Your bones literally form the framework of your body, and certain vitamins for strong bones are required to keep that framework strong so it can do its job. Bones anchor muscles that enable physical mobility, protect vital organs, produce red and white blood cells, and regulate calcium and phosphorous for the entire body.
Throughout life, your body continuously breaks down old bone and builds new bone. The average person reaches peak bone mass around the age of 30. This is typically when your bone-building capability slows down, and your body can’t create enough new bone to replace your bone loss.
This natural bone depletion can lead to a condition called osteoporosis, which is characterized by thin, weak bones that can fracture easily. Approximately 10 million Americans have osteoporosis and another 34 million are estimated to be at risk, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Osteoporosis is most common among postmenopausal women over the age of 65 and men over the age of 70.
The good news is that osteoporosis is preventable, but once you have it, there is no way to get rid of it. However, there are things you can do to slow its progression. The keys to maintaining strong, healthy bones are eating a well-balanced and nutritious diet that includes all the vitamins for strong bones you need (like calcium and vitamin D—see below), exercising regularly and living a healthy lifestyle by not smoking, not drinking too much alcohol and avoiding substance abuse.
Regardless of your age or the current condition of your bones, there are simple things you can do to improve your bone health. For example, here are 10 things you can do to help keep your bones and joints healthy:
- Get enough calcium. You might think calcium is one of the most important vitamins for strong bones, but actually, it is an important mineral for healthy bones. A calcium deficiency is often a factor in developing osteoporosis. Calcium is found in milk and dairy products and in many green vegetables. To ensure you’re getting all the calcium you need, take a health supplement, such as Healthy Choice Naturals Osteo-Care Bone Density Complex, which provides 555 mg of all-natural calcium (56% of the Recommended Daily Allowance, or RDA) plus 400 IU of vitamin D (100% of the RDA) and 277 mg of magnesium (69% of the RDA).
- Get enough vitamin D. Vitamin D is another one of the most important vitamins for strong bones that your body requires. It’s necessary because it helps your body absorb calcium and put it to good use strengthening your bones. The RDA for vitamin D is 600 IU for adults up to the age of 70 and 800 IU for those over the age of 70. To make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D, take a supplement such as Healthy Choice Naturals Vitamin-D Essential Complex. It provides a full 4,000 IU of vitamin D-3, which is 1,000% of the RDA. It also provides 100 mcg (125% of the RDA) of vitamin D/K-2, 100 mg (25% of the RDA) of magnesium, plus zinc, L-taurine, quercetin and boron, which are all beneficial to your bones and overall health.
- Reduce your sugar consumption. If your diet includes lots of refined sugar, it can decrease your bone mineral density. The best thing you can do is stop drinking sodas and limit your indulgences in sweets. Don’t forget to look for “hidden sugars” in canned and processed foods, as well as fruit juices and sports drinks, which typically are loaded with added sugars. There is no RDA for sugar because it is not necessary for nutrition. It’s purely optional for taste. However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture does recommend that the sugar intake for adults totals no more than 8% of the daily intake of calories. For example, for a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet, this equates to approximately 10 teaspoons, or 40 grams, of added sugar per day. It might surprise you to know that just one 12 oz. cola can contain 40 grams of sugar or more. That’s a full day’s allotment of sugar in just one can of soda! This is why you should limit your consumption of sodas and other sugary beverages, or eliminate them from your diet completely.
- Reduce your salt intake. Too much salt in your diet causes your kidneys to excrete extra calcium, so the more salty foods you eat, the more calcium you lose. The average daily intake of sodium in the U.S. is 3,375 mg, which is far more than the RDA of no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day for healthy adults.
- Eat more protein. Protein contains amino acids which are the building blocks of life and are necessary to build and maintain strong bones. Research studies have shown that consuming more protein can help decrease the risk of fractures. In addition, eating more protein can build muscle mass which is helpful in supporting and strengthening the bones and joints.
- Include more Omega-3 essential fatty acids in your diet. Not all fats are bad for you. The truth is that certain dietary fats actually play important roles in our health, including assisting with protein absorption and lubricating joints to ward off joint pain. The “good fats” you need more of are the Omega-3 essential fatty acids that are found in oily fish such as salmon and tuna. Plus, you can take a nutritional supplement such as Healthy Choice Naturals Purified Krill Oil. This all-natural supplement provides 1,000 mg of pure Antarctic krill oil. Another option is to take Healthy Choice Naturals Omega Naturals Fish Oil 1000, which provides 1,000 mg of purified, all-natural fish oil harvested from the wild, pristine waters of the Nordic Sea.
- Do low-impact activities. High impact activities are bad for your bones and your joints, especially if you do repettive exercises such as running or jogging. Instead, choose low impact activities like bike riding or swimming. If you do participate in high impact sports or exercises, protect yourself by getting the proper shoes and using the right equipment to lessen the impact on your body. Running on grass instead of concrete or asphalt is another way you can minimize the impact on your joints and bones.
- Use support wraps or braces to prevent injuries. If you have any problem areas, if you perform repetitive motions, or if you are participating in any extreme sports, use extra support wraps or braces on your joints. The extra support can lower your risk of joint damage and painful injuries. If you experience any unusual pains in your bones or joints, you should see your health care practitioner as soon as possible. Ignoring symptoms, no matter how minor they might seem, may only exacerbate the problem.
- Practice good posture. The spine is the most common problem area for millions of people. One way to help avoid painful back problems is to maintain good posture. You should walk with your shoulders back and chest out, sit correctly at the computer, sit up straight and don’t slouch. (So when your grandmother was right all those times she told you to “Sit up straight.”)
- Exercise regularly and maintain your muscle balance. Building muscle is important to protect joints and bones, and it’s important to make sure your muscle mass is balanced and your body is equally proportioned. This means you need to work out all parts of your body evenly. Muscles put force and tension on your joints by pulling or pushing them, and if you build more muscle mass on one side of your body than the other, it can damage your joints and cause pain. So make sure to get enough regular exercise with well-balanced fitness routines that work out your entire body.
For more information about the important vitamins for strong bones and your overall health, go to http://www.healthychoicenaturals.com .