As we grow older and older, our bones continue to lose mass and our risk for developing osteoporosis grows. In particular, menopausal women are at a high risk for developing weak and brittle bones.
The good news is that a healthy diet can help prevent this deterioration and even help reverse it. In particular, eating natural, organic greens can make a huge difference.
The Importance of Calcium
The reason that greens are so beneficial to bone health is because they are jam-packed full of much-needed calcium. This mineral is a vital component of maintaining strong and healthy bones, as well as impacting muscle movement, nerve impulses, and hormone release.
The average adult needs about 1,000 mg a day and, unfortunately, many people do not consume enough, which only exacerbates their risk of developing osteoporosis. Traditionally, people associate milk and other dairy products as the only sources of calcium—but this is simply not the case. Vegetables and other greens are an excellent (and much more nutritious!) source of calcium.
Brussels sprouts, kale, and broccoli are three greens that are not only an excellent source of calcium, but full of antioxidants and boast several other benefits to your health. Choosing green vegetables as your main source of calcium is the most effective diet deterrent to developing osteoporosis because it is compounded by other benefits like lower body weight and better overall health–both of which further lower your risk of weakened bones.
Additional Diet Changes
It’s not enough to add greens to your diet, however. It’s also important to cut down on your meat consumption and decrease your daily sodium intake. Both high levels of animal protein and sodium can lower your body’s calcium levels. Additionally, staying physically fit and active is a crucial part of maintaining bone health and preventing osteoporosis.
It is also beneficial to consider adding supplements to your diet. In particular, a vitamin D supplement is highly recommended since it is necessary to properly absorb calcium. The good news? If you are eating lots of healthy greens, you’re probably consuming a decent amount of vitamin D already.
First things first: if you think you are at risk for developing osteoporosis, I would recommend visiting your physician, who can assess your bone health by giving you a bone density test. It is always a good idea to know where you stand, so you have a good groundwork to build upon. If you are a postmenopausal woman, I highly recommend you receive a screening as soon as possible. If you are younger, still don’t completely dismiss the idea: we usually hit our peak bone mass in our early 20’s and start losing mass soon afterwards. It’s always good to be prepared.
After talking with your physician, regardless of your diagnosis, make these necessary changes to your diet (stock up on those organic vegetables and greens!) and adopt your lifestyle so you can either continue to prevent or help treat osteoporosis. An organic diet firmly based on green consumption can do wonders for your bone health and make sure that osteoporosis is not an inevitable part of growing older.
Carolyn Heintz is a nutrition consultant, proponent of health screenings, and mother who toes the line between coffee lover and coffee addict. She has dedicated her life to cultivating a comprehensive knowledge of how to eat, exercise, and live well.