Everyone wants to be strong and pain-free as they grow older. But some conditions like osteoporosis, may result in pain and disabling fractures. Osteoporosis or porous bones occurs because there is a gradual thinning and weakening of bones as age advances.
Does drinking milk build stronger bones?
Recent research findings show that in populations with greatest milk consumption, people have weaker bones. Also milk is the main dietary source of D-galactose which increases the risk for osteoporosis. So evidence is clear that drinking milk does not really help build strong bones.
How can you have stronger bones and help prevent osteoporosis or slow down the progress of osteoporosis?
- More physical activity
The more physically active a person is during his/her youth, the bigger “bone bank” they will have. This is because exercise stimulates calcium absorption into the blood stream and calcium uptake by the bones. Weight bearing and strength building exercises have been shown to be most beneficial in strengthening the bones.
- Exposure to sunlight
Adequate vitamin D is required for increasing bone strength and decreasing bone loss. So get out more into the sunlight and check Vitamin D levels.
- Eating a balanced diet
A diet consisting of more fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts decreases calcium loss in the urine. Whereas, a high intake of animal proteins increases calcium loss. Plant foods high in calcium include ragi, fenugreek leaves, spinach, drumstick leaves, almonds, sesame seeds, and soy beans.
- Increase Vitamin C intake
Vitamin C has been proven to stimulate bone formation as well as inhibit destruction of bone tissue. Foods such as bell peppers, guava, papaya, lime, oranges, gooseberry, kiwi fruit, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, and tomatoes are good sources of Vitamin C. Supplements also are helpful.
- Reduce sodium in diet
High sodium intake increases calcium excretion. So, cut down on salt and salty food, soft drinks, and foods containing baking soda.
- Avoid smoking
Smoking damages the cells which help in formation of new bone tissue.
- Avoid caffeinated beverages
Caffeine decreases calcium absorption and increases bone loss. For stronger bones avoid drinking coffee.
MBBS, DO, DPHN