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Prevent Osteoporosis through Your Diet

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jan 29, 2013
4.8 / 5(4 Ratings)

Osteoporosis originates from two Greek words osten meaning ‘bone’ and poros meaning ‘pore or passage’, which loosely implies ‘porous bones’. Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become fragile as a result of loss of bone density and tissue.

Correlation between Age and Osteoporosis

As part of the ageing process, we tend to lose some bone density as we grow older. Bone density is the amount of bone present in the skeletal structure. The higher the density, the stronger the bones are. But some people lose a greater amount of bone density leading to weakened bones that are more likely to break and crack. That is osteoporosis. People with osteoporosis often don’t recover after a fall and it is a very common cause of death in older women. Women are more likely to get osteoporosis because they have lighter bones than men. Men who drink heavily, smoke or take steroid drugs are also likely to develop osteoporosis.

Dr Dhananjay Gupta, consultant orthopaedician with Orthonova Hospital and Moolchand Hospital says, “You can prevent the onset of osteoporosis by considering some dietary changes. The earlier you start these dietary changes, the better. Your bones will benefit if you eat plenty of calcium-rich foods and avoid foods that deplete your body’s calcium reserves.”

Calcium is the key to healthy bones and teeth.

Calcium is required to send messages through the nervous system, help blood clot, and regulate the heart’s rhythm. If you do not consume enough calcium, your body will absorb it from your bones, thereby weakening them.  Including milk and milk products, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and fruits in your diet can give your body the different nutrients, including calcium that it needs. Adults between the ages of 19 and 50 years require 1000 mg of calcium every day. Adults over the age of 50 require 1,200 mg of calcium every day.
 
Good sources of calcium

  • Dairy products: Milk, yogurt, frozen desserts and cheese are rich in calcium in a form that is easily digested and absorbed by the body. So include low-fat dairy foods in your diet.
  • Vegetables: Spinach, turnip greens, mustard greens, lettuce, celery, fennel, cabbage, squash, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, and broccoli are good sources of calcium.
  • Beans: Tofu, green beans, black beans, kidney beans, white beans, black-eyed peas, or baked beans are also good sources of calcium.
  • Nuts and seeds: Almonds and brazil nuts, unrefined grains, seeds such as sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds are also good sources of calcium.
  • Others: Also include salmon, tofu, oranges, soya milk, cereals and orange juice. Apart from calcium, your body also needs magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc, boron and copper, as well as vitamins D and K in small amounts.


Foods that should be avoided

  • Beverages: High intake of coffee, tea, soft drinks and alcohol can lead to loss of calcium from the bones. Try green tea as a substitute.
  • High protein diet: Having a high-protein diet can affect your body’s ability to best use calcium. So, it is best to have proteins in moderation.
  • Salt: Eating too much salt can also contribute to calcium loss. So avoid processed foods that are often high in sodium.


Osteoporosis affects millions of people every year. The best way to prevent osteoporosis is to supplement your body’s calcium reserves through a proper diet that is rich in essential vitamins and minerals. If possible, exercise. It helps in bone building. Proper diet and lifestyle form the two cornerstones of how to prevent osteoporosis.

 

 

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