Calcium is most commonly associated with bone health and for good reason! A diet low in calcium can contribute to poor bone density and increased risk of fracture. There are many natural sources of calcium that you can introduce to your diet such as almonds, broccoli and kale, alongside dairy products, some fish and soy products. You can also take calcium supplements if you are particularly concerned. Your recommended calcium intake will alter with age so it is best to check with a professional what dose is correct for you.
Vitamin D is needed by your body to absorb calcium, so it is also essential to ensure you are not deficient in this. Vitamin D is absorbed through sunlight, however some foods can also be good sources such as egg yolks, and oily fish. Again, vitamin D is also widely available in supplement format should your diet or climate be lacking!
Maintaining an active lifestyle and taking regular exercise is recommended to counteract a number of health conditions, and in the case of bone health physical exercise is proven to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. This is so much so that not exercising is actually seen as a risk factor in itself. The type of exercise you undertake may vary depending on age and ability. For example the older population may undertake lower impact exercise such as yoga and pilates which in turn will still ensure their bodies are stronger and able to protect them from falls and fractures.
Cut down on alcohol
Research has suggested there is a link between alcohol consumption, bone health and the risk of osteoporosis. This is thought to be because alcohol interferes with Vitamin D doing its job of absorbing calcium. Ensure you aren’t exceeding recommended daily limits to help prevent future problems and keep your bones healthy!
Being conscientious about keeping our bones healthy is very important in adult life - particularly because our risk of osteoporosis (a condition that affects the bones and causes them to become weak and porous) increases with age. There are a number of risk factors that can determine our chances of maintaining healthy bones, some of which we have no control over such as gender (more women are diagnosed with osteoporosis than men) and ethnicity (white and Asian women are at highest risk). The good news is that there are also several preventative measures that can be taken to keep our bones healthy and strong.
There are numerous other preventative measures that can be taken to help keep your bones healthy – details of which are provided on websites such as The National Osteoporosis Society.
If you have a family history of difficulties with bone health you may want to further explore preventative options with a specialist in Osteoporosis such as a Consultant Rheumatologist.