EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BONE HEALTH
Bones, that part of the body because of which you can stand, sit, run, jog, dance, bend, twist, stretch and so on. Ever since childhood, we do a host of activities, thanks to our bones. Every living being needs food to fuel the body to grow and regenerate, so do the bones. Calcium is the most important nutrient for bone development and maintenance. If you don’t get enough calcium in your diet, your body pulls out calcium from your bones increasing the chances of osteoporosis and risk of fractures.
So from where do you get calcium in the food:
· Cereals like ragi, and jowar, amaranth are great sources of calcium. You can easily replace wheat with them. You can start your day with millets in any form.
· Pulses and beans like soya, moong, chana, rajmah, and their sprouted variants are good sources of calcium. You can have them as veggies or add them in salads as well.
· Nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, cashews etc are rich in calcium. A few of them as snacks can help in a great way. Seeds like sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds etc can also be added in salads.
· Green leafy vegetables like spinach, methi, lettuce, celery, broccoli, cabbage etc are fair sources of calcium.
How can you avoid drainage of calcium from your bones?
· Caffeine: drinking excess of tea/ coffee can lead to calcium loss. Avoid more than 2 cups.
· Animal protein: Excess of chicken, meat, pork etc can increase calcium loss by increasing acid in the body which is neutralized by calcium from the bones.
· Alcohol: it hinders calcium absorption and can affect the body’s calcium balance. Limit the intake not more than 7 drinks/week and not more than 2 drinks at a time.
· Soft drinks: to balance the phosphates in the drink, the body releases calcium from the bones which get excreted. Drink lime juice, jaljeera, fresh juices instead.
· Iron: avoid iron supplements along with calcium supplements or calcium-rich foods as they compete for absorption and the body doesn’t get enough calcium.
When it comes to your bones, calcium alone is not enough. There are other vital nutrients that help your body absorb and make use of the calcium you consume. The most important of these are magnesium and vitamin D.
Magnesium helps to absorb and retain calcium and prevent osteoporosis and build strong bones. Magnesium is found in nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, tofu, and many vegetables.
Vitamin D is another important nutrient that helps the body absorb calcium and regulates calcium in the blood. Your body synthesizes vitamin D when exposed to the sun. However, a large percentage of people are vitamin D deficient—even those living in sunny climates.
If you don’t spend at least 15 minutes outside in the sun each day you may need an extra vitamin D boost.
You can also take a vitamin D supplement of 1000 IU- 2000 IU/day.
Exercise: for lifelong bone health, exercise is a key component. Especially weight-bearing exercises help in better calcium absorption I thereby strengthening your bones. Studies have shown that the risk of fractures and osteoporosis was lower in people who did weight-bearing exercises at least 3 times in a week. Exercise also improves muscle strength and coordination which prevents injuries. Different forms of weight-bearing exercises are:
· Stair climbing
· Weight lifting
Choose a form of exercise that you like and enjoy so that it is fun and do it regularly.