We have often heard ‘build the muscle’ but the ‘build the bones’ comes as a surprise to many. It comes to the fore only with the onset of osteoporosis. The next advice one gets is to pop calcium tablets. Is that enough? Is that correct? Are corrective methods the only solution?
We all are well aware that our strength, muscle form, and agility are not going to remain the same in our 50’s as was in our 30’s. There is, of course, gradual wear and tear that happens in the body and as age advances, it does move at a quicker space. Those with a weaker genetic disposition are subjected to osteopenia, the first stage of osteoporosis quite earlier on in life. Many of us are even unaware till probably a fall that causes a sprain or fracture wakes us up to the situation. Most of us come under the scanner thereafter with the doctors raising their eyebrows at the discovery of low calcium levels. Bone density is something most of us are not even aware of. The growing porosity of the bones that is called osteoporosis.
Bone is not just the hard structure that we feel but also the fluid and marrow inside that carry the nutrients that keep the bones healthy and lubricated. As long as the marrow is nutrient rich the bone is seen as healthy. By your 30’s, the body has created its optimum bone density. It is therefore imperative that we work towards building the bone mass more before than later. Strong bones serve us well for mobility as long as we live.
The reason for osteoporosis rising predominantly amongst women is mainly because during pregnancy and lactation a lot of the nutrients for the growing foetus are drawn from the mother’s body. If the intake and absorption of minerals like calcium, folic acid, Vit B and iron are inconsistent or inadequate by the mother, her stores fall dry. Regularization of meals is important for getting complete nutrition, not just prescribed tablets. Natural sources are always better utilized by the body. Also during the menopause stage in a woman’s life, her calcium reserves fall drastically as does her estrogen.
Vit D, magnesium and Vit K help in the calcium absorption in the body. Smaller units of calcium throughout the day is easier to absorb and therefore deriving it from natural sources is always better than the tablet form.
Vit D:- Eggs, chicken, seafood, portobello mushrooms, and sunlight
Magnesium:- Nuts, seeds, green leafy veggies, legumes, and pulses
Vit K:- Dark leafy greens, eggs, cheese
Calcium:- Milk, cheese, soya, fish like sardines
It is essential to eat a combination of these for every day to get a sufficient amount that the body needs on an everyday basis.
Though it may sound counterintuitive, we have to stress our bones to keep them working. That means to retain the strength of our bones as we age we must do weight bearing and strength training exercises to keep it like a well-oiled machine. Building a strong foundation of your bones begins early in life, so pay attention right from the start. Give it enough density to be your support through life. Encourage children to play a sport, enjoy the sun, drink milk, eat their greens. A strong seed makes a mighty tree.