Osteoporosis, meaning porous bone, is a disease caused by the loss of bone mass, the body not producing enough or both. This causes our bones to become weaker and prone to fracture.
It’s commonly referred to as the “silent disease” because most people don’t realize they have it until they experience a fracture, notice curvature in the spine, or notice getting shorter.
Although generally associated with older people, the truth is that our body stops building bone mass around the age of 30. Some factors are out of our control, such as ageing, hormonal changes and pre-existing conditions like celiac disease or lupus. However, there are many lifestyle factors that we can control, such as diet, smoking, inactivity, being overweight, excessive use of alcohol and certain medications.
Here are some ways to ensure you maintain healthy bone mass as you age:
• Avoid or eliminate all dairy – calcium from dairy products does not improve bone health; in fact, studies show that populations that consume high amounts of dairy have the highest incidents of fractures.
• Eat more plantbased foods – animal proteins are very acidic and the body’s response to balance the PH quickly is to dump calcium and alkaline minerals like magnesium. It does this by taking it from our bones, essentially dissolving bone mass. Leafy greens, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and soy all contain calcium and do not have this effect.
• Weight-bearing exercises – these types of exercise use your body weight to maintain bone strength.
• Vitamin D – expose your skin to sunshine for 15-20 minutes a day or supplement with a maintenance dose of 2000 IU per day.