Strong bones are essential, especially in your 40s and beyond, when bone loss and risk for osteoporosis increase. Maintaining healthy, durable strong bones as you age is also associated with improved lung function, decreased back pain, and even a lower risk of hearing loss. Clearly, bones are a foundational part of full-body health!

If you’re looking for strategies to naturally build up your bones, check out these four simple, science-backed ideas you can put into practice today.

Pack a picnic for your bones

Tomatoes and watermelons are popular picnic ingredients — that your bones love too! Tomatoes and watermelons both contain beneficial amounts of lycopene, a type of carotenoid known for its potent antioxidant effects. Research suggests that a diet rich in carotenoids, including lycopene, is associated with higher bone density. Lycopene in particular has been pinpointed for helping to inhibit bone-degrading cells called osteoclasts.

Tip for tomatoes: Cooking tomatoes can increase the availability of lycopene, so consider incorporating cooked tomatoes or tomato-based sauces into your meals. Looking to supplement with lycopene? It’s included in our Better Bones Builder formula for women at risk for bone loss.

Cut back on alcohol consumption

A glass of wine every now and again is one thing, but excessive drinking can negatively affect bone health and increase the risk of osteoporosis. According to researchers from Baylor University, long-term alcohol consumption can interfere with bone building and replacement of bone tissue, resulting in decreased bone density and increased risk of fracture.

Looking for a refreshing summer drink that skips the alcohol and is good for your bones? Try our recipe for refreshing delicious Green Agua Fresca that features watermelon and spinach (another nutrient-rich food your bones love).

Green Agua Fresca

3 cups fresh watermelon

2 cups fresh spinach or other mild green

Mix in blender until smooth. Your drink will be bright green and taste the entirely sweet watermelon. You can also skip the spinach and create a watermelon cooler.

Engage in weight-bearing exercise

When you walk, run, hop and skip, you are pushing against gravity in order to move. This resistance and impact put stress on your bones, which then sends a signal to your body to make bone stronger and denser so your skeleton can withstand the stress. Weight-bearing exercises include activities like weightlifting, walking, jogging, dancing, or jumping rope — or even carrying groceries! Learn more about choosing the best exercises for your bones.

Increase Vitamin K-2 intake

Want to keep your bones and your heart healthy? Vitamin K-2 is essential for healthy bones because it has the unique capacity to activate proteins that help to keep calcium in bone, but it also helps your heart by keeping calcium out of your arteries. To get these advantages, incorporate Vitamin K-2-rich foods like natto (fermented soy bean), hard cheeses, and egg yolks, or opt for an easily utilized Vitamin K-2 supplement. Research suggests that supplementation with K-2 in its menaquinone-7 (MK-7) form may increase bone density, particularly in women.

Last Updated: June 10, 2023

Source link: https://www.womenshealthnetwork.com/bone-health/simple-ways-to-keep-bones-healthy-strong/ by Susan E. Brown, PhD at www.womenshealthnetwork.com