Index to more
... for Healthy Bones
- Pick your ancestors carefully (ha-ha, just
kidding. But if your ancestors had osteoporosis, you are at greater risk too.)
- Exercise, participate in sports, run and walk a lot in your
pre-teen years, and have a calcium-rich diet - it builds greater bone mass that will stay
with you longer (probably too late for you, but encourage young family and friends).
This is especially important for girls, who will have greater demands on their
calcium in later years, and who usually are less active physically than their male
- Stay active all your life. Especially important
in later years are weight training, plus impact-type exercises; anything involving
walking, running, jumping, etc. These all stimulate bone strength.
- If you breast-feed your babies (we hope you do), be sure to
get extra calcium so you don't give them part of your own bones' strength.
- Either spend a little time in the sun (use sunscreen,
please!), or take 400 to 600 units or more of Vitamin D3 every day.
- Take calcium supplements, as well as other minerals.
Take it with juice for better absorption. Your bones are made of that stuff.
You need about 1000 to 1500
milligrams of calcium daily in your diet, but you have to spread it out. Taking that
much all at once won't get it.
- Women: don't pass menopause. (Just kidding
again.) Of course you will, but that puts you at much greater risk. Be aware,
prepare and take extra steps to avoid weak bones. If you are at very high risk,
hormone replacement after early menopause may help you ward off osteoporosis to some extent.
- Cut the high protein! You don't need it!
Moderate amounts are all that are necessary. The average Western diet high in
protein (especially meat, poultry, eggs and cheese) add unacceptable amounts of fat to the
diet, put a burden on the kidneys and other organs, and can cause minerals, including
calcium, to leach out of the body.
- Buy calcium-fortified apple, orange and other juices.
There's more and more available. Stay away from excesses of sodas and
coffee. Eat canned sardines, anchovies, mackerel and salmon with their
bones. Add lemon juice or tomato when you cook soup or broth with bones in it; that
extracts some calcium out into the broth. Add tofu and other soy products to the diet. If you
use milk products, go for non-fat and reduced fat products; they are lower in calories and
have a higher percentage of calcium. Be sneaky!
- Be aware. If you haven't yet started to get
osteoporosis, measure your height on a closet door post. Measure every six
months after fifty. If you are at high risk, or notice some shrinkage, you
are going to need your doctor's help to avoid crippling fractures and
deformities. Start now to protect dem