Osteoporosis is weakness of bones. The bones become brittle because of loss of calcium from the body. Osteoporosis results in easy bone fractures and breaking of bones. More women and elderly people than men suffer from osteoporosis because of various factors like poor eating habits, age, smoking and drinking and having a skinny body. Use of drugs and eating disorders like anorexia nervosa also cause osteoporosis.
Some women suffer from osteoporosis as an after-effect of pregnancy when the hormone levels suddenly go down which affects the level of calcium in the bones. Calcium is very important for good bone density and strength. If left untreated, osteoporosis can be a serious health issue.
Medically, osteoporosis is treated using calcium supplements. However, the best way of taking care of weak and brittle bones is by changing your diet and lifestyle habits. A well-balanced diet, and not only calcium, is important to keep a healthy bone density. Many people who suffer from calcium deficiency also suffer from deficiency of various essential mineral.
When a person has osteoporosis he/she suffers from pain in the bones especially those in the joints. The bones fracture easily at the slightest of injuries. In extreme cases of osteoporosis bone fracture can occur even while exercises, stretching or bending. Backache is a common problem among people who have osteoporosis.
Diet Treatment for Osteoporosis
1. Include plenty of calcium and vitamin D in your diet. People who are alcoholic often lack in vitamin D and calcium in their daily intake. Taking vitamin D along with calcium is very important because vitamin D helps the body with absorption of calcium by the body. Dairy products are good source of calcium. Milk specifically has the highest amount of calcium present. Drink two glasses of milk every day to increase the bone density. Many varieties of cheeses have vitamin D in them which helps in the better ingestion of calcium by the body. Other than dairy products eggs, liver, cod liver oil, tuna fish and mushrooms also contain vitamin D.
2. Include manganese in your diet. Manganese is a mineral and is important in strengthening the bones. By eating your daily required dose of magnesium in the diet you can bring down your chances of osteoporosis. Green leafy vegetables like spinach and green turnip are good sources of manganese. Majority of herbs and spices contain plenty of essential minerals and should be included in your daily diet. Some fruits like pineapple and raspberry too have good quantity of manganese in them.
3. Add iron to your daily diet. A female human requires 12 mg of daily dose of iron and a male human body needs 10 mg of iron every day. Deficiency of iron in the body not only causes severe anemia but also leads to osteoporosis in menopausal women. Vegetables like spinach, green turnip, and beetroot are good source of iron. Eating sufficient quantity of nuts and legumes also gives your body required amount of iron.
4. Many people run away from carbohydrates. But carbohydrates are required by the body to produce energy. Muscles feed on energy to keep going through the day. Grains and pasta made from wheat are good source of carbohydrates. In non-vegetarian items beef has enough carbohydrate to keep your muscles running for an entire day. So include just the right amount of carbohydrates in your diet to keep your bones and muscles strong.
5. Calculate the amount of calcium and vitamin D you are taking in your daily diet. Maintain a daily diary of the foods that you eat and using the help of the internet calculate the amount of calcium, vitamin D and other minerals and nutrients that you have taken. Calculate the total amount of every nutrient on a daily basis. If you have osteoporosis there is a high chance that you aren’t getting the right amount of both calcium and vitamin D. Don’t forget that calcium and vitamin D are important for preventing and treating osteoporosis.
6. Take calcium and vitamin D supplements to tide over the deficiency of both the minerals. Check with your doctor what amount of supplement is correct for you. The human body is capable of absorbing only 750 mg of both the minerals at any given time. So don’t do an overdose. Calcium can be supplemented by intake of calcium pills or anti digestion tablets. However, the best way of increasing your intake of calcium is by incorporating more of calcium-rich foods in your body.
7. Drink juices that have calcium added to them. Orange juice is one such example. Vitamin D can be included in your diet by drinking vitamin D enriched milk in the morning. You can get your daily dose of vitamin D by soaking in the sun every day for 15 minutes. Doing this will also activate the stored vitamin D in the body.
8. Kick off bad habits like smoking and drinking alcohol. People who drink and smoke both are at a higher risk of falling prey to osteoporosis. Quit drinking and smoking or at least reduce their intake to prevent osteoporosis.
9. Zinc and copper should also be a part of your daily diet. However, it is better to take these in supplement form because you are highly unlikely to get the required amount of these minerals from your daily diet. Take 30 mg of Zinc and 3 mg of Copper supplement daily to reduce your chances of osteoporosis. Zinc is an important mineral as it supports the enzymes during the process of building bones. Copper supplement helps in better ingestion of zinc by the body.
10. Take multivitamin capsules every day as the various Vitamin groups all help build and strengthen bones and good amount of vitamins in your body will help the bones function better.
The long and short of avoiding osteoporosis is by eating a well-balanced diet every day. Required amounts of minerals and nutrients in the body helps the bones function in a healthier manner. If you suffer from osteoporosis then making healthier and specific changes in your diet will help improve the condition and lead to less incidents of bone fractures.
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