Maintaining optimal bone health is a goal achieved with a combination of smart eating habits and preventative measures. Bone density naturally decreases over time, a process that starts when you’re in your 30s and continues as you get older.
Maintaining strong bones is essential to preventing painful falls and fractures. Board-certified spine surgeons recommend taking these proactive steps to keep your bones in good shape.
Understand Your Osteoporosis Risk
Common in older women, osteoporosis is a progressive condition that increases susceptibility to breaks and fractures. It’s often genetic, so know your family history.
Without adequate muscle support, your bones will be carrying more of the burden as you move throughout your day. For adults, the recommendation is about 2 hours of moderate exercise per week.
A bone density evaluation is a quick, painless test that can determine your risk for osteoporosis. Testing is recommended for postmenopausal women and men 50 and older.
Calcium and Vitamin D
Calcium and vitamin D work together to keep bones strong. Dark, leafy veggies, cheese, broccoli, and low-fat milk are just some of the foods that can get you to the 1,000 milligrams of calcium you’ll need per day to keep your bones healthy. Fatty fish like tuna and salmon and fortified foods like cereal and orange juice can up your vitamin D intake.
Vitamin K and Potassium
A study on vitamin K found that it works well with vitamin D to naturally increase calcium absorption. Vitamin K-rich foods include spinach, Swiss chard, kale, and beet greens. There’s research suggesting potassium found in leafy greens, bananas and avocados may also help with calcium retention.
Watch Your Diet
A Mediterranean diet may be good for your bone health, according to one study. Such a diet requires a reduction in meat products and an emphasis on veggies, fruits, legumes, and olive oil. Bone health can also be maintained by drinking more water.
Avoiding excessive alcohol consumption and quitting smoking can also boost your bone health by increasing the delivery of essential nutrients to your bones. Caffeine consumption should also be kept to a minimum. Check with your doctor for more tips specific to your needs.
For more information on maintaining spinal health, call (310) 828-7757 and schedule an in-person consultation with Dr. Hyun Bae, a leading Los Angeles spine surgeon. Dr. Bae specializes in motion-preserving spine treatments as well as spinal fusion surgeries. Reach out today and rediscover a pain-free lifestyle.