One in three women around and one in five men over age 50 will experience an osteoporotic fracture. Annually occurring on October 20th, World Osteoporosis Day was established to raise awareness about prevention and treatment for osteoporosis. The intention is to place importance on bone, joint, and muscle health and showcase how self-care and preservation can decrease one’s risk of developing the condition.
What Is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis causes bones to weaken and become fragile over time, often times resulting in breaks of fractures after bumps, minor falls, or sudden movements. While the fractures are not life-threatening, they can induce a lot of pain and discomfort. Millions of people worldwide experience osteoporosis related fractures, yet only 10% of older women with these fractures receive therapy. A 2010 European study estimated that 12.3 million people, who were likely to experience osteoporotic fractures, would not receive treatment.
Bones absorb minerals during childhood and adolescence, but people experience peak bone mass by the age of 30. If you don’t accumulate enough bone mass during this time, you will likely increase your risk of osteoporosis later in life. Fortunately, there are many habits to help maintain bone health as you age.
Eat All The Vegetables
The many nutrients in vegetables assist in the production of bone-forming cells. The vitamin C in vegetables, for instance, may help protect bone cells from becoming damaged. Green and yellow vegetables have been linked to increased bone mineralization in childhood and bone maintenance well into adulthood. One study found that women, aged 50 and up, who ate onions had a 20% decreased risk of osteoporosis, when compared to women who rarely ate onions.
Up Your Vitamin K And D Intake
You cannot have healthy bones without sufficient vitamin D levels. Unfortunately, vitamin D deficiency affects about one billion people worldwide, and vitamin D is necessary for calcium absorption. To protect against osteoporosis, it is optimal to have a blood level of 30 ng/ml for vitamin D. While vitamin D is important, people need not forget about vitamin K, which works to modify osteocalcin, a protein that assists with bone formation. One study found that women between 50-65 years of age experienced higher bone density when they supplemented with vitamin K over a 12-month period.
Eat Foods That Contain Magnesium And Zinc
Don’t focus all your effort on calcium when it comes to maintaining healthy bones, people. Magnesium and zinc play key roles when it comes to bone health. Magnesium helps convert vitamin D into the active form that enhances calcium absorption. One study found that women, who consumed 400mg of magnesium per day, had 2-3% higher bone density than those who consumed less than half that amount. Magnesium-rich foods include pumpkin seeds, quinoa, almonds, spinach, avocados, bananas, kale, raisins, cashews, and black beans. Zinc, which is an essential trace mineral, helps comprise the mineral portion of your bones. It also promotes bone-building cells and works to prevent the break down of bones. You can click here to learn about the best sources of zinc.
If you are concerned about the health of your bones, employ these nutritional tips to maximize bone health. Don’t wait until it’s too late to protect your bones. Act now to decrease your risk of osteoporosis.