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Bone Health

Osteoporosis is a condition that affects us as we age.  The Mayo Clinic defines osteoporosis as “characterized by decreased bone mineral density and structural bone changes that may cause the bones to weaken and become brittle.”

Basically when your bones become brittle there is a higher chance that you will have a fracture.  The most common fractures are to your spine, wrist and hip.  Men can be affected but most cases are with women.  The majority are women who are of Asian or European descent.

As you age your bone mass begins to change.  Creation of new bone peaks around age 30. Consequently after age 30 your bone mass starts to slightly change from making new bone to losing bone.

Here are helpful tips for what you need in order to have healthy bones. 

Calcium – For women and men aged 18 to 50, 1,000 milligrams is recommended daily. Likewise, when women reach age 50 this changes to 1,200 milligrams and for men age 70.

Foods with high calcium counts include orange juice, dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt.  You can also eat canned salmon or sardines with the bones, tofu, dark green leafy vegetables like broccoli and kale, and almonds.  Furthermore, calcium-fortified cereal is another good source of calcium for you.

Protein – key to your bone health.  You can enjoy these foods with high calcium. Eat whole eggs, almonds, chicken breasts, cottage cheese, lean beef, fish, and lentils.

Vitamin D – helps your body absorb calcium.  Recommended daily intakes up to age 70 is 600 IU.  This increases to 800 IU after you hit age 70.  Supplements, sunlight and foods rich in vitamin D are all options. (Milk, cereals and eggs are good sources to name a few.)

Daily Physical Activity – if you are older, walking and climbing stairs can help.  Additionally, if you are able, jogging, yoga or lifting weights are great activities.

Private Home Health Care stresses the importance of exercise along with a wide variety of foods because we all need healthy bones.  Likewise if you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, work closely with your doctor.  Know also that Physical Therapists are available to help guide you.  There are lots of resources!

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