Keep Your Bones Strong

Ever hear your mom tell you to drink your milk as a kid so you’d grow up big and strong?  Her advice wasn’t unfounded as research shows calcium helps to keep your bones sturdy and less likely to break.

One out of every two women and one in four men over the age of 50 will break a bone in their lifetime because of osteoporosis. Adults ages 19 to 50 need at least 1,000 mg of calcium daily. To get more calcium into your diet, try the following:

  • Eat foods with calcium, such as fat-free or low-fat milk and yogurt, spinach and greens, tofu made with calcium, and orange juice with added calcium.
  • Take a calcium pill daily (talk to your doctor before choosing this option).
  • Check the label on the foods you buy: the best choices are items that have at least 20 percent daily value of calcium.
  • Make sure you’re getting vitamin D, which aids in calcium absorption. You can get vitamin D in salmon, milk, some yogurts, and vitamin D pills.

There are no signs or symptoms of osteoporosis; in fact, you may not know you have it until you break a bone. This is why getting enough calcium is so important. If you are 65 or older, you should consider a bone density test to find out your bone strength.

You may be at a higher risk for osteoporosis based on the following risk factors:

Uncontrollable Risk Factors

  • Being over age 50.
  • Being female.
  • Menopause.
  • Family history of osteoporosis.
  • Low body weight/being small and thin.
  • Broken bones or height loss.

Controllable Risk Factors

  • Not getting enough calcium and vitamin D.
  • Not eating enough fruits and vegetables.
  • Getting too much protein, sodium and caffeine.
  • Having an inactive lifestyle.
  • Smoking.
  • Drinking too much alcohol.
  • Losing weight.

For more information, visit the National Osteoporosis Foundation by clicking here.

This blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. For further information, please consult a medical professional.