There are several studies and research that suggest women are more likely to develop osteoporosis compared to men. In fact, osteoporosis, a condition where bones become brittle and fragile, is four times more common in women than men. One of the major reason that bone loss happens is due to an improper diet. We chatted up Ryan Fernando, celebrity and sports nutritionist and founder of Qua Nutrition to tell us what to eat to keep our bones healthy. “The majority of our bone growth and density occurs during childhood and adolescence. It is critical to maintain bone density and slow the rate of bone loss in adulthood. Our bodies lose bone density as we age. Women are especially vulnerable to osteoporosis after menopause.We should consciously take charge of our bone health by bringing in positive change in lifestyle and diet, “ says Ryan.
Here are few key nutrition tips to improve and maintain bone health.
For building and maintaining stronger bones our body needs calcium. Dairy food sources milk, cheese, kefir provides with calcium. “Do a food allergy test to determine if your body can take milk. Non dairy food sources of calcium include seeds, nuts and green leafy vegetables. Calcium supplements are advised too to meet body’s calcium requirements,” suggests Ryan.
Vitamin D aids in calcium absorption, muscle strength, and fracture prevention. Vegetable oils, salmon fish, egg yolks and fortified dairy goods are the sources of Vitamin D. Generally the Indian population lacks in vitamin d levels and should take supplements under the guidance of a nutritionist to meet the basic needs. Magnesium, Vitamin K and Potassium also helps the body in calcium utilization and absorption.
Protein aids in the development of muscle, which in turn aids in the maintenance of bone strength. Lean meats, soy, seeds, nuts and legumes are a good sources of protein. "Consuming the protein in right quantity is the key. Protein overconsumption can result in weaker bones due to calcium loss in the urine," cautions Ryan.
Plant based diets rich in veggies and fruits consist of protective compounds like Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Magnesium and Potassium. All play a major role in building and providing strength to the bones as well as nullifying the effects of bone damaging acids.
Caffeine consumption in excess may result in losing calcium from the body. Increased sugar consumption may also reduce bone mineral density. Because of high sodium intake bone-protective minerals get lost through urine. Fast foods and processed foods are high in sodium levels and can affect bone and overall health.
The foods we eat have enormous power to protect and build our bones. "Its proactive health step to consult a nutritionist from time-to-time to understand and implement dietary modification and behavior to minimize the risk of osteoporosis and take better care of our body which is our real life partner," concludes Ryan.
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