Having healthy and strong bones is essential for a healthy and fulfilling life at any given age. As such, it’s only natural for health-conscious individuals to seek out natural ways to increase bone density.
We all know that during childhood, adolescence and even till early adulthood, minerals are incorporated into our bones, and at the age of around 30, healthy adults achieve what is called “peak bone mass.” The problems start when there’s insufficient mass, that can translate into bone loss in later stages of life which can also lead to other health complications and problems.
Luckily, there are quite a few habits and practices that can aid in building bone density naturally and combat these negative effects. To give you a better idea of what we are talking about, here are 10 natural ways to build bone density.
1. Eat Your Greens
Vegetables are outstanding sources of vitamin C, the compound that plays a huge role in the production of the cells that are responsible for bone-forming. Also, some research-based evidence suggests that its antioxidant effects may also help in protecting these same bone cells from damage.
Eating more vegetables may also help to increase the density of the bone minerals, thus aiding in developing better bone density which is the measurement of the amount of different minerals (mainly, calcium) in the bones. Low bone mass (osteopenia) and brittle bones (osteoporosis) are conditions that people develop mainly due to insufficient bone density.
2. Taking Supplements
Some supplements, like collagen, may also help you in strengthening your bone. Collagen is the main type of protein found in bones, and it has bone-building, muscle, and ligament building amino acids, like proline, lysine, and glycine.
As such, you can give Collagen hydrolysate a try, which comes from animal bones, and is most widely known as gelatin. People mostly use it for relieving joint pain.
3. Boost You Calcium Levels
As discussed above, calcium Is one of the main building blocks for bones and is the most important agent when it comes to general bone health. Henceforth, consuming high-calcium foods should be on the top of your bone-strengthening priority list. Old bone cells breakdown all the time, and being replaced by new cells, it’s only vital to give the bones the amount of calcium they need to be in optimal condition.
The recommended daily intake is around 1,000 mg of calcium per day for the majority of people, while teens and older women need a bit more (1,300 and 1,200 mg respectively).
Take it into consideration, that these are only estimates and that your body can absorb a varying amount of calcium. With this in mind, it’s always best to spread out the consumption of calcium-rich foods evenly throughout the day.
Make sure to eat broccoli, almonds, salmon, beans, seeds, and sardines.
4. Don’t Forget About Vitamins D and K
Both of these vitamins play a vital role in building strong bones.
First of all, Vitamin D helps bones absorb calcium, and as such, helps the body fight most bone diseases, like osteoporosis and osteopenia.
Getting in enough vitamin D might be easier than most would think. Adequate sun exposure and healthy food sources, like fatty fish, cheese and liver can do the job, however, some people might need additional supplementation to get sufficient amounts of the compound.
Vitamin K2 is also crucial for the health of our bones, mainly by modifying the protein that’s heavily involved in the formation of the bones (osteocalcin). The reaction between vitamin K2 and the protein help the minerals bind in the bones and they also prevent calcium loss.
Vitamin K2 can be found in fermented foods like sauerkraut, natto (a soybean product), eggs, and liver.
5. Up Your Protein Intake
Getting in a sufficient amount is highly important not just for your bones, but overall. And since 50 percent of the human bone is made of protein, it makes it even more crucial if you want to keep your bones In optimal condition.
Not getting enough protein has been linked to a decrease in calcium absorption and can also have different effects on bone breakdown and formation. On the other hand, there’s research that suggests that diets high in protein may also leach the calcium from the bones to fight the increased blood acidity. So, make sure to balance out the dies and consume up to 100 grams of protein every day and consume a lot of plant foods and calcium.
6. Stay Away from Low-Calorie Diets
Drastic drops in calorie intake take a toll on the entire body and that means your bones too. It slows down basal metabolism, causes the loss of muscle mass, and can wreak havoc on bone health as well.
As such, even if you are on a diet, try to eat more than 1,000 calories a day, because studies have found that in that case, bone density decreases in individuals, no matter if overweight, normal weight, or obese.
A well-balanced calorie-restricted diet of around 1,200 calories a day with plenty of protein, vitamins, minerals, and fibers, on the other hand, can support your bone health and can help with your fitness goals as well.
7. Consume More Magnesium and Zinc
We’ve discussed the importance of calcium in keeping your bones healthy, however, other minerals also play a big role in bone health, like zinc and magnesium.
Magnesium helps vitamin D conversion into the active form that’s responsible for absorbing calcium. You can find it in most foods in a small amount so you may want to look for additional supplements like magnesium carbonate, citrate, and glycinate to boost your intake.
The trace mineral called Zinc is only needed in small amounts. Zinc helps in making up the bone’s mineral portion and it also plays a key role in promoting the formation of the cells that build the bones while also preventing excessive bone breakdown. Beef, spinach, oysters, pumpkin seeds, spinach, and flaxseeds are excellent zinc sources.
8. Don’t Forget About Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These compounds are widely known for their positive effects and they can also fight bone loss as we age.
Including these compounds is vital for healthy bones, but it’s also important to balance out their intake with the sufficient consumption of omega-6 fatty acids too. Flaxseeds, walnuts, fish, and chia seeds are all excellent foods to consider if you are thinking about adding them to your diet.
9. Hit the Weights
Strength and weight-bearing exercises can help the formation of bone tissue and there are several studies that showed significant improvements in bone mass, both in children and older men and women.
The key point here is not to go overboard, because the risk of injury is pretty high in these sports. Start slow, do your own research or ask a professional if you want to promote bone health with exercise.
10. Keep Your Weight in Check
This one is quite self-explanatory when it comes to general health questions.
Being under normal weight can lead to osteoporosis and osteopenia which is most commonly seen in postmenopausal women who no longer have the bone-protective effects that estrogen provides.
Generally speaking, low body weight is a major concern for bone-health complications in this particular age group.
Obesity, on the other hand, can negatively affect bone quality and can significantly increase fracture rates because of the excess weight a person has to carry.
Crash diets and yo-yo diets can also decrease bone health, so it’s best to always keep your weight in check or diet down slowly.
We hope you liked our article on how to increase bone density naturally and found it useful. As you can see, there are plenty of useful tips that you can start implementing starting today. Maintaining an average weight, eating a well-balanced diet, and regular exercise will all help in improving bone health, and may even have other positive health effects.
If you need more info regarding health tips, feel free to reach out to us, we are eager to help!