Interested to know how to increase bone density? Try these healthy tips!
In this article:
- Get Enough Vitamin D
- Play Ball
- Eat Foods High in Magnesium and Phosphorus
- Minimize Consuming Too Much Animal Protein
- Limit Salt Intake
- Eat More Soy Foods
- Consume More Veggies
- Eat Foods High in Calcium
How to Increase Bone Density | Simple Tips to Try
What Is Bone Density?
This is called bone mineral density. It refers to the amount of minerals in the bones. Low bone density at an early age (i.e. young adulthood) can lead to clinical bone conditions like osteoporosis in late adulthood.
Dancing is a form of weight-bearing exercise which promotes bone and muscle development. It requires the body, including the bones, to work against gravity, making it stronger and less vulnerable to deteriorating conditions like osteoporosis.
You can enroll in a dance class in your community or follow a simple Zumba tutorial online.
3. Get Enough Vitamin D
Vitamin D plays an important role in bone health as it is needed to effectively absorb calcium.
The best source of vitamin D is sunlight. Supplements and some foods are also rich in this:
- egg yolks
- beef liver
- foods fortified with vitamin D such as cereals, soy milk, orange juice, and dairy products
- fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel
A 2015 study revealed that women who jumped 10 to 20 times twice each day with a rest of 30 seconds in between for four months achieved a stronger mineral density of the hip bone compared to those who did not.
A simple jump produces micro stresses in the bone, and when the body restores this particular bone, it becomes stronger.
5. Play Ball
Wondering how to increase bone density through sports? Play racquetball, golf, or tennis.
Experts consider these sports as weight-bearing activities that aid in stimulating the bone frame.
Bones get bigger and denser and bone shafts tend to get thicker and bigger as they adjust to the physical demands of the activities.
6. Eat Foods High in Magnesium and Phosphorus
Magnesium aids in calcium absorption and metabolism. Phosphorus helps in teeth formation and bone building.
Here are some examples of foods packed with magnesium:
- fatty fish (tuna, salmon, and mackerel)
- veggies (Brussels sprouts, asparagus, artichokes, green beans, cabbage, and peas)
- legumes (kidney beans, chickpeas, and black beans)
- nuts and seeds
- fruits (raspberries, bananas, avocados, and figs)
Foods high in phosphorus include the following:
- chicken and turkey
- organ meats
- seafood (sardines, clams, scallops, and crabs)
- dairy products
- sunflower and pumpkin seeds
- whole grains
- beans and lentils
7. Minimize Consuming Too Much Animal Protein
Too much animal protein in the body results in excess nitrogen byproducts. This, then, damages the kidneys, affecting calcium levels in bones in the long run.
The recommended daily protein intake is 0.8 g of protein per kilogram of body weight. This means that it should be 56 g daily for an average sedentary man and 46 g daily for an average sedentary woman.
Nitrogen Byproducts Definition: products of metabolized protein, specifically nitrogen, that are considered wastes by the body; examples include urea, creatinine, ammonia, and uric acid
8. Limit Salt Intake
Table salt (scientifically called sodium chloride) attracts calcium from the kidneys and the bones. Excessive amounts of salt in the blood can lead to bone demineralization, kidney stones, and high blood pressure.
Bone Demineralization Definition: Thinning of bones due to a deficient amount of calcium; e.g. osteoporosis.
9. Eat More Soy Foods
Soy contains isoflavones that have similar properties as estrogen, which is essential for bone health.
Estrogen primarily inhibits bone resorption, a process where osteoclasts release minerals from and break down tissues in the bones. This leads to calcium transfer from the bone tissue to the blood, resulting in calcium deficiency in the bones.
Osteoclasts Definition: Bone cells that break down tissues in the bone.
A study revealed that isoflavones, just like estrogen, promote osteoblast proliferation which aids in bone building.
Osteoblasts Definition: Bone cells that promote bone formation and help increase the size of growing bones.
Add the following soy foods to your diet to help increase your bone density:
- soy milk
- soy nuts
- sweet bean sauce
- soy yogurt
10. Consume More Veggies
A study showed that eating more green and yellow veggies is associated with an increase in bone mineralization in young adults. These veggies are great sources of vitamin C which aids in stimulating the production of cells responsible for the formation of bones.
Another study revealed that women over 50 years old who eat onions frequently had a lower risk of osteoporosis by about 20%.
11. Eat Foods High in Calcium
Calcium is an important mineral that keeps bones healthy and strong. Because the body naturally removes small amounts of this mineral from the bones and replaces it with new ones, it is essential to increase the daily intake of calcium.
The recommended daily intake for calcium is 1000 mg per day, but some people, like older adults, may need more as their bones become weaker because of aging.
You can spread your intake of calcium throughout each meal of the day.
The following foods contain high amounts of calcium:
- Milk and milk products – A cup of milk can give you 300 mg of calcium.
- Leafy green veggies – One cup of cooked spinach is equivalent to 100 mg of calcium.
- Sardines and salmon with bones – Half a cup of canned salmon has 402 mg of calcium.
- Nuts and seeds – 15 pieces of almonds contain 40 mg of calcium.
- Calcium-fortified foods – One cup of calcium-fortified breakfast cereals contains up to 200 mg of calcium.
- Whey protein – A 1-oz scoop of whey protein isolate has 200 mg of calcium.
- Tofu – 100 g of tofu contains 350 mg of calcium.
For more information on how to improve bone health, watch this video from Whats Up Dude:
Bone density changes based on diet, mechanical activities of the muscles and bones, lifestyle, hormones, and other internal and external factors. Practice living healthily early to lower your risk of developing clinical bone conditions later in life.
How do you keep your bones strong and healthy? Let’s exchange tips and practices in the comments section below.