Bone health: Tips to keep your bones healthy

As we get older, our bones can sometimes start to get weaker. It’s important to give our bones the attention and care that they deserve by eating healthy meals and getting regular exercise.  
 
Poor bone health from any age, can increase the risk of developing conditions like rickets and osteoporosis. It can also increase the chance of breaking bones later in life. The deterioration of bones, can mean a gradual loss of movement which can lead to you giving up the things you love to do. 
 
Luckily, it’s easy enough to take care of yourself and your bones to make sure they stay strong for longer. 

Eat calcium-rich foods

Calcium is the most vital mineral for good bone health (because it’s the main one found in your bones!). Old bone cells are constantly being broken down and replaced by new ones, but they need you to consume enough calcium daily to keep up with this. 
 
Because of the way your body absorbs calcium, it’s important to spread out your calcium intake throughout the day by adding one high-calcium food to each meal. 
 
Some calcium-rich foods include: 
 
• Cheese and milk 
• Seeds 
• Sardines 
• Yoghurt 
• Beans and lentils 
• Leafy greens 
• Canned salmon 
• Almonds 
• Tofu

Eat plenty of vegetables 

Vegetables are one of the best sources of Vitamin C which your body uses to stimulate bone-forming cell production. Some studies even suggest that the antioxidant effect from Vitamin C can help to protect bone cells from damage. 
 
Because vegetables directly increase bone density, they can protect you from developing conditions like osteopenia and osteoporosis. They are particularly beneficial to older women. 
 
Cruciferous vegetables (leafy greens) are full of Vitamin K and calcium which can boost bone health. These include kale, turnip greens, broccoli, spinach, and cabbage.

Doctor demonstrating bone health

Maintain a healthy, stable weight

Certain weight classes can be at risk of bone conditions. Those who are underweight are more at risk of developing osteopenia and osteoporosis. Postmenopausal women who have lost their natural productions of oestrogen are also especially vulnerable to degenerative bone conditions. 
 
On the other hand, being too overweight can also see an increase in the risk of people getting fractures due to stress from weight and impaired bone quality.  
 
The most detrimental to bone health, however, is a repeated loss and gain of weight. This is because, when weight is lost bone density is also lost. But when weight is gained, often the bone density is not also gained. 
 
Try to avoid drastic changes to your weight by maintaining the amount you eat and exercise or by changing it very gradually. 

Try strength training and weight-bearing exercises 

Weight-bearing and high-impact exercises promote bone growth and maintain strong bones. To find exercise suited to your abilities and body type, you can speak to your family GP, Physiotherapist or nurse for more information.