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Osteoporosis Bone Health

Prevent Osteoporosis by Feeding Your Bones

Those who suffer from osteoporosis can take several steps to strengthen their bones and reduce the risk of breaks and fractures. These include healthy eating, supplementation, and exercise.

Eat Well for Better Bone Health

Eating foods that contain calcium and Vitamin D will nourish the bones. Minerals and nutrients that come from food are usually well absorbed by the body. Milk is known for its high calcium content, with about 300 mg per eight-ounce cup. It also contains Vitamin D, which aids in calcium absorption. Other dairy foods that are helpful to the bones include yogurt and cheese. Vitamin D is also made in the body as a result of exposure to sunshine; however, many people do not spend enough time in the sun to get enough of the "sunshine vitamin." This is especially true for people who may not be healthy enough to spend a lot of time outside, and during situations when the weather is extremely cold.

Those who cannot tolerate milk or other dairy products have other options. Fortified milk alternatives such as soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, juices, cereals and other foods provide similar bone building benefits as dairy foods.

Dairy Foods Are Not the Only Bone-Building Foods

There are several healthy foods outside of the dairy group that have bone-building benefits. Canned salmon and sardines are two excellent bone building foods. The bones in these canned fish are usually very soft, so crushing or mashing them allows them to be eaten without any problems.

Dark leafy green vegetables like broccoli, turnip greens, kale, and mustard greens help build strong bones. Okra is another vegetable that boasts bone-building benefits. Leafy greens are available in abundance year-around, and okra is a staple in many gardens during the summer months.

Supplementation May Be Required

For those who don't get enough bone-building minerals and vitamins through the foods they eat, there is another option. A healthcare provider may recommend supplements to enhance bone health. These may be purchased over the counter at a pharmacy or store that specializes in supplements, or may be prescribed by a physician or other healthcare professional. Only a healthcare provider should offer osteoporosis information about diet supplementation, including the schedule and amount of supplements recommended. Taking more supplements than required is not better and can cause other problems.

Bone-Strengthening Exercise Can Help

In addition to consuming foods with bone-building properties and using supplementation when prescribed, another strategy for building strong bones is to get enough bone-strengthening physical activity. Physical exercise such as light walking and also exercises using light weights go a long way in strengthening the bones and joints. However, before undertaking any exercise program, an individual with osteoporosis should be evaluated by his or her doctor and work with a physical therapist to ensure that correct techniques are used to decrease the likelihood of stress and injury to the bones. Everything here is a part of osteoporosis treatment, but your doctor should be aware of any changes you want to make.

Healthy Eating