How to Keep Your Bones Strong and Healthy

Wednesday - 5 December, 2017
health
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Bones are quite literally the support system of the body, so it's super important to keep them strong and healthy. Though weak bones may seem like an old person problem, there's plenty we can do early in life

In childhood and adolescence, most of our bone growth and bone density occurs. Girls reach their maximum bone density by age 18. For boys, this occurs by age 20. In adulthood, it is important to maintain bone density and try to slow the rate of bone loss. As we grow older, our bodies lose bone density.

1. Choose calcium-rich foods like: Choose non-dairy sources of calcium as well, such as fortified soy and rice beverages, canned salmon with bones, leafy green vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and fortified orange juice. Find out more about calcium-rich foods here.

2. Get enough vitamin D Vitamin D helps you absorb calcium in foods. You can find vitamin D in: To get enough vitamin D each day, Canada's Food Guide recommends that everyone over 2 years of age drink 500 mL (2 cups) of milk or fortified soy beverage every day. If you are over the age of 50, Health Canada also recommends a vitamin D supplement of 400 IU every day.

3. Get enough nutrients for healthy bones Potassium, vitamin K and magnesium help your body absorb and use calcium. Get these important nutrients by eating a variety of healthy foods like vegetables and fruit, legumes (beans, peas, lentils), nuts, seeds, whole grains and fish. Protein helps to build muscle, which helps keep bones strong. Choose protein-rich foods such as meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, legumes (beans, peas, lentils), nuts and seeds.

4. Stay active Aim to be active for at least 150 minutes each week. Here are some ideas to help keep your bones strong.

5. Limit caffeine Having too much caffeine can decrease the amount of calcium you absorb. Aim for no more than 400mg of caffeine per day for adults (about 2-3 cups of coffee per day). Pregnant and breastfeeding women should have no more than 300mg caffeine per day.

6. Limit alcohol Drinking alcohol can contribute to bone loss. If you drink, have no more than 2-3 drinks per day.

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