3 Foods That Are Good for Bone Health

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If you are concerned about being able to maintain proper bone health as you age, you are definitely not alone. It has been widely suggested that osteoporosis is effecting more than ten percent of the population of western countries alone.

Now you are likely thinking that you just need to consume enough dairy, like drinking milk for example, in order to maintain the best bone health but this is not the case – many studies have shown that the Vitamin A that is in milk can help the onset of osteoporosis if taken in high levels.

Here are three foods that are dairy-free that can assist you in maintaining great bone health and avoid the onset of osteoporosis.

1) Blueberries

If you are looking for something new to add to your morning oatmeal or smoothie consider adding some blueberries. Blueberries are extremely rich in antioxidants in addition to containing osteoporosis fighting phytonutrients.

Many studies that have been conducted by healthcare professionals have shown that consuming blueberries can reduce the risk of getting osteoporosis as we age.

Much of the evidence behind this research has been shown in the blueberry’s ability to support a woman’s hormones both during and after they go through menopause. When you are shopping for blueberries get organic and not those that have been likely treated with pesticides.

2) Fish

There are so many great benefits to adding fish to your diet but where you aware that by adding the omega 3 fatty acids that are contained in fish you can actually improve bone density and help stop the progression of osteoporosis?

The great news is about using fish in your diet is that you can see results in as little as four months.

3) Onions

Onions are widely known for causing bad breath in those that enjoy them, however you can enjoy the benefits of great bone health by consuming more of them!

Onions have been shown to cause the death of cells known as osteoclasts which are responsible for the breakdown of the bones.

While diet will play a huge part in making sure your bones are as healthy as possible, you must never discount the benefits of a proper exercise program and getting enough sun during the day.

The combination of all three of these factors will assist in making sure you maintain good bone health and avoid the progression of osteoporosis.

4 Signs and Symptoms of Unhealthy Bones

With osteoporosis being called the “silent disease”, because it doesn’t exhibit symptoms like other diseases to tell you there is something wrong, many times people don’t find out they have it until they fracture a bone or happen to get a bone scan test.

By then, a considerable amount of bone density could have been lost without the individual knowing about it.

However, there can be some telltale tips present, if one is aware of what to watch for. In particular, watch for:

  • fingernails that chip easily
  • gums that are receding
  • reduction in grip strength
  • racing heartbeat

…which could indicate a start at getting unhealthy bones. Without knowing, most people would not relate these signs as the beginning of unhealthy bones!

Fingernails that chip easily

The unique common factor between fingernails and bones is collagen. Not only is it found in fingernails, but it is also the “glue” that binds together the minerals that make up bone.

Other indictors of possible low collagen levels are spots or ridges on your fingernails. Ironically some of the same foods rich in calcium are also what the body needs to make collagen.

Foods like dark green leafy vegetables, red fruits and vegetables, any of the oily fishes and soy products.

Gums that are receding

Receding gums can be an indicator of a weak jawbone. Shrinking gums usually show up as teeth that are getting loose or dentures that no longer fit as snug as they once did.

Bone is bone, so if the jawbone is getting weak, so could other bones with disastrous results – especially those that bear weight. Hip bone breakage, usually due to a fall, is one of the most common breaks in older adults with unhealthy bones.

As with all bone, the best way to slow down the loss is to eat a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D. Alternatively, sun exposure twice a week for about 15 minutes will also the body to create this important vitamin.

Reduction in grip strength

If your hand grip strength isn’t what it used to be when grabbing, turning and pulling, without other explanations like arthritis, unhealthy weak bones could be the cause.

While scientists have not found a direct connection between the two, enough studies have shown a link between grip strength and bone health to make it an early bone health indicator to watch.

Adding kettlebells, or other types of strength training requiring gripping for an extended amount of time, to your exercise regimen is one of the best defenses to retain or increase grip strength.

Racing heartbeat

This is another one where a direct connection has not been found, but a link established between a faster-than-average resting heart rate and an increased risk of a pelvic, spinal or wrist fracture.

Some studies have shown that a resting heart rate – like the one you have after first waking up in the morning, over 80 beats per minute should be a concern.

The best way to reduce your resting heart rate is to improve your fitness level through regular exercise, especially cardio training.

Stave off, or at least slow down the loss of bone density, by eating a balanced diet and exercising. In each of the four signs of unhealthy bones, these two things alone are keys to reducing the symptoms.

Of course, if you exhibit any of the four signs, see your doctor for a DEXA test to determine bone density and a treatment plan.

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