Maintaining good bone health is essential for overall wellness, so try these tips to improve bone health naturally!
Bones provide support to the body and protect vital organs from damage. However, our bones become weak and brittle as we age, leading to various health problems such as osteoporosis and fractures.
While medications are available to help strengthen bones, there are also natural ways to improve bone health. This article shows you how to boost bone health naturally with simple yet effective strategies.
Why Do You Need Strong Bones?
There are many reasons why you should maintain strong bones, including:
1. They provide a strong framework for body support
Your organs, tissues, and muscles obtain their support and stability by attaching to the bones. Otherwise, they would collapse.
2. They help protect internal organs
Bones can help protect your internal organs from external damage. The ribs, for example, enclose and protect the lungs and the heart from external injuries.
3. Bones produce blood cells
Blood cells offer numerous benefits to the body, including carrying oxygen and protecting against infections. They are produced in the bone marrow, a sponge-like material in the center of the bones.
4. Bones store minerals
Bones can also act as a mineral reservoir and release some whenever there’s a need in the body. They are, for example, the main storage site for calcium, which besides acting as a reservoir, help strengthen the bones and teeth.
Phosphorus is another major bone stored in the bones.
5. Bones help you move
The attachment that bones provide to the muscles makes it possible to move some parts of your body. Strong bones can help prevent easy fractures or bone conditions like osteoporosis, especially in old age.
Factors Affecting Bone Health:
- Hormonal changes
- Poor nutrition
- Physical inactivity
- Cigarette smoking
- Alcohol intake
- Lack of sleep Stress
How to Improve Bone Health Naturally:
Now that you understand why having strong bones is essential, it’s also good to learn how to keep your bones strong to allow you to continue reaping the benefits.
Here are some tips on how to maintain strong and healthy bones naturally.
1. Consume enough protein
Protein is an essential macronutrient that the body needs for various reasons, including promoting growth, healing, and repair, reducing appetite and hunger levels, increasing muscle mass, and boosting bone health.
When protein is broken down in the body, it releases amino acids, which the body needs to build and maintain bone tissue.
It also helps repair damaged bone tissue while increasing bone density and regulating bone turnover, the process of breaking down old bones and creating new ones.
In one study, older women on a high protein diet exhibited increased bone density in their whole body, especially the hip and spine, which reduced the risk of fractures like forearm fractures.
Protein can also help increase the absorption of calcium and magnesium in the body, both of which can help maintain strong bones.
2. Get enough vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that the body naturally produces when directly exposed to sunlight. You can also obtain it from foods and supplements.
Vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium, which is essential for healthy bones. That’s why children with vitamin D deficiency develop rickets, a bone condition characterized by weak bones, bowed legs, stooped posture, and other skeletal deformities.
In adults, vitamin D deficiency can result in osteomalacia, a condition that weakens bones causing them to bend or break more easily than normal.
Unfortunately, most people don’t get enough of this vitamin due to poor sun exposure and low intake of vitamin D-rich foods.
People on plant-based diets, for example, may be more deficient in this nutrient since most plant foods don’t contain vitamin D.
You can, however, include a daily supplement (up to 2,000 IU) or eat vitamin D-fortified foods.
3. Eat vitamin K-rich foods
Vitamin K is well known for its coagulation benefits, but it has additional benefits, including boosting bone health. It can help regulate bone resorption, the process of bone tissue destruction that promotes bone loss.
This often occurs in the process of bone remodeling, where old bone material is destroyed, followed by the deposition of new bone material.
However, in some cases, bone destruction can be higher than bone formation, resulting in weak bones and fractures. Vitamin K can help prevent this by regulating the whole process.
There are many foods that can help supply your vitamins n k including leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach, turnip greens, lettuces, collards, soybean, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cabbage.
4. Increase your omega-3 intake
Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of essential fatty acids that play a crucial role in maintaining overall health. The body cannot produce these fats, and must be obtained through diet or supplements.
One of the many benefits of omega-3s is their ability to support healthy bones. Bones are constantly undergoing a process called remodeling, where old bone tissue is broken down and replaced with new tissue.
Omega-3s help regulate this process by reducing inflammation and promoting the formation of new bone tissue.
Research has shown that omega-3 supplementation can improve bone density, especially in individuals with osteoporosis or low bone mass.
In fact, a study published in the journal Osteoporosis International found that women who consumed more omega-3s had higher bone mineral density than those who consumed less.
Additionally, omega-3s may also reduce the risk of fractures by improving bone quality. A study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research found that older women taking an omega-3 supplement had better bone microarchitecture compared to those not taking a supplement.
Plant-based sources of omega-3 include flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts, and soybeans. If you’re not getting enough from your diet alone, you may want to also consider taking a natural omega-3 supplement.
5. Eat calcium-rich foods
Calcium is essential for strong, healthy bones. Our bodies need calcium to build and maintain bone tissue. Calcium also helps regulate muscle contractions and supports nerve function.
Most of the calcium in our bodies is stored in our bones and teeth. When we don’t get enough calcium from our diet, our bodies take calcium from our bones, which can lead to weak and fragile bones.
This is why it’s important to make sure we get enough calcium through the foods we eat or through supplements.
Good plant-based sources of calcium include leafy green vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
6. Consume plenty of vegetables
Vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet, and they can play a role in promoting healthy bones. They are a good source of vitamins and minerals that are necessary for bone health, including vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and magnesium. They also contain phytochemicals that may help to protect bones from damage.
There are many different ways to incorporate vegetables into your diet. You can eat them cooked or raw, as part of a dish, or as a snack.
Some people even juice their vegetables to get all the nutrients in an easy-to-drink form. No matter how you eat them, adding vegetables to your diet is a great way to promote healthy bones.
7. Perform strength training exercise
Strength training exercises promote healthy bones by improving bone density and reducing the risk of fractures.
Bone is a living tissue that constantly renews itself. When we are young, our bones are constantly growing and remodeling.
However, as we age, the rate of bone turnover slows down. This can lead to a decrease in bone density and an increased risk of fractures.
Strength training helps to offset this age-related decline in bone density by stimulating new bone growth. It has been shown to increase bone density in both the spine and hips, which are common sites of fractures in older adults.
Furthermore, strength training can help reduce the risk of falls, which is another leading cause of fractures in older adults.
There are many different types of strength-training exercises that can promote healthy bones. These include lifting weights, using resistance bands, and doing bodyweight exercises like push-ups and sit-ups.
In one study, a weight-bearing activity was shown to increase bone mineral density in the distal radius (the place with the most strain during the activity) of participants compared to the control group.
A different study also noted that when men with low bone mass engaged in resistant training and weight-bearing activities, their bone density increased.
However, resistant training stood out since it was the only one associated with increased bone density in the hip.
Therefore while different activities may be beneficial, resistant training can offer a little bit more, especially if you are at risk of hip fractures like in postmenopausal women.
It is important to choose exercises that are appropriate for your fitness level and to progress slowly as you get stronger.
If you have an underlying medical condition, always consult with a doctor or physical therapist before starting any new exercise program
8. Consume magnesium-rich foods
Magnesium is an essential mineral for maintaining strong bones. It helps promote calcium absorption and regulates vitamin D levels in the body, both of which are important for bone health.
Magnesium also plays a role in cell signaling and helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function. Additionally, magnesium can regulate blood sugar levels, which can impact bone health.
There are many foods that are rich in magnesium, including dark green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, beans, and whole grains.
Adding these foods to your diet can help ensure you get enough magnesium for healthy bones and general well-being.
9. Get enough sleep
In addition to giving your body the time it needs to heal from injuries, getting enough sleep also helps keep your bones strong and healthy overall.
That’s because when we’re asleep, our bodies produce a hormone called growth hormone that helps maintain and rebuild muscle and bone mass.
Therefore, if you’re not getting enough shut-eye, you could be missing out on this essential bone-building process.
So how much sleep do you need to promote healthy bones? Most adults need around 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
If you’re not meeting that goal, start by adding an extra 30 minutes to your nightly routine and see how you feel.
You may find that you feel better rested and have more energy during the day. And who knows, maybe those extra minutes will help keep your bones nice and strong for years to come!
10. Quit smoking
Your bones are constantly changing. They are constantly breaking down and rebuilding themselves. When you smoke, the chemicals in cigarettes interfere with this process.
According to research, cigarettes cause your body to break down bone faster than it can rebuild it. This makes your bones weaker and more likely to break.
Quitting smoking will help your body to repair the damage done by cigarettes and make your bones stronger. Stronger bones mean a lower risk of fractures and other problems associated with weak bones.
11. Maintain a healthy weight
It is well known that being overweight can lead to a host of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. However, many people are not aware that being overweight can also negatively impact bone health.
Carrying excess weight puts additional strain on bones and joints, which can lead to pain and inflammation. In addition, obese individuals are at increased risk for developing osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint condition.
Maintaining a healthy weight is important for overall health, but it is especially crucial for bone health. If you are carrying excess weight, talk to your doctor about ways to safely lose weight and improve your bone health.
Maintaining healthy bones is crucial for a long and active life, and incorporating natural methods can be an easy and effective way to prevent osteoporosis and other bone-related diseases.
A balanced diet rich in calcium, vitamin D, and other essential nutrients, regular exercise that includes weight-bearing activities, getting enough sunlight exposure, avoiding smoking, and reducing stress are all ways to naturally improve bone density and strength.
Additionally, supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids may also assist with promoting optimal bone health.
By making these lifestyle changes now, you can ensure your bones stay strong and healthy well into your golden years.
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