Health tips on ways the seniors can keep their bones strong
Newly born babies have 270 bones and above. As they grow up, past teenage and into adolescence, the bones start to fuse until it becomes a total of 206 bones. Girls reach their maximum bone density usually at 18 while boys reach theirs at 20. At later age, these bones begin to reduce in mass and density. They tend to become weak and brittle. Osteoporosis is a disease which makes the bones fragile, brittle and prone to break easily. About 200 million people worldwide suffer from it and about 30% of all postmenopausal women suffer from it. However, there is much we can do to keep the bones strong and prevent breaks and falls in the elderly ones. It is never too early or too late to think about our bones or save them. here are ways to strengthen bones even if they are older. These measures won’t only be of advantage to the bones but will also increase overall health and improve longevity. To take care of your bone if you are a senior or for your elderly loved one, take the following tips:
- Go for calcium-rich foods
Foods like milk, yogurt, buttermilk, kefir, cheese provide good sources of calcium. You might as well choose non-dairy sources of calcium such as green veg, canned salmon with bones, fortified rice beverages, beans, nuts and seeds, fortified orange juice, sesame seed powder, almonds and canned mackerel.
- Make vitamin D containing foods your friend
Without vitamin D, you cannot properly absorb the calcium you take in. The body cells require vitamin D for calcium absorption. There is vitamin D in margarine, egg yolk, milk, fortified yogurt, fortified orange juice and fatty fishes like salmon and sardines. It is recommended that everyone over 2 years of age drink 500 ml of milk every day and for the seniors that are over 50 years, vitamin D supplement of about 400 UI is recommended.
- Get enough nutrients
Aside from calcium and foods containing vitamin D, you should eat balanced meal for a good health. Potassium, Vitamin K and Magnesium are also required for proper absorption of calcium. Blueberries are also suggested for bone strengthening. Protein-rich food helps to build muscle and keep the bones strong.
- Stay active
To help keep your bones strong, try not to live a sedentary lifestyle. Try stretching exercises like yoga and tai chi to enhance coordination and balance. Also go for balance and weight bearing exercises like running, hiking, walking, dancing, tennis and golf.
- Limit alcohol and caffeine intake
Drinking alcohol has been said to contribute to bone loss. Even if you have to drink, do not take more than 2-3 drinks daily. Taking too much caffeine on the other hand can decrease the amount of calcium you absorb daily.
- Stop smoking
Smoking reduces the bone density and increases the risk of bone fractures when compared to non-smokers.
- Take bone density scans
While this diagnostic procedure on its own won’t strengthen your bones, it would let you know the status of your bone health and also know when to see your doctor. It is especially recommended for men and women over the age of 65 to enroll in 2019 medicare advantage plans at https://www.medicareadvantageplans2019.org