Is There a Dietary Answer to Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is an illness that effects people more often as they age. The disease involves the loss of bone mass and tissue which can lead to weak and/or fragile bones. This can lead to fractures, especially prevalent in the hip, wrist and spine. Although the condition is associated with frail, elderly women, it effects men as well , and the decrease in bone mass begins years before there are symptoms.

Peak bone density occurs at about 25 years old, therefore it is prudent to achieve maximum bone density by that age. Build strong bones when you are young to maintain that strength as you get older. Eating foods high in calcium such as milk, calcium enriched orange juice, or salmon, can help improve bone health. The recommended amount of calcium a person should have per day is 1,000 mg. If you don’t think you are getting that amount just from diet, consider taking vitamin and mineral supplements.

Exercise is also an important part of maintaining bone strength. Be sure to regularly perform weight-baring exercises such as walking, biking, rowing machines and aerobics.

In addition to salmon and dairy products, there are other foods high in calcium and or vitamin D which help keep bones healthy, dense and strong. Those include eating more fruits and vegetables in general, low-fat dairy products, fatty fish like tuna, mackerel and sardines.
Foods to avoid are those that cause calcium to exit the bones, such as salt. Avoid alcoholic drinks, which cause bone loss, as well as caffeine, which is found in coffee, tea and soda, especially cola flavored.

Adhering to these simple guidelines can help keep you strong and healthy throughout your life.