Osteoporosis is the weakening of bones that is more common in women than in men, especially after reaching menopause, as the estrogen level drops in the body and estrogen helps in protecting the bones. Bone recovery is not easy, takes a very long time and is expensive, it is wise to start taking care of your bones from an early age. Our bones need a healthy dose of calcium and vitamin D and other minerals to prevent weakening. Osteoporosis is more common in Caucasian women than black and Hispanics, around 20% white women over the age 50 will get osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis puts you at a greater risk of breaking or fracturing bones, which is a debilitating condition, women with osteoporosis are more likely to break the bones of the spine, wrist, ankle and the hip. It is necessary to prevent falls after the age 50. It is so important to focus on your bone health at an early age, as early as your teenage, girls should get a balanced diet, and should eat foods rich in calcium and vitamin D. Staying active and not smoking makes your bones even stronger, start working out at an early age, cycling, running and strength training is great for your bones.
When it comes to preventing osteoporosis, the best foods to take are milk, cheese and yogurt, vegetable sources are spinach, broccoli, kale, okra, but it is not recommended to skip milk for these vegetables at an early age, unless you are lactose intolerant. If fat is a concern, you can get low fat milk, cheese and yogurt. The best source of vitamin D is obviously the Sun, 15-20 minutes of sunlight exposure is recommended daily in the summer to get adequate vitamin D. After menopause the daily requirement for calcium increases and that is around 1,200 mg, if you think you can’t get enough from food, you should ask your doctor for supplements.
The best dietary sources of vitamin D are fatty fish, eggs, milk and fortified foods, but considering not many people eat fish and many have given up on dairy, it is important to start taking vitamin D supplements at an early age to prevent bone loss later on. You wouldn’t need calcium supplements before menopause. Young girls should be encouraged to do regular exercise to prevent bone loss later in the age. Both alcohol and smoking negatively impact bone health. Being overly thin or having anorexia puts you at greater risk of developing osteoporosis.
So eat a balanced diet, exercise and don’t smoke to protect your bones.