Nutrition and Osteoporosis
What you eat affects your body’s strength and function. That fact is common knowledge. It’s a lesson you probably learned as a child, though you may not have appreciated it until you were much older. The impact nutrition has on your body becomes more and more apparent as you age. In fact, the foods you consume can have a direct influence on degenerative conditions like osteoporosis, helping to protect the body as you get older.
Bones Need Nutrition
Osteoporosis is a gradual weakening of hard bone tissue. As you age, your body isn’t able to replace old bone cells as quickly. This disease causes you to lose hard bone tissue much faster than it can be repaired and replaced. This makes your skeleton brittle and weak. Suddenly simple injuries, like tripping, and normal movements, like bending over, can end in painful fractures. Your feet are particularly at risk since they are regularly under so much pressure. Slowed repair processes also mean it may take longer for your bones to heal properly once they have broken. In time, frequent fractures and trouble healing can lead to serious deformities and limited mobility.
Fortunately, some outside influences, like your diet, can positively impact your bone density and help you avoid painful complications like fractures. Nutrition and osteoporosis go hand in hand. What you eat affects the build-up of your body tissues. Certain vitamins and minerals are crucial for a solid skeleton, like calcium and vitamin D. Protein also plays a large role in building bone tissue. Magnesium, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin B, and vitamin K are important as well, though their effect on bone health is not quite as vital as the others. Consuming the nutrients your body needs can help slow bone loss and encourage normal bone repair.
Eating Right Means Better Bones
If you have osteoporosis, or even just low bone density, some changes to your diet and special care of your lower limbs can help you avoid painful problems later. You’ll need to increase your consumption of vitamin D and calcium-rich foods. Egg yolks, fatty fish, and cod liver oil are naturally full of vitamin D, while dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt have plenty of natural calcium. Some foods and drinks are frequently enriched with both, like tofu, orange juice, and cereal. Experts also recommend you consume your protein from lean meats and additional minerals from fruits and vegetables.
Conversely, certain foods are actually quite bad for your bones. Food with a high salt content, smoked or processed meats, and canned soups may encourage the breakdown of skeletal tissues. They signal the body to dispose of excess calcium instead of applying it to your bones.
The experts at Sierra Foot & Ankle can help you monitor your foot health, and create a plan for healthy habits. If you know your bones are thinning, or you’ve already been diagnosed with osteoporosis, don’t wait for your bones to start breaking to seek help. Contact our office here in Carson City, Nevada for an appointment or more information by calling (775) 783-8037 or filling out the online contact form.
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