Bone density is vital to an individual's overall health. If the bones lose their density, they may break very easily.
Bone density changes over a period of time. Throughout childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood, the bones absorb several nutrients and minerals, gaining and providing strength.
However, as a person enters their 30s, they have reached their peak level of bone mass, which means they will no longer attain bone density.
The bones may lose their density with ageing. After menopause, in particular, a person becomes more prone to osteoporosis, a disease that can weaken the bones which can make them break very easily.
How to Increase Bone Density After 30?
There are several ways to help boost and maintain bone density. Let us know some tips on increasing bone density naturally.
- Weightlifting and strength training
Studies have shown that weightlifting and strength training both help to promote new bone growth and maintain the existing bone structure.
A study of bone density in children suffering from type 1 diabetes showed that participating in weight-bearing physical activity during their peak bone-growth years enhanced bone density.
Benefits of weight and strength training include:
- increased bone mineral density
- increased bone size
- reduced inflammation
- protection against bone loss
- increased muscle mass
- Eating more vegetables
Vegetables are low in calories and provide various vitamins, minerals, and fibre. One study showed that vitamin C may help guard bones from damage.
Eating green and yellow vegetables can be beneficial for most people. In children, these vegetables help boost bone growth; in adults, they help maintain bone strength and density.
In a study, postmenopausal participants who ate 9 servings of broccoli, cabbage, and other vegetables and herbs for around 3 months saw decreased bone turnover and calcium loss. The researchers attributed the outcome to the improved levels of polyphenols and potassium from the vegetables.
- Consuming calcium throughout the day
Calcium is the main essential nutrient for bone health. As the bones break down and grow every day, it is necessary that people get enough calcium in their daily diets.
The best way to absorb calcium is to consume small quantities throughout the day, rather than having one high-calcium meal daily.
It is better to get calcium through the diet unless a doctor advises otherwise. Foods high in calcium include:
- leafy greens, such as kale
- Consuming foods rich in vitamins D and K
Vitamin K-2 plays an essential role in bone health by minimising calcium loss and helping minerals bind to the bones.
Foods that contain vitamin K-2 include:
- natto (a soybean product)
Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium. People with vitamin D deficiencies have more risk of losing bone mass.
An individual can absorb vitamin D through moderate sun exposure. Without sufficient vitamin D, a person has an increased risk of developing a bone disease, like osteoporosis or osteopenia.
- Maintaining a healthy weight
A healthy weight is necessary for bone density — people who are underweight have an increased risk of developing bone disease, while excess body weight puts more stress on the bones.
People should avoid sudden weight loss and cycling between losing and gaining weight. As a person loses weight they may lose bone density, and the density is not restored when a person gains back the lost weight. This reduction in density can cause weaker bones.
- Avoiding a low-calorie diet
Extreme low-calorie diets can cause various health problems, including a loss in bone density.
Before starting dieting, discuss calorie needs with your healthcare provider to determine a safe target regarding the number of calories to consume. Any diet should include a proper balance of protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals.
- Eating more protein
Protein plays a vital role in bone health and density, and a person should make sure that they have enough protein-rich foods in their diet.
A study involving around 144,000 postmenopausal participants found that those who ate an increased quantity of protein had a significant boost in their overall bone density. Also, they experienced lesser forearm fractures.
Talk to a doctor before making any alterations in your protein intake.
- Eating omega-3 fatty acids rich foods
Several studies have determined that omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in maintaining the density of bone.
Omega-3 fatty acids are present in several foods, like salmon, mackerel, seeds and nuts. People can consume these fatty acids either through their diet or through supplements.
- Eating magnesium and zinc-rich foods
Like calcium, zinc and magnesium are minerals that provide the necessary support for bone health and density.
Magnesium helps activate vitamin D so it can boost calcium absorption. Zinc exists in the bones, and it enhances bone growth and helps prevent the bones from breaking down.
Good sources of foods high in magnesium and zinc include:
- whole grains
- Quit smoking
Many people link smoking with lung cancer and breathing issues, but smoking can also cause bone disease, like osteoporosis, and enhance the risk of bone fractures.
To support healthy bone density, an individual should not smoke, especially during their teen and young adult years.
- Avoiding excessive drinking
Alcohol consumption is not likely to affect an individual’s bone health if done in moderation. However, chronic, heavy drinking can cause poor calcium absorption, a reduction in bone density, and the development of osteoporosis later in life.
Younger women who drink heavily during their teens and 20s are most at risk of weak bone density.
Bone density develops throughout an individual’s early life, at its peak when they are in their late 20s.
For healthy bone density, it is important to consume lots of calcium, vitamin D, protein, and vegetables.
It is also essential to avoid smoking and drinking. Taking these important steps can help you support good bone density throughout adulthood.