The word osteoporosis, derived from Latin, literally means porous bones. According to The U.S. National Library of Medicine, half of all women over the age of 50 will suffer a broken bone. How can you treat osteoporosis at home? Follow these tips and daily practices.
More Than Calcium: Many people seem to think that getting enough calcium and Vitamin D can ward off osteoporosis or reverse it’s effects. Calcium supplements are very important, but you also need a correct balance of other nutrients in your body, such as vitamins C, E, and K, magnesium, potassium, boron, and folic acid. Adding a sufficient amount of these vitamins and nutrients to your daily nutrition plan can really make a huge difference over time.
- Boron: Three Milligrams per day. Do not exceed this dose. If you are taking a supplement that includes boron, omit this supplement
- Calcium: Women under 50 and men under 65 need 1,200 milligrams per day. Women over 50 and men over 65 need 1,500 to 2.000 milligrams per day
- Potassium: 300-1,000 milligrams per day. Potassium is thought to reduce calcium loss in the urine and counteract a high acid diet
- Magnesium: 1,000 milligrams per day. Magnesium is important for calcium uptake
- Vitamins C, K, D, and E: Essential for bone growth and absorption of calcium
Food Tips; Your mama told you to drink your milk for a reason. The best source of calcium is in dairy products, however not all dairy is a good source of vitamin D. Read the labels. You need vitamin D to absorb the calcium. Did you know that it’s important to consume your calcium and vitamin D at the same time? Make sure and include soy in your diet if you are menopausal or postmenopausal. The soy is rich in phytoestrogens. This may substitute your body’s lack of estrogen. Estrogen depletion is strongly linked with osteoporosis. Include garlic, onions, and eggs in your diet because they are high in sulfur and needed for healthy bones. Lastly, don’t eat whole grains and calcium rich foods at the same time. Whole grains contain a substance that binds with calcium and can prevent it being absorbed properly.
Reverse the Damage: One reason for bone loss can be a lack of exercise, but you can reverse the damage by getting active. You don’t have to join a Spin Class or buy a home gym. Simply walking can be one of the best exercises for maintaining bone mass. Any exercise that is weight bearing can help improve bone density; stair climbing, aerobics, or weight lifting. Swimming and cycling are not weight bearing exercises. If you are dieting, be careful, because weight loss can increase bone loss. Aerobic activity will reduce inflammation and increase bone density.
Bad Habits: All of your bad habits aren’t helping your osteoporosis. Your calcium absorption can be radically affected by caffeine, smoking, alcohol, lack of exercise, and medications. You can control many of these things. The medications that can really have a negative effect on calcium uptake are corticosteroids, anticoagulants, and seizure medications. Of course, you need to take those things if your doctor prescribed them, but that means you should be extra diligent about your risk for developing osteoporosis and kick those other bad habits.
Too Much Protein? Did you know that all protein containing foods release an acid residue in the blood? This residue is capable of causing bone erosion. Normally, it is balanced by alkaline producing foods like fruit and veggies. In this way, it is thought that the acidity is neutralized. The scientific community, according to Johns Hopkins Health Alerts, is still debating whether too much protein can lead to bone loss or whether protein consumption actually prevents bone loss by increasing the production of an insulin like growth factor. The best thing you can do is eat a balanced diet. Your body needs protein to function properly. Too much of anything is never a good idea. If you are a complete carnivore, try to fill 2/3rds of your plate with fruit and vegetables everyday.
The best actions to take, whether you are suffering from osteoporosis or wanting to prevent it, are to take the proper nutrients, do weight bearing exercises, kick your bad habits, and eat a diet that is well balanced and healthy. You will see a difference in your overall health with these changes.
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