It’s all about diet and exercise!
Welcome to the Be Healthy! Be Happy!’s College of Bone Health: Bone Health 101.
Even though we rarely give our bones much thought, even take them for granted, healthy bones are obviously essential to well-being.
Like the 2 x 4s that form the foundation of your home to which the plumbing, electrical and drywall components interconnect; our bony skeletons provide the framework for attachment of the ligaments, tendons, nerves and muscles necessary to walk upright, run marathons and sit comfortably during an evening meal.
Unlike 2 x 4s, bones are living tissue, which require nutrition dependent metabolic activity to be maintained at their very best. Calcium and vitamin D are the most critical nutritional components when it comes to strong bones.
The recommended dietary allowance for calcium in adults is 1200 mg per day. This may be achieved through supplementation or preferably foods rich in calcium. Examples of calcium rich foods include tofu, yogurt, cheeses, white beans, broccoli and oranges. When it comes to supplements calcium citrate is the preferred formulation.
Vitamin D is required for the absorption and retention of calcium throughout the body. The most abundant natural source of vitamin D is sunlight, and because it is difficult for most of us to get adequate sunshine day in and day out, many people are vitamin D deficient. That’s where fortified foods and supplements come in. The recommended dietary allowance for vitamin D in adults is 600 international units per day, which can be provided by consuming salmon, mackerel and sardines; fortified foods like milk, orange juice and cereals or multivitamins, which generally contain 400 international units per tablet of vitamin D3.
Finally, healthy bones are dependent on regular exercise which include activities like walking, running, and muscle strengthening exercises like weightlifting.
Reference: Oregon State University Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center. Online [available at]: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic