Take care of your bone
EAT RIGHT Calcium, vitamins and minerals are essential for healthy bones
What do you need to eat to keep your bones strong? No bones about it, you need a lot more than just calcium to keep your body's support system strong and healthy. This is because bones are active and require a constant supply of different nutrients.
What does very active mean? Well, bones do more than just hang around like that skeleton in the science lab. Bones are living tissue with special functions. Old bone cells are continually being broken down to make room for new ones.
More than calclium
There is so much focus on calcium because it is the main mineral found in bones, and it is needed to build and maintain a strong skeleton. So if you want to keep your bones happy, you need to consume plenty of calcium. Unfortunately, studies show many don't get enough.
It is recommended that adults between the ages of 19 and 50 get 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day. One cup of milk contains around 300 milligrams. Dairy products are the best sources, but other foods like canned salmon and sardines, tofu, broccoli and fortified orange juice also contain calcium.
Many other nutrients are also important in skeletal health and do things like help the body absorb calcium or make new bone cells. Listed below are just some of the other nutrients that are necessary and foods they are found in:
Vitamin D: This vitamin helps the body to absorb calcium. Some good food sources include milk, margarine, butter, breakfast cereals, egg yolks, salmon and sardines. Your body can also make vitamin D from exposure to sunlight.
Vitamin K: This vitamin helps make proteins that help form bones. It is found in foods like spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, milk and many cereals.
Vitamin C: This vitamin helps to make a protein called collagen, which is needed to build healthy bones. Vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables like oranges, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli and red bell peppers.
Vitamin B12: This vitamin plays a role in bone cell activity and may be needed to maintain strong bones. It is found in dairy products, fish, cereals, meat and poultry.
Phosphorus: This mineral also helps form and maintain strong bones. It is found in fish, poultry, meat, dairy products and eggs.
Magnesium: This mineral helps stimulate bone growth. Some good food sources include beans, nuts, whole grains, dark green vegetables and seafood.
Don't forget the importance of regular physical activity. Weight-bearing exercises like strength training, brisk walking, jogging, and dancing help build dense, strong bones. Strength training (like weightlifting) is especially beneficial. Studies have shown people even in their 90s can benefit from this type of exercise.
Exercise is important
Exercise and eating right will help keep your bones healthy and lower the risk of getting osteoporosis the bone-crippling disease that can lead to broken hips and fractured spines. Osteoporosis is more likely to occur in people over the age of 50, but can actually strike at any age.
Gentlemen, don't think you're immune. The National Osteoporosis Foundation says one in four men over 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture at some point. Take care of your bones and they'll take care of you.
(Courtesy: New York Times)
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