Building healthy bones is very important as it plays many roles in the body such as providing structure, protecting organs, storing calcium, and anchoring muscles. If you will not maintain bone mass and learn how to make bones stronger, you will face bone loss later in life.
Fortunately, lifestyle habits and many nutrients can help you build strong bones. In this article, we will mention the factors (science-backed) that help you make your bones stronger. Following those, you can also maintain the strength of the bones with age.
Why is Bone Health Important?
Bone health is important as it supports our body and allows us to move. They protect the organs of the body from injury. The bones are continuously changing.
The new bones are made and the old bone broke down. When you are young, the new bones make faster than the old bones broke down due to which bone mass increases.
By the age of 30 years, most people reach their maximum bone mass. After, you started losing more bone mass than you gain, which results in osteoporosis. It is a condition then your bones lose mass and become weak and brittle.
There are many things we can do to keep our bones strong and healthy. Our bones also store minerals such as calcium and phosphorus, which keep our bones strong and release the minerals into the body when it requires for other uses.
What Affects Bone Health & What to be Taken Care of to Make Bones Stronger?
There are a number of factors that affect bone health, which we need to take care of in order to maintain bone health and keep them stronger.
Here are some of the factors which affect bone health:
1. Calcium intake
If your diet comprises low calcium then it contributes to diminished bone density, which leads to early bone loss and an increased risk of fractures.
2. Sedentary lifestyle
Physically inactive people have exposed more to osteoporosis than their more-active counterparts.
3. Tobacco and alcohol intake
As per the research, tobacco use contributes to weak bones.
Similarly, if you will take one alcoholic drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men regularly, it may increase the risk of osteoporosis.
If you are a woman, you are at greater risk of osteoporosis because women have less bone tissue than do men.
If you are extremely thin and have a body mass index of 19 or less, or have a small body frame then you might have less bone mass to draw from as you age. You are at higher risk of osteoporosis.
With age, your bones become thinner and weaker.
7. Race and family history
As per the research, if you are of white or Asian descent then you are at the greatest risk of osteoporosis.
If someone has a parent or sibling who has osteoporosis then puts you at greater risk.
Also, if you also have a family history of fractures, then also you are at risk.
8. Hormone levels
Due to thyroid hormone, bone loss increases. After menopause, bone loss increases dramatically in women due to dropping estrogen levels.
A major gap in menstruation before menopause also increases the risk of osteoporosis. While in men, low testosterone levels are likely to cause a loss of bone mass.
9. Eating disorders and other conditions
There are several other conditions such as being underweight weakens bones in both men and women. Weight-loss surgery and conditions such as celiac disease can affect the ability of your body to absorb calcium.
10. Certain medications
Long-term use of corticosteroid medications is damaging to bone.
There are other drugs that might increase the risk of osteoporosis include aromatase inhibitors to treat breast cancer, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, methotrexate, some anti-seizure medications, and proton pump inhibitors.
What are the Best Ways to Make Bones Stronger and Healthy?
There are several natural ways to make bones stronger and to prevent or slow down bone loss. Here are some of the best ways to improve your bone health and make them stronger.
These can be divided into 2 categories:
- lifestyle habits
- foods that make bones strong
#1. Eat Lots of Vegetables to Make Bones Stronger
Vegetables are the best source of Vitamin C which quickens the production of bone-forming cells. As per some studies, the antioxidants of vitamin C may protect bone cells from damage.
Vegetables are great for bones. They are the foods that make bone strong as they also increase bone mineral density, which is also known as bone density.
#2. Strength Training and Weight-Bearing Exercises
One of the best things to do to improve bone health is weight-bearing or high-impact exercise. The study has found that this type of activity promotes the formation of new bones.
It has been found that strength-training exercise helps in increasing bone mineral density, bone strength, and bone size. It also reduces bone turnover and inflammation and helps make bones stronger.
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#3. Avoid Very Low-Calorie Diets to Make Bones Stronger
Dropping in calories results in the slowing down of metabolism and causing the loss of muscle mass. Low-calorie diets can be harmful to bone health. As per the studies, diets containing less than 1,000 calories per day have a greater risk of lower bone density.
To make bones stronger, you need to follow a well-balanced diet that provides at least 1,200 calories per day. For strong bones, the diet should include plenty of protein and foods rich in vitamins and minerals that boost bone health.
#4. Intake of Collagen Supplement
Collagen supplements help in maintaining bone health as collagen is the main protein found in bones.
It has the proline, amino acids glycine, and lysine, which aids in bone health and helps make bones stronger.
#5. Consume Enough Protein and Make Bones Stronger
About 50% of the bone is made up of protein and getting enough protein is essential for strong bones. Low protein intake decreases calcium absorption, which also affects the rate of bone formation.
As long as the protein intake is balanced with plenty of plant foods and adequate calcium intake you will have better bone density.
Therefore, proteins are also those foods that make bones stronger.
#6. Get Plenty of Vitamin D and Vitamin K
Vitamins make your bones strong, among them, Vitamin D and Vitamin K are extremely important for bone health.
Vitamin D plays several roles in the body including helping your body to absorb calcium. Some of the studies show that children and adults with low Vitamin D levels tend to have a lower bone density and are more at risk for bone loss.
Vitamin K2 helps in modifying osteocalcin, a protein involved in bone formation. This modification enables a protein to bind to minerals in bones and prevent the loss of calcium from bones.
#7. Eat High-Calcium Foods that Make Bones Stronger
Calcium is one of the most important minerals for bone strength and health. It is best to intake calcium from food for strong bones and muscles rather than supplements.
Spread your calcium intake throughout the day as it helps in protecting the bone structure and strength in a much better way.
#8. Include Food High in Magnesium and Zinc in Diet
Along with calcium, there are other minerals that are essential for bone health such as magnesium and zinc. They are important for maintaining the strength of bones.
Magnesium plays a pivotal role in transforming vitamin D into an active form that improves calcium absorption. The good source of magnesium is dark chocolate, nuts, seeds, legumes, and fatty fish.
Zinc helps in the promotion of the bone-building cells and prevents the excessive breakdown of bone. The primary vegetarian food sources of zinc are spinach, pumpkin seeds, and the non-vegetarian options are oysters, beef and shrimp.
#9. Maintaining a Stable and Healthy Weight is Necessary to Make Bones Stronger
Besides the intake of a nutritious diet, maintaining a healthy weight is important for bone health. Being underweight increases the risk of osteoporosis and especially in the case of post-menopause when the women lose the bone-protective effect of estrogen.
However, in an obese person, the bone quality can impair due to the stress of excess weight, and the risk of fracture increases. Repeatedly losing and regaining weight is harmful to bone health as well as losing a large amount of weight in a short time.
Keeping a stable normal or slightly higher than normal weight is your best bet when it comes to protecting your bone health.
#10. Consume Foods High in Omega-3 Fats
Omega-3 fats are renowned for their anti-inflammatory effects. They have also been shown to help protect against bone loss during the ageing process.
However, before including the omega-3 fats in your diet, make sure you will omega-6 to omega-3 and they are not very high in your diet.
As per the study, if a person consumes a higher ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids then they tended to have lower bone density. Keep the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 4:1 or lower. The best sources of omega-3 fats include fatty fish, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts.
Nowadays, a lot of people have developed fragile bones that break easily due to which they are looking for orthopaedic treatments. For affordable treatments and best hospitality, people came to India, and due to this reason, the sector of medical tourism in India starting growing at a rapid rate.
There are several facilities available for medical tourists due to which people are looking forward to the orthopaedic treatments in India. However, with the above list of things, you can make your bones stronger and improve bone health.
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A soul bred in the mountains, Akansha Negi doles out travel inspiration from solo wandering, exploring heritage and culture, tasting local cuisine, adventures, and experiences of her travels. She also loves to write about health and technology and keeps penning down her experiences.