Women over 40 should start taking care of their bone health. With age, women start losing bone density consistently, this is natural. However, some of us may develop certain painful symptoms as a result of this natural process.
1 out of every 2 women over 50 suffer from osteoporosis. The exact cause of this condition remains unidentified till date.
Although osteoporosis does not have any specific symptoms, it may cause severe pain, which is often mistaken for a joint pain. Only an X-ray can detect the underlying condition.
Regardless of whether you are suffering from osteoporosis or not, it is very important to take necessary steps in order to build stronger bones to stay fit and healthy. There are several steps to be taken, especially for women who have had children and never been active.
An average adult should consume 700mg of natural calcium from food sources. In case of osteoporosis sufferers, the figure is just double, about 1200mg or more.
The best way to get your daily dose of calcium is by eating dairy products like yogurt and cheese, almonds and spinach. In addition, you can also have calcium supplement recommended by a doctor.
Get Adequate Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a vital nutrient for bone health, which enables proper absorption of calcium. So, if you are taking calcium, but no vitamin D, it is as good as nothing!
Vitamin D is mainly present in some food sources like cereals, fortified spreads, oily fish, egg yolks and liver. However, food sources are not good enough to provide adequate vitamin D.
Vitamin D is mainly produced by our body when exposed to bright sunshine. Spending about 15 minutes out in the sun, three time a week, can give you the required dose of vitamin D.
Choose Proteins Wisely
Having excess amounts of cheese, meat and other proteins tend to make the body acidic. Acids drain out calcium from the body to make our bones weaker. It is very important to achieve balance.
Your meals must contain protein (sources include eggs, fish, seeds and nuts), carbohydrates (from bread, potatoes, rice, and pasta), vegetables and fresh fruits.
Mind the Salt Factor
Salt speeds up calcium loss of the body. Generally, we consume about 9g of table salt per day, while the recommended limit of salt is 6g. Avoiding adding salt to your cooked food and read food labels minutely to make sure you know what you are eating.
Smoking is harmful for everything that has to do with the bodily functions. Bones and joints are badly affected by smoking.
Women usually lead a sedentary and monotonous life, which makes their bones weaker. Bones get much stronger when used. You can strengthen your bones by indulging in some weight-bearing activities for about 5 hours a week. Exercises like running, dancing, walking and swimming can help.
Weight training is an ideal exercise for bones, which includes gardening, shopping and other household work.
Finally, your bones should not be overburdened by your weight. Keep your body weight in check and make sure you don’t start following a crash diet to do so. Lose weight, but, sensibly.