According to the article “12 Ways to Break-Proof Your Bones” (Prevention.com), one of two women over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis. These breaks may take a long time to heal, which can lead to financial difficulties and long term disabilities. Osteoporosis is a thinning of the bones that occurs over time, and is a real problem for post-menopausal women. But according to the article, there are 12 things we can do to be that one out of two who doesn’t experience a broken bone:
- Make sure we’re getting 1200 mg. a day of calcium. Low-fat dairy, leafy greens, sardines, fortified cereals and juices are good sources and 500 mg. supplements can help if our diet doesn’t cover it.
- Get outside. Healthy post-menopausal women need 800 IUs of vitamin D daily, and women with bone issues need 1000 – 2000. Our bodies will produce it when sunlight hits our skin, but we can also provide what our bodies need through diet. Good sources of vitamin D include fish (cod liver oil, salmon, tuna), vitamin D fortified milk, and egg yokes.
- Limit caffeine to two to three 8oz. cups of coffee a day. The recommended limit on caffeine is 300 mgs. daily, and we should be aware of the caffeine in energy drinks and sodas as well.
- Start a yoga routine. This can improve muscle tone and balance, thus lessening the chance of a bone break due to a fall.
- Be aware of how alcohol impacts bone strength, and limit intake to a glass or two of wine a night.
- Prevent falls as much as possible; use night lights to light the path to the bathroom, clear clutter that could cause a trip, and be aware and mindful of our surroundings.
- Speak to your doctor about the effect any meds we’re taking (or may be going to take), might have on bone density. Certain common prescriptions such as steroids used for asthma and arthritis, SSRIs taken for depression, and proton pump inhibitors prescribed for digestive issues can all contribute to bone density loss.
- Have our bone density tested. A woman who has had no bone density related issues should have one at 65, and a woman over the age of 50 should have one if a fall has caused a broken bone.
- Avoid excessive weight loss. Bone loss can occur due to the protein deprivation that may accompany extreme dieting.
- Eat a diet high in Omega 3’s and monosaturated fats; the Mediterranean diet (high in olive oil and fish and low in red meat) is not only good for our hearts, but appears to impact bone density in a very positive way.
- Quit smoking. Nicotine and free radicals may damage our bone making cells.
- Exercise. Not only does moderate exercise such as lifting weights or brisk walking strengthen our bones and keep excessive weight off, if also helps with balance by strengthening our muscles. So 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise can help prevent broken bones due to falls.
Written by: Tricia Doane, FizzNiche Staff Writer