Weak bones break with simple activities like twisting, tripping, stumbling or falling. Not only are broken bones painful, they take years to heal and can even leave the patient permanently disabled. Today we will discuss some strong bones food along with other easy ways to make bones stronger.
1. Eat superfoods for stronger bones
Food is the easiest way to develop stronger bones. The best foods for bones of steel are
- Dairy and dairy products- choose fortified varieties containing Vitamin D
- Salmon with bones
- Fortified orange juice and soy beverages
- Nuts and seeds are rich in Magnesium
- Dark leafy green vegetables like chard, spinach, kale etc are rich in calcium.
- Blackstrap molasses, beans, prunes, Brewer’s yeast are also good sources of calcium needed for strong bones.
Eat these along with a balanced diet from all food groups. Always choose organic varieties of your meat and produce.
2. Take supplements for strong bones
Never take calcium supplements without discussing it with your doctor first. However, every adult living in North America and Canada needs to take Vitamin D supplements daily. Vitamin D is needed to prevent falls and strengthen the bones. If you are taking calcium, do refer to the recommended daily values as given below:
- Adults 19-50 years of age need 1000 mg calcium and 400-1000 IU of vitamin D daily.
- For adults 50+ – 1200 mg of calcium and 800-2000 IU daily.
Many other supplements are also essential for increasing bone strength. Zinc is required for enzymatic reactions that build the bones. Take at least 30 mg of zinc per day with 2-3 mg of copper. Manganese is needed for bone calcification, so take 15 to 30 mg daily. Strontium, combined with calcium is known to increase bone strength; take 340 to 680 mg daily. A combination of B Vitamins and folic acid can help prevent homocysteine- a byproduct of protein metabolism that causes bone loss and osteoporosis. Super green foods like blue green algae (Spirulina and Chlorella) can also alkalize the body and strengthen the bones.
3. Limit your alcohol intake and quit smoking
Excess alcohol consumption can lead to brittle bones. So limit your daily consumption to less than 2 drinks per day. Likewise, nicotine depletes calcium from the bones, making them fragile. If you are a smoker concerned about brittle, weak bones, then it is time to quit.
4. Exercise to keep your bones strong
Exercise daily for at least 30 minutes. However, you must choose your exercise wisely- activities like walking, aerobics and hiking are much better than ones like swimming and cycling where your weight is supported. You can also go for activities like dancing, agility training etc that involve unaccustomed movements. Here are some more exercises to make bones stronger:
- Resistance training exercises with weights or resistance bands are best as they target many muscle groups. When your muscle strength increases, so will the bone strength.
- To avoid falls, do balance training exercises like yoga, Tai Chi
- Improve your posture through back strengthening exercises like back extensions and core strengthening.
Our weary bones need rest too. Multiple researches have confirmed that lack of sleep adversely affects our bones. So try to get at least 8 hours of zzzs each night.
6. Drink bone broth everyday
Bone broth is a stew made with marrow filled and cartilage-packed bones that are boiled together with water, vegetables, vinegar or citrus. These ingredients are cooked slowly for several hours and the resultant broth is rich in calcium, proteins, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Drink 2 cups daily of bone broth to strengthen the bones.
7. Your bones need good fats
Avoid junk food and try to get more good fats in the form of avocados, olive oil, nuts, seeds etc. These help utilization of Vitamin D and result in stronger bones.
8. Herbal teas contain calcium too
Many herbs are rich sources of calcium. The main ones are alfalfa, chamomile, chicory, dandelion, fennel, peppermint, hops, raspberry, red clover and yellow dock.
9. Avoid bone weakening foods
Many bone-weakening foods create acidity in the body that weakens the bones. Therefore, it is very essential to maintain the ph level of the blood in the range of 7.35 to 7.45. Foods that form acids in the blood are tea, coffee, sodas, excess red meat, white flour and sugar. Limit the intake of these foods.
10. Dehydration can weaken bones too
Not many people know that bones consist of 15% of water. Caffeine and other diuretics deplete the water from the body and weaken the bones in the process. Older people also tend to drink less water due to inactivity.
11. Medicines to increase bone density
Once a week, once a month or even once a year medicines containing Bisphosphnates can help increase bone strength. Talk to your doctor if these are right for you. They can greatly reduce the risk of hip fractures. Homeopathic remedies called Cell Salts are also known to increase bone density without adverse side effects. Top remedies for this are: Calc Fluor, Calc phos, Ferr phos and Silica. A homeopath will prescribe these remedies after noting the patient’s complete medical history.
12. Assess your risk
If you have had a parent who has had osteoporosis or suffered a fatal fracture, do discuss your risks with your doctor. Also, people above the age of 50 should get a bone density assessment done. People taking medication with prednisone are also at a risk of weaker bones.
Finally, the bottom-line is to look after your whole body and its needs and you cannot but help take care of your bones too!