7 Ways To Get Stronger Bones
By the time we reach 50, both men and women are losing bone mass, thanks to a slowdown in the body’s bone-rebuilding process. Diet and lack of exercise can also play a role. Women can lose up to 5 percent of their bone mass in the first six years following menopause, thanks to a loss of estrogen. That means women can lose more than 20 percent of bone density in less than a decade with complications ranging from osteoporosis to fractures and falls.
Soak up some sun
Vitamin D is a critical bone-building nutrient. It improves absorption of calcium from the gut, helps increase bone density and enhances muscle function, reducing the risk of falls and fractures. 15 minutes in the sun. That’s all you need to make enough vitamin D for your body, while avoiding the risk of skin cancer.
Jump for joy
Not a fan of running or jogging? Try something from your childhood — jumping up and down. Why? Bones respond to stress by becoming denser and stronger. NB. Jumping may not be recommended for women with osteoporosis whose bones are already weak.
Eat your veggies
Your mother was right — you should eat your vegetables. Especially dark, leafy greens, such as kale, spinach and bok choy, which are good sources of calcium, as well as bone-building nutrients such as potassium, magnesium and vitamin K.
Have a little alcohol
People who drink moderately — no more than one drink a day for women, two for men — have higher bone density than non-drinkers or heavy drinkers, recent studies have found. Beer may be particularly helpful because it contains dietary silicon, a nutrient vital for bone strength — but stick to one or two drinks. More than that can weaken bone-building cells.
Don't laugh. Several studies have shown that regularly eating dried plums (aka prunes) is good for your bones, because prunes are rich in nutrients needed for bone health, including magnesium, potassium, vitamin K and boron. Start with two to three prunes daily, and gradually work your way up to five or six per day to allow your gut to adjust to this fiber-dense fruit.
Go easy on bread and grains
A diet high in grains and bread may be bad for your bones. To get the most bang for your bone-building buck, don’t go overboard on grains; focus instead on adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet, which can counteract acidity from the sulphur compounds in grains..
Get more sleep
Adult’s age 50-plus that sleep less than six hours a night may have a higher risk of osteoporosis. More research is needed to understand the relationship between sleep and bone health, but insufficient shut eye could impact our bones’ ability to repair themselves as we sleep.