Eating a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D is very important to keep your bones healthy and strong. Human bones which are lost and then rebuilt in tiny amounts throughout life attain peak bone density by the age of 30. However, post 30, one tends to lose slightly more bone mass than one gains.
To have a healthy bone mass and to prevent conditions like osteoporosis it is important to eat healthy. Here are a few tips:
- Boost calcium consumption: Calcium is an essential mineral for the proper development of teeth and bones. Dairy products that include yogurt, cheese, milk and green leafy vegetables like spinach and collard greens are a great source of calcium.
- Get some sunshine: Including only calcium rich food will not help improve bone density as the body won’t absorb the calcium until and unless you have enough Vitamin D.
Sunlight is the best and natural source of vitamin D - also called the 'sunshine vitamin' since it s formed in the skin through exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun. Around 15 minutes of sun exposure is enough to provide the required amount of vitamin D.
One can even boost Vitamin D by eating sea foods like shrimp, sardines, tuna, salmon; fortified cereals and egg yolks.
- Keep a check on protein intake: Too much of anything is not good. And this holds true for protein as well, which otherwise plays an important role in building healthy and strong bones. Excess of protein changes the pH balance in the body. This creates an acidic environment which can result in bone loss.
- Cut back on salt: Most of us consume much more than the recommended 2300 milligrams of sodium per day. A high intake of sodium means, more calcium is wasted through urine and sweat. Excessive sodium intake is also a risk factor for bone fragility.
- Go easy on caffeine, soda: Too much of caffeine can interfere with the body`s ability to absorb calcium. The more caffeine you consume, higher is the amount of calcium pulled into the urine. Phosphorus, in the form of flavouring agent phosphoric acid in soda also interferes with calcium absorption. Hence, moderation is the key.