With all the cautions and controversy surrounding the use of bisphosphonates and the treatment of osteoporosis, it is important to consider more natural ways to improve bone health. Here are my top 5 suggestions for building stronger bones.
- Start a Bone Health Specific Exercise Program
When it comes to bone health, not all exercise programs are created equally. Dr. Sinaki, MD, at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN has found that specific back strengthening exercise can significantly reduce the risk of vertebral compression fractures; the most common fracture in osteoporosis or osteopenia. The typical exercise program found at the gym does not target the correct muscles.
- Drink Enough Water
Adequate water is vital for all the systems in your body including bone. Water makes up about 25% of bone by weight and is important in both accurate bone density readings as well as bone strength. Water works at the molecular level adding to the elasticity of bone allowing it to bend more rather than break. Drinking plain water, not tea, coffee, juices or sports drinks, is the key here.
- Eat Adequate and Complete Protein
Much like water, protein is essential in forming the matrix component of bone. Eating inadequate amounts of protein throughout the day and loading up on carbohydrates instead makes it very difficult for your body to build healthy bone. Multiple servings of high quality protein are your best bet.
- Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables add important fiber, vitamins, minerals and enzymes to your diet. They also help to balance the pH of your system allowing the body to stay more neutral and reduce inflammation. Eating fruits and vegetables in equal parts cooked and raw is your best strategy.
- Reduce Your Stress Levels
High levels of stress can cause increases in circulating cortisol; one of the primary hormones associated with total body inflammation. Cortisol disrupts the natural balance of hormones and can be identified in people with sleep difficulty, digestive disturbances, allergic reactions and frequent colds. Taking time to de-stress each and every day is essential to good bone health.