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3 Surprising Ways to Strengthen Your Bones

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bone health As people age, their bones become more brittle, a malady that increases the risk of a life-threatening bone fracture in falls. The good news is that you can be proactive in reducing this threat by engaging in bone-strengthening practices. Discover what type of exercising is best, which foods offer the most protection and which oft ignored nutrient may help.

1. Exercise: Which Exercises Increase Bone Density?

When it comes to bone health, not all exercise methods are equally beneficial. While all exercise builds muscle and cardiovascular fitness, weight-bearing activities are better for the bones than those that are non-weight-bearing. This involves any endeavor that works against gravity, such as jogging, walking and jumping as well as climbing stairs, tennis and dancing. Surprisingly, weight training is only moderately effective in building bones. Non-weight-bearing exercising includes activities like swimming and bicycling.

Each time you hit the ground in weight-bearing exercises, the force stimulates your bones, causing their density to increase. These movements produce strong muscular contractions that tug at the attached bones, actions that intensify the stimulating effect of the exercise. Hard pounding isn’t required. Walking may produce a sufficient benefit if it is brisk.

Moving in a direction other than straight ahead can strengthen the hip bone and spine in older people. Standing on a whole-body vibration platform, equipment available at health clubs, may be helpful as well.

2. The Right Foods: These 8 Foods to Strengthen Bones

Certain foods are rich in nutrients that promote bone health. The Community Voice provides the following recommendations of what to include in your diet:

1. Kale – A source of calcium and vitamin K, this green leafy vegetable would make a tasty addition to your salad.

2. Collard Greens – Since a half cup of this vegetable contains 20 percent of the recommended daily allowance of calcium, add the raw leaves to your salad or eat it cooked.

3. Dandelions – A great source of boron and calcium, dandelions would be another beneficial ingredient to put in salads.

4. Cabbage – This vegetable is particularly helpful for women because it raises the level of estrogen, an important factor in bone health.

5. Yogurt – While this dairy food is a good source of calcium, it also contains probiotics, which studies show may alleviate an array of health maladies.

6. Cottage Cheese – Containing up to 300 mg of calcium, this food also is a source of probiotics.

7. Broccoli – A rich source of calcium and vitamin K, this vegetable also contains fiber and compounds that help fight cancer.

8. White Beans – This legume contains calcium, potassium and magnesium, nutrients that are all valuable for bone health.

3. Dont Forget That This Nutrient Is Vital for Bone Strength

In a fascinating article on Live in the Now, Dr. Kevin Passero discusses how bisphosphonate drugs, a traditional pharmaceutical approach to strengthening bones, can actually make them more brittle and lead to atypical fractures of the hip. This happens because the medications inhibit the normal building up and breaking down of bones, a process essential for bone strength. Although bisphosphonates increase the mineralization of bones and make them appear dense, they are actually very brittle.

More and more, nutritional therapies are proving superior to drugs for treating disorders. According to Passero, vitamin K2 can play a vital role in strengthening bones properly. The vitamin activates osteocalcin, a protein hormone that binds calcium to the matrix of bones.

Interestingly, vitamin K2 has an added benefit of lowering the risk of heart disease by reducing the formation of plaque in the arteries. Scientists speculate the activation of osteocalcin removes calcium from arterial plaque and deposits it into the bones. Without enough vitamin K2, excess calcium can line the walls of the arteries and be deposited in organs.

Before taking vitamin K2 supplements check with your doctor, as they may reduce the effectiveness of blood thinners. In addition, although the supplements are generally tolerated well, they may not be recommended for those with liver or kidney disease.

Sources:

http://health.heraldtribune.com/2014/04/08/qa-exercises-increase-bone-density/

http://www.niams.nih.gov/health_Info/Bone/Bone_Health/Exercise/default.asp#b

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-983-VITAMIN+K.aspx?activeIngredientId=983&activeIngredientName=VITAMIN+K


Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.


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