vitamin D, which is needed for calcium absorption.
2. Have some soy
Food that is rich in soy, or even soy supplements, can help protect your body against osteoporosis.
Soy-rich food like lima beans and chickpeas have isoflavones, which have a similar structure and function to estrogen. Estrogen can help maintain bone density.
3. Keep an eye on your protein intake
Although protein is a vital nutrient in our body, it can increase the excretion of calcium in the form of urine. We’re not suggesting to remove protein in your diet completely, but rather, limit your daily intake to around 50 to 63 grams.
4. Limit caffeine as well
Like protein, this diuretic causes our body to increase calcium excretion. A serving of three cups per day is more than enough for your regular caffeine fix.
5. Go get yourself energized
Follow a workout program that will help build your bones as you age. See to it that you get enough exercise targeting posture, balance, and flexibility.
Simple ones such as walking, running, playing tennis, and even stair climbing will do the trick. Your exercise must work against gravity to get that bone-building effect.
6. Quit smoking
Smoking can increase the risk of a lower bone-mineral density which can cause spinal and hip fractures. If you are a smoker, fracture healing would also be slower as compared to non-smokers.
7. Say no to excessive alcohol intake
Aside from smoking, a habit that you can either limit or cut off is alcohol intake. Alcohol prevents our bodies from absorbing calcium properly. Limit your alcohol to up to two drinks per day.
8. Consider taking supplements
Our bodies need for calcium increases as we age--from 1,000 mg to 1,500-2,000 mg daily. A person’s average diet can’t provide that.
That is why it is suggested that we take supplements. Calcium intake shouldn’t be all at once and abrupt because the body can only absorb a certain amount of it. Intake should be spread throughout the day, preferably during meals.
Choose a supplement that also has vitamin D to get the best effect. You may choose from our wide variety of products to help by checking out our page.
Imagine being active, walking on your feet, and being able to play sports even with your grandchildren. Follow these tips and enjoy a lifetime of strong and healthy bones!