Next to your teeth, your bones are the strongest material in your body. Bones are a solid, living tissue that are made from calcium phosphate (a mineral that hardens the bones exterior) and collagen (this is a fibrous protein that gives the bone flexibility and strength), and is an important component of many other tissues, including skin and the tendons. Even though new bone is constantly being made, as we get older the older bones break down much faster than new bone can develop. When this process takes too long our risk for osteoporosis increases. Osteoporosis happens when bones become brittle or weak. Breaks can occur with osteoporosis.
There are things we can do to help reduce the risk of bone disease and fractures. While starting the prevention process early is best it is never too late to enhance the building of bones in your body. By doing weight bearing exercises like walking uphill, hiking, biking or walking up stairs, we activate bone cells that are called osteoblasts. These osteoblasts help to form new bones. This is important because as we age our bones deteriorate faster than we can create new bone development.
Being sure that you include protein in your diet is important since this is where Collagen comes from which helps the bones withstand stress. When you become deficient in protein your bones can become brittle which can lead to breakage regardless of how much calcium you may have in your body. You should get 15-25% of your daily calories from proteins like nuts, seeds, grass-fed buffalo, free-range eggs and even sprouted legumes.
Decrease the inflammation in your body. You may want to be checked for celiac disease or gluten intolerance which cause inflammation in the gut. When there is inflammation in the body it cannot absorb the nutrients and utilize them properly. Eat more anti-inflammatory foods which include spinach, kale, collards, lemons, dandelion, green leafy lettuces, wild Alaskan salmon, blueberries, ginger, garlic and tea just to name a few.
If you are a menopausal woman or if you are a man or woman who feels tired and run down it would be a good idea to have your hormones checked. Hormones influence bone health, so if you are deficient you may not be absorbing enough calcium which, in return, could lead to osteopenia or osteoporosis.
Sleep. We hear talk about this all the time, but this is when your body repairs itself. It is so important to get enough quality sleep to keep your body running to full capacity. Keep your bedroom free from electronics so you will have a calm area to sleep in. To help you sleep better try tai-chi, yoga, meditation, having down time to just relax with no noise around you for an hour or so before you go to bed. Journaling helps some people clear their minds so they can sleep more soundly.
By incorporating these changes in your life you can help prolong or stave off issues with your bones. Continue to check with your medical practitioners and seek out a personal trainer to help you maintain a healthy body.