Keeping it simple for stronger and healthier bones!
By Brittany Magana, Student at Clemson University; Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics
As a nutrition and dietetics major at Clemson University, I find that food is a key ingredient to keeping your body healthy inside and out. Bone health in particular, although may not be obvious as a young adult, sneaks up on you as you age. Once your bones have deteriorated it is very challenging to reverse that process. The following is a small example of additional resources that Ladies Super Fitness wants to provide to you. Here, at Ladies Super Fitness, we not only focus on your weight/body image goals, but also on your health and nutrition. We are here to assist you and strengthen your entire fitness plan. Ladies Super Fitness has given me this opportunity as a summer intern to aid each of you in your fitness and nutrition journey. I will not only be aiding you with your journey but each of you will be providing me knowledge to broaden experiences and lessons I will later need. Please enjoy my first article about bone health.
There are many nutrients that contribute to one’s bone health. They can be found in the foods that we eat on a daily basis and in many supplements that are provided to us. Three nutrients that are scientifically proven to keep our bones strong are calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D. In reference to the “Nutrients for Bone Health,” there are also many nutrients that contain good evidence to maintaining healthy bones but aren’t backed up by scientific evidence. These minerals all contribute to the measurement of your bone density. Your peak bone density is reached when you are around the age of thirty. If not enough bone mass is reached or bone loss occurs later in life, you are at risk of fragile bones that break easily.
- The first nutrient, calcium, is found in many foods and drinks we run into each day. These include all of our dairy products, almonds, seeds, dark green vegetables, and etc. According to “10 Natural Ways to Build Healthy Bones,” the amount of calcium you should consume changes with your age. If you aren’t receiving enough calcium from the food or supplements you are consuming your body will start to take the calcium it needs from your bones. Although there are calcium supplements its best to receive calcium from foods rather than taking the supplement.
- The next main nutrient that is needed for strong, healthy bones is vitamin D. As stated by “Nutrients for Bone Health,” vitamin D plays a crucial role in helping calcium be absorbed in the intestine. We find most of the vitamin D when consuming foods such as salmon, dairy, cereals, and egg yolks. Getting proper amounts helps fight against many bone diseases, including osteoporosis. It is found to be more difficult to get the proper amounts of this nutrient so many people rely on supplements for it.
- The last and final nutrient proved to improve your bones is magnesium. Magnesium is useful because it allows for proper calcium and vitamin D regulation. It can be found in foods such as okra, kale, poppy seeds, chia seeds, whole grains, and avocados. Just like calcium and vitamin D, magnesium plays an essential role in fighting against bone diseases that are caused when these nutrients and vitamins are lacking.
- Besides the three core nutrients that are needed for our bones, there are many that have good, solid evidence to the contribution of our bone health. These include phosphorus, potassium, and vitamin A. Many of these nutrients are found in a properly balanced diet and don’t normally require a supplement. Phosphorus can be found in foods such as fish, meats, milk, and whole grains. It functions mainly to neutralize acidic foods that could otherwise be harmful to the bones. Potassium is mainly in fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains. According to the “Nutrients for Bone Health,” some potassium salts neutralize acids that come from the body’s metabolic process. Lastly, vitamin A is found in sweet potatoes, carrots, mangos, and eggs. Vitamin A produces bone-building cells and bone break down cells. These nutrients are found in foods that we consume daily and are needed for the health of our bones based on the quality of the proof they have provided.
- There are many other ways to keep our bones strong other than the nutrients we put into our bodies. Many types of exercise can help strengthen and build our bones. Stated by “10 Natural Ways to Build Healthy Bones,” some of the best activities for bone health is weight-bearing and strength training exercises. Not only does our help build bone strength but it also prevents bone loss when we get older. “10 Ways to Build Healthy Bones” also mentions that strength training specifically helps prevent bones loss mostly in younger and older women, including those with osteoporosis, osteopenia, and breast cancer. While exercise helps our bones, we must always maintain a healthy weight and diet.
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