Easy Ways to Preserve Your Bones
By Contributing Author, Kate Harveston
Osteoporosis is a silent, slow disease that reduces bone density and mass. These bones contain abnormal tissue structure and are more likely to break. You may not even realize you have this disease until you suffer a fracture or break.
Although osteoporosis is usually diagnosed in older adults, the most important time to focus on preventing this disease is actually in the first 30 years of your life. During the third decade, your bone mass peaks and, thereafter, your bone mass slowly begins to deteriorate.
But getting older doesn’t mean you have to suffer the effects of osteoporosis. Taking measures now to prevent the disease is paramount to your future health and well-being. There are several natural ways to preserve your bones that you may easily incorporate into everyday life!
1. Up Your Soy Intake
Soybeans used to make soymilk, tofu, chickpeas, and many other products contain organic compounds called isoflavones. These biomolecules are responsible for protecting bones, preventing them from becoming porous. They also have estrogen-like qualities that could protect older, post-menopausal women from the condition.
However, the average daily Western diet only contains two to 16 milligrams of isoflavones.
To fully benefit from the compound, begin integrating about 66 milligrams of isoflavone into your diet by eating more soy-rich foods or taking a supplement.
2. Strength Train
Certain types of exercise have been shown to minimize the loss of bone density and some may even increase it. Weight-bearing exercise is especially useful in improving bone strength.
Walking, running, jumping and resistance training like squats, push-ups and lunges are all effective in increasing bone density.
As you grow stronger, remember to increase resistance by adding weights. Progressing to heavier resistances may be most effective in preventing the loss of and encouraging an increase in bone mass density.
3. Visit the Dentist
Osteoporosis and dental issues often go hand in hand, so the secret to preventing the disease may be in your dentist’s chair. Symptoms of osteoporosis may increase a person’s risk of oral health issues because it reduces the density of the jawbones, giving teeth a less stable foundation.
Anyone over the age of 50 experiencing tooth loss, gum disease or ill-fitting dentures should consider osteoporosis a possible reason for these issues. Visit your dentist for an x-ray, which will provide a more comprehensive picture of your oral health by examining your jaw and mouth bones.
4. Eat Fermented Foods
Research suggests that fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi may increase bone mineral density.
These products contain probiotics and calcium which colonize the intestinal tract and promote digestion, which is essential for delivering nutrients and energy to maintain and build bone.
If you aren’t entirely fond of fermented milk or sauerkraut, you might instead consider taking probiotic supplements, which still effectively promote bone health and digestion.
5. Take Melatonin
Melatonin is a hormone that your pineal gland naturally produces to regulate bone formation, increase bone alkaline phosphate levels and promote new bone growth. It also regulates the circadian rhythms, keeping the rhythm of bone in sync with the everyday cycle of light and dark.
You can find this hormone in the form of pills/gel capsules or liquid drops at your local supermarket or health food store. It is considered safe to take since the body already produces it naturally.
As previously mentioned, the first three decades of your life are the most crucial time to build healthy bones that will last for the rest of your life. So, although aging might not be something you like to dwell on, considering your future health and taking action now is important in preventing disease later on. Commit to an exercise routine and healthy diet during your younger years and you’ll likely reap the benefits well into old age.