How to Strengthen Your Bones and Joints Naturally
Healthy bones and strong joints are important to your overall health. Over your childhood, adolescence and early adulthood years, minerals are absorbed into your bones. Peak bone mass is achieved once you reached 30 years. If the bone mass generated during this time is not enough, you will be at a higher risk of developing fragile bones.
Most people take having strong bones for granted. This is because the symptoms tend to appear only after bone loss progressed to an advanced stage. When you have weak bones and joints, your body becomes a lot more delicate, limiting the degree of movements and creating barriers to physical interactions.
Fortunately, there are many activities, foods, vitamins, and physiotherapy treatments that contribute to strong bones and joints. With the right lifestyle and healthy nutrition habits, you can build and maintain strong bones, even into old age. Follow these nine tips on how to strengthen your bones and joints naturally:
1. Eat fruits and vegetables for joint health
Eating more vegetables is a great way of strengthening your bones and joints naturally. Vegetables are a rich source of vitamin C, which encourages the generation of bone-forming cells. The antioxidant effects in vitamin C are known to protect bone cells from potential damage.
Fruits also offer similar health benefits and can be great supplements to your diet. A healthy intake of vegetables and fruits increases your bone mineral density. The term bone density describes the measurement of calcium and other present minerals in your bones. A high bone density can provide more strength and support for your body.
2. Consume protein for bone health
Protein is essential for healthy bones as it makes up about 50% of your bone structure. Low protein intake has been reported to decrease calcium absorption, while negatively affecting the rate of bone breakdown and formation. However, high-protein diets may leach calcium from your bones in an attempt to counteract the increase of acidity in the blood. As such, it's important to monitor your protein consumption at a healthy level.
Some studies show that consuming 100 grams of protein everyday is an optimal quantity. Balance this diet with adequate calcium intake and plenty of plant foods, which should provide you with enough protein without being too acidic.
3. Get vitamins for strong bones and joints
To build strong bones, you need plenty of vitamin K and vitamin D. Vitamin K modifies osteocalcin to support bone health. This modification helps it to bind to the minerals in your bones, preventing calcium loss. Vitamin K is present in meat, eggs, and liver in small amounts.
Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium. Adults and children with low levels of vitamin D tend to have low bone density, placing them at a higher risk of bone loss compared to people who get enough. Food sources such as cheese, liver and fatty fish may be enough to provide you with this vitamin. For extra support, most people take supplements to maintain optimal levels.
4. Perform bone strengthening exercises
Performing certain types of exercises can strengthen your bones and joints naturally. Strength training and weight-bearing exercises promote the generation of new bones, while increasing the bone mineral density, size, and strength. In adolescents, such activities significantly increase the number of bones created during the peak bone growth years. In older adults, these exercises help to prevent bone loss.
When doing bone strengthening exercises, keep in mind the extent of your ability and physical limitations. Avoid exercises that pose a high risk of injuries. In addition, the intensity of some high-impact exercises may not be suitable for people beyond certain ages. Consult with your chiropractor to learn more about the best exercises to increase bone density.
5. Eat calcium-rich foods that make your bones strong
Calcium is the main and most important mineral in your bones. Consuming a calcium-rich diet daily protects your bone strength and structure. Most people need 1000mg of calcium per day, but older women require 1200mg. Teens need 1300mg of calcium daily.
The amount of calcium absorbed by the body can vary greatly. For the best results, spread your calcium-rich meals throughout the day. Getting calcium from food sources instead of supplements is advised.
6. Take collagen supplements for bone & joint health
Collagen supplements promote bone health as it is the main protein in bones. The supplements contain lysine, proline and the amino acids glycine, which promote the formation of bone, ligaments, muscles and other tissues. Collagen hydrolysate, commonly known as gelatin, is obtained from animal bones. For many years, it has been used as a remedy for joint pain.
7. Avoid diets & foods bad for bone density
Eating very low-calorie diets is not a good idea for your bones and joints in the long term. These types of diets will slow down your metabolism, cause muscle mass loss, and create rebound hunger. They also deteriorate your bone health rapidly.
A diet that provides less than 1000 calories daily may result in lower bone density among overweight, obese, or standard-weight individuals. To strengthen your bones and joints, eat a well-balanced diet that provides at least 1200 calories daily.
8. Eat foods rich in zinc & magnesium
Zinc and magnesium play an essential role in bone health. Magnesium promotes calcium absorption, which leads to higher bone density. Although magnesium is present in most foods in small amounts, there are few excellent food sources. Supplementing with carbonate, citrate or magnesium glycinate can be beneficial.
Zinc prevents the excessive breakdown of bones and promotes the generation of bone-building cells. In children, zinc supplements promote bone growth. In older adults, they help to maintain bone density. Rich sources of zinc include pumpkin seeds, oysters, flaxseeds, spinach, shrimp, and beef.
9. Maintain a healthy, stable weight
Maintaining a healthy and stable weight supports bone health. Being underweight puts you at a higher risk of osteoporosis and osteopenia. This is especially common in postmenopausal women who no longer benefit from the bone protective effects of estrogen. On the other hand, being obese puts you at a higher risk of fractures and broken bones. Maintaining a stable weight instead of repeatedly gaining and losing it helps preserve bone density.
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