Bones are an important part of the body. It is said that the stronger your bones are, the healthier your life span will be. But, one should know that the bones are constantly changing and new bones are made, alongside old bones are broken down. When you are young, the body makes new bone faster than it breaks down old bone, due to which the bone mass increases. Most of the people touch their peak bone mass around the age of 30 years old. After that, bone remodeling continues, but lose slightly more bone mass than gain.
Bone health can be maintained by taking a healthy diet combined with regular exercise. There are certain super foods that can make your bones healthy with time. You can talk to an expert to know the underlying cause of weak bones and ways to deal with it. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dr. Anjali Phatak, Director Nutripulse and Senior Clinical Nutritionist, Nutripulse, Jaipur, about the causes of weak bones and tips to cope up.
Causes of weakness in the bones
Bones play a vital role in the body as they provide structure and protect organs in your body. They can get weak during childhood and adolescence as well. According to Dr. Anjali, here are the common causes of weakness in the bones:
1. Low calcium
Low calcium contributes to diminished bone density, early bone loss and an increased risk of fractures. Calcium and vitamin D are two main nutrients required for good bone health. It is important to take calcium rich foods to make your bones string and avoid early bone loss.
2. Eating disorders
People suffering from eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia are at huge risk of bone loss. Early onset of osteoporosis due to bone loss is a possibility if you are suffering from any eating disorder.
Also read: What Lifestyle Factors Cause Weak Bones?
3. Certain medications
Long-term use of corticosteroid medications, might increase the risk of osteoporosis. There are certain medicines that can be responsible for weak bones. It is best to talk to a doctor regarding any issues related to this.
4. Hormone levels
Too much thyroid hormone levels can also become a factor behind bone loss. An imbalance in hormonal levels is also a cause for weak bones. You can make dietary changes and get medical treatment for the same. Sedentary lifestyle can also cause weak bones.
5. Diseases such as osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a condition that causes weak and brittle bones. Even a slight fall or push can lead to fractures in this condition. Osteoporosis-related fractures usually occur in the hip, wrist or spine. There is a customized diet that one should take in this condition, including foods high in vitamin D and calcium.
Estrogen is a hormone that protects bones in women, but it decreases significantly during menopause. Therefore, it can lead to bone loss or weak bones. Women who reach menopause are at a greater risk of developing osteoporosis.
Super foods for strong bones
As per Dr. Anjali, here are some super foods for string bones:
1. Yogurt (curd)
Yogurt has essential nutrients that help in maintaining healthy bone density. Along with that, it also contains proteins, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and Vitamin D. These key components strengthen the bones and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
Tofu, otherwise also known as bone-friendly food is rich in potassium, calcium and proteins which are key in keeping your bones healthy.
Egg contains valuable nutrients that helps in nourishing the bones. It is rich in Vitamin D. Vitamin D plays a major role in the absorption of calcium in the bones and helps in maintaining good bone health.
Nuts are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation. Brazil nuts are rich sources of selenium, which boosts the quality of cartilage proteins.
5. Dark green leafy vegetables
Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, spring greens, broccoli and parsley, all of which contain the antioxidant carotenoids, as well as calcium and magnesium. Foods rich in antioxidants can help in decreasing the risk of cartilage breakdown.
6. Oily fish
Oily fish can reduce joint pain and morning stiffness. It is rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids which can help in coping up with the problem of weak bones.
7. Berries, cherries and raspberries
Berries, cherries and raspberries contain antioxidant anthocyanins that help to reduce inflammatory chemicals in the body. Moreover, black cherries help in reducing uric acid levels, which helps in preventing gout.
Turmeric contains a potent anti-inflammatory ingredient called curcumin. It can be easily used in soups, vegetables, curries and with milk.
9. Onion and garlic
Onion and garlic contain good amounts of quercetin, an antioxidant that works to reduce inflammation. Red onions are especially rich in antioxidants. Garlic contains allicin, a compound that can help in managing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
10. Green tea
A study showed that the antioxidants in green tea may prevent and reduce the severity of rheumatoid arthritis. Therefore, this is also a super food for coping up with weak bones.
This super fruit is full of antioxidants such as mono-saturated oils, essential fatty acids, beta-sitosterol and vitamin E, and all of them help in combating against joint inflammation. It helps in cartilage repair and is extremely beneficial for osteoarthritis patients.
Dietary recommendations by Dr. Anjali Phatak for healthy bones
- Protein is an important component for bones and dietary protein is vital for bone development and health. Good sources of protein are whole legumes, pulses, eggs, meat, fish, milk and milk products products.
- Eat calcium-rich foods. Along with dairy products, consume fish with bones (such as salmon, sardines or whitebait), and have them with a side of dark leafy green vegetables or broccoli. Fortified tofu and soy milk are other calcium-rich choices For a calcium boost, snack on almonds or dried figs.
- Good sources of vitamin D include oily fish, Additionally, mushrooms, eggs and fortified foods, such as milk and cereals, are good sources of vitamin D. Sunlight also plays a major role in the body's production of vitamin D.
- Take foods that contain good amounts of Magnesium and Zinc. Magnesium plays a key role in converting vitamin D into the active form that promotes calcium absorption. Good sources of zinc include spinach, flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds.
- Vitamin K is also very important for building strong bones. Vitamin K is majorly present in dark green leafy vegetables.
- Massage with sesame oil is a great practice to keep bones strong. You can make this a part of your day to day routine.
- Try to maintain normal weight as it is required to protect bone health.
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