Having strong and healthy bones is essential for maintaining overall health. In today’s world, our food habits and lifestyle often contribute to bone deterioration and loss of bone mass. However, there are simple ways you can naturally improve the health of your bones. From adding magnesium to your morning diet to including calcium in your lunch, incorporating these nutrients into your meals can help increase bone density. Additionally, practicing weight-bearing asanas and engaging in exercises like skipping and brisk walking can further promote bone strength. By following these tips, you can strengthen your bones and improve your overall well-being. Namaskar!
Introduction to bone health
Your entire body stands on your bones, they give your body a proper structure. Hence, bone health is extremely important. But today’s food habits and lifestyle are causing bone deterioration and loss of bone mass. Here are some easy ways to keep your bones healthy.
Osteoporosis is a condition in which your bones become brittle and fragile. It is caused by the weakening of the bones and loss of bone mass. This condition can lead to increased risk of fractures and other bone problems. There are several causes and risk factors that contribute to the development of osteoporosis, such as age, gender, hormonal changes, dietary factors, and physical inactivity.
Nutrition for bones health
Nutrition plays a crucial role in maintaining bone health. Two important nutrients for bone health are magnesium and calcium. Magnesium is essential for maintaining bone density, and it can be found in nuts, seeds, and certain fruits and vegetables. Calcium is necessary for bone formation and strength, and it can be obtained from dairy products, green leafy vegetables, and fortified foods.
In addition to magnesium and calcium, there are other nutrients that are important for bone health, such as vitamin D, vitamin K, and protein. Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium, and it can be obtained from sunlight exposure and certain foods like fatty fish and fortified dairy products. Vitamin K is involved in the production of proteins that regulate bone formation, and it can be found in leafy green vegetables and other sources. Protein is a building block for bones, and it can be obtained from various sources like lean meats, poultry, fish, dairy products, and legumes.
Tips for maintaining bones health
There are several tips that can help you maintain the health of your bones. One important tip is to get enough sunlight exposure to allow your body to produce vitamin D. Spending time outdoors and exposing your skin to the sun can help ensure adequate vitamin D levels.
Another tip is to avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, as these habits can negatively affect bone health. Smoking has been shown to decrease bone density and increase the risk of fractures. Excessive alcohol consumption can interfere with the absorption of calcium and other nutrients necessary for bone health.
Regular check-ups and bone density tests are also important for maintaining bone health. These tests can help detect any bone problems or signs of osteoporosis early on, allowing for timely intervention and treatment.
Add Magnesium to your morning diet
Consume nuts in breakfast
Including nuts in your breakfast can be a simple way to add magnesium to your diet. Nuts like almonds, cashews, walnuts, and hazelnuts are rich in magnesium and can be easily incorporated into your morning routine. You can eat them on their own, or add them to your cereal, yogurt, or smoothie for an extra dose of magnesium.
Soak and consume seeds in the morning
Seeds like flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, and soya seeds are also great sources of magnesium. Soaking these seeds overnight and consuming them in the morning can help maximize their nutritional benefits. You can add soaked seeds to your breakfast bowl or sprinkle them over your toast or salad for a crunchy and nutritious addition.
Drink lemon juice with chia seeds
Chia seeds are known for their high magnesium content, and combining them with lemon juice can provide additional benefits. Lemon juice is rich in vitamin C, which is essential for the formation of collagen and supports bone building. Soaking chia seeds for 10 minutes and adding them to a glass of warm water with lemon juice can make for a refreshing and magnesium-rich drink to start your day.
Include calcium in your lunch
Add curd and dairy products
Curd and other dairy products like paneer (cottage cheese) are excellent sources of calcium. Adding curd to your lunchtime meal can help meet your daily calcium requirements. You can also incorporate other dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt into your diet to ensure an adequate intake of calcium.
Include green leafy vegetables
Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and broccoli are not only rich in magnesium but also contain calcium. Including these vegetables in your meals, especially during lunch, can provide a boost of calcium and other nutrients essential for bone health. You can incorporate them into salads, soups, stir-fries, or as a side dish to your main course.
Expose yourself to sunrays
Getting sunlight exposure, particularly in the morning or evening, can help your body produce vitamin D, which is necessary for calcium absorption. Spending at least 30 minutes outdoors, with your arms and legs exposed to sunlight, can contribute to better bone health. During the afternoon, try to expose different parts of your body to the sun’s rays for maximum benefit.
Protein rich snacks
Importance of protein for bones growth
Protein is essential for bone growth and plays a crucial role in the absorption of calcium. Approximately 50% of your bones’ composition is made up of protein. Ensuring an adequate intake of protein is highly essential for maintaining bone health and preventing conditions like osteoporosis.
Food options for protein intake
There are several food options that can help you meet your protein requirements and promote bone health. Peanuts, boiled with salt and water, are a great source of proteins. Chana (roasted gram) is another source of protein that can be consumed as a snack. Hummus, a popular and nutritious dish made from chickpeas, can also provide a rich source of protein when paired with chapati, bread, or enjoyed as a dip.
Milk before bedtime
Benefits of milk for bones health
Milk is often referred to as a superfood for bone health due to its rich composition of essential nutrients. It contains protein, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin B12, all of which are important for bone growth and maintenance. Regular consumption of milk can provide your bones with the necessary elements required for their development and strength.
Include turmeric in milk
Adding a little haldi (turmeric) to your glass of milk before bedtime can provide additional benefits for bone health. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce inflammation in the body, including the joints and bones. It is also known to support digestion and promote better sleep. Combining milk and turmeric can create a powerful concoction known as OJAS in Ayurveda, which is believed to enhance overall well-being.
Promoting good sleep with milk
In addition to its benefits for bone health, drinking a glass of warm milk before bedtime can also promote good sleep. Milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid that can help induce sleep and improve sleep quality. It can also provide a feeling of relaxation and calmness, making it an ideal pre-bedtime drink for a restful night’s sleep.
Weight bearing asanas
Importance of weight bearing exercises for bones
Weight bearing exercises are important for maintaining and improving bone strength. These exercises involve activities that force your body to work against gravity and put stress on your bones. The impact and resistance created during weight bearing exercises help stimulate bone growth and increase bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
Examples of weight bearing asanas
There are several yoga poses or asanas that can help promote bone strength and prevent osteoporosis. Ekpadasana (one-legged balance pose), Natrajasana (dancer pose), and hand-pressed asana (plank pose) are examples of weight bearing asanas that require balance and strength, putting pressure on the bones and muscles. Adhomukhswanasan (downward-facing dog pose) and Vipritkarni (legs-up-the-wall pose) are examples of anti-gravity asanas that can help improve circulation and stimulate bone development.
Skipping and brisk walking
Apart from yoga, engaging in aerobic activities like skipping and brisk walking can also contribute to maintaining bone health. Skipping the rope is a fun and effective exercise that puts your bones to work. Aim for at least 100 rounds of skipping and incorporate brisk walking into your routine, aiming for at least 4 kilometers per day. These weight-bearing activities can help strengthen bones and improve overall bone health.
Taking care of bone health is crucial for maintaining a strong and functional body. By incorporating natural practices like consuming magnesium-rich foods, including calcium in your meals, consuming protein-rich snacks, drinking milk before bedtime, practicing weight-bearing asanas, and engaging in aerobic activities, you can strengthen your bones and prevent bone deterioration. It is important to follow these tips consistently and prioritize your bone health to enjoy a healthier and more active life.