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Be Proactive with Osteoporosis

Submitted by Champion, Lori Plifka

exercisingAs a newly diagnosed woman with osteoporosis and life long health advocate, I felt the need to share some prevention strategies along with diet and exercise tips for others to avoid osteoporosis. Below is some information I have researched and gathered taken from Dr. Weil on nutrition, exercise and other tips to keep your bones and body healthy!

What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis refers to a loss of bone mass causing the bones to become porous and fragile. Our skeletal frames are constantly being remodeled, with bone tissue being broken down and rebuilt on a regular basis. Bone density (the degree of mineralization of the bone matrix) usually increases until about the age of 30, but after that, trouble can begin. Osteoporosis sets in when more bone is lost than can be rebuilt. Eventually, bones become brittle and easily fractured. There are actually two different types of bone - both of which lose bone mass later in life, but at different times.

Be Proactive with Osteoporosis:

  • Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit. Potassium, magnesium, vitamin C and beta carotene (found in fruits and vegetables) have been associated with higher total bone mass. A diet rich in vegetables and fruit and moderate in animal protein and grains may minimize the acid-ash residue of the diet.
  • Get enough calcium. This mineral is one of the primary constituents of bone, and adequate intakes are necessary for lifelong bone health. Choose high quality, organic dairy products such as yogurt and milk. Eat more sardines (with bones), dark green vegetables like collard greens, bok choy and broccoli, whole soy based products like tofu, and calcium-fortified soy milk and orange juice. Consider taking a calcium supplement if you are not eating at least three servings of dairy per day and/or calcium-fortified foods, if you are postmenopausal or if you have a family history of osteoporosis.
  • Eat magnesium-rich foods every day, including spinach, tofu, almonds, broccoli and lentils. Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are also good sources of magnesium.
  • Eat vitamin K-rich foods every day. The best sources are green leafy vegetables (see the calcium-rich greens listed above), but most vegetables are good sources. Talk with your doctor about the effects of vitamin K if you are taking a blood-thinning medication.
  • Make sure you get enough vitamin D. I recommend supplementing with 2,000 IU daily for adults.
  • Decrease your sodium intake. Avoid salty processed foods and fast food. Don't salt your food before tasting it.
  • Limit caffeine intake.
  • Avoid alcohol or drink only in moderation.
  • Increase weight-bearing activities, such as walking, weight training and calisthenics. Try to do at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.

Information taken from http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02720/Osteoporosis.html