We hardly ever think of our bones until we fall and break one, but paying attention to the health of your bones is important to help prevent developing osteoporosis – a disease that causes your bones to become brittle. Brittle bones are usually associated with old people, but that can’t be farther from the truth. Did you know that your bones reach their peak density before you turn 30? It’s quite alarming if you think about it, especially if you’re a woman, because women have a higher chance of developing osteoporosis than men.
Luckily there are a couple of things you can do to help ensure your bones re- main healthy and strong, and decrease your risk of developing osteoporosis:
Check out your family history
Genetics plays a big role when it comes to osteoporosis risk, as weak bone density can be hereditary. If one of your parents or grandparents suffer(ed) from osteoporosis, your risk of developing the disease is increased, and you should thus pay special attention to the health of your bones.
Bones and calcium go hand-in-hand, and it’s no wonder your mom made you drink all that milk when you were younger so you can grow strong healthy bones. However, this advice rings true even for adults. Dairy is a great source of calcium, but there are numerous non-dairy sources of calcium like salmon, sardines, almonds, oranges, kale and many more.
Vitamin D FTW
Getting enough calcium is one thing, but it means nothing if the body can’t absorb it. To help your body absorb calcium better, you need vitamin D, and while we get a lot of vitamin D from the sun, food like pilchards are rich in vitamin D are great to pair with food high in calcium.
You should know by now that Omega 3s are good for just about everything, and that includes your bones! In fact, Omega 3s are even said to protect astronauts against bone loss during a space flight. So imagine what they can do for you, with your feet planted firmly on Planet Earth. The Omega 3s found in fatty fish, like the Lucky Star sardines, help to strengthen your bones and pre- vent diseases like osteoporosis later in life.
Get some exercise
Time and time again exercise is recommended to keep your body in tip-top shape. Weight-bearing exercises like running, walking, cycling and lifting some weights at the gym all help build and maintain your bone density. How- ever, just be careful when you do these, because if you overdo it, you can actually cause your bones more harm than good. The rule of thumb is ‘if it hurts, stop’. If the pain persists even after a couple of days’ rest, go see your doctor.
While drinking coffee and consuming alcohol in moderation is not necessarily bad for you, excessive consumption can interfere with your body’s ability to absorb calcium and vitamin D respectively, accelerating bone loss. If you smoke, however, you should quit altogether, because in addition to the numerous negative effects smoking has on your body, it also interferes with your body’s ability to absorb calcium.