To achieve and maintain adequate bone health, it is necessary to promote bone formation in the youngest and then reduce the loss of bone mass in adulthood and old age.
Osteoporosis is the main risk factor for suffering fragility fractures, and its current prevalence is very high due to life expectancy and the aging of the population. Osteoporosis causes pain, functional limitation, and alterations in the quality of life of those who suffer from it. For all this, it is an important public health problem. Therefore its prevention is very necessary.
What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a disease that affects the entire skeleton characterized by low bone mass and a deterioration of the microarchitecture of bone tissue, which causes increased fragility and greater sensitivity to fractures. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), osteoporosis is below -2.5 standard deviations.
Main nutrients involved in bone formation
The main nutrients that help prevent osteoporosis are calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D since they actively participate in bone formation.
Provided through food, it is essential to achieve adequate bone mineralization and maintain its quality and quantity. In addition, it participates in multiple very important cellular biological functions: if the extracellular concentration decreases, the calcium stored in the bone is transferred to maintain these levels, at the cost of the deterioration of bone mass, which is why the consumption of calcium is so important, reaching a contribution of 1000-1200 mg daily.
It is essential for the absorption and metabolism of calcium. If there is not enough vitamin D, there is a high risk of osteoporosis. If intestinal absorption of calcium is decreased, calcium is again “stolen” from the bone through activation of hormonal mechanisms. This results in a more fragile bone and more susceptibility to fractures. Vitamin D not only participates in calcium homeostasis but also influences muscle tone and contraction, whereby a vitamin D deficiency produces muscle weakness that increases the risk of falls, further increasing the risk of fractures.
The body obtains 90% of vitamin D through exposure to the sun and the remaining 10% from the diet. For the cutaneous synthesis of vitamin D to be effective, a sufficient quantity of type B UV photons must reach the epidermis.
In our country, during the winter months, it is unlikely that the body synthesizes vitamin D. Other factors limit skin synthesis, such as skin aging or sunbathing with protective creams. Even with a healthy diet, it isn’t easy to achieve a vitamin D intake of more than 200 IU (5 µg) each day, far from the 800 IU (20 µg) per day currently recommended.
Like calcium, provided through food, it is essential to achieve adequate bone mineralization and maintain its quality and quantity. It is abundant in the diet, and its intestinal absorption is usually not limited, so it is rarely a nutritional problem.
Also Read: What Is The NutriScore?
What foods help prevent osteoporosis?
The main foods that help prevent osteoporosis are those that provide the nutrients that participate in its formation and maintenance:
Foods rich in calcium
- Dairy products are the foods with the best calcium content and absorption ratio: natural yogurt, cow’s milk, goat’s, sheep’s milk, cheeses… due to their high calcium content.
- Legumes: beans and white beans or pint, chickpeas.
- Whole grains: rice, pasta.
- Nuts and seeds: hazelnut, almond, Brazil nuts, sesame seeds, chia.
- Vegetables: cruciferous family such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, turnip greens.
- Small fish that is usually eaten with thorn: sardines, anchovies, anchovies.
- Calcium-enriched vegetable products: vegetable drinks such as oatmeal or soy, breakfast cereals.
Foods rich in vitamin D:
- Bluefish: tuna, sardine, mackerel, salmon.
- Nuts: hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, peanuts.
- Dairy: natural yogurt, cow’s milk, goat’s milk, sheep’s milk, cheeses.
- Enriched plant foods: plant drinks such as oatmeal or soy, breakfast cereals.
Watch foods rich in phosphorus:
Calcium/phosphorus intake should have a 1: 1 ratio. It is very rare not to ingest enough phosphorus through the diet, but calcium deficiency is possible. Phosphorus is present in significant amounts in many foods, such as prepared sauces or common cola drinks, so it should not be consumed regularly.
Foods rich in vitamin K:
Vitamin K is also involved in bone health. Above all, it can be decreased in older people, so attention should be paid. Foods rich in vitamin K are:
- Green leafy vegetables: spinach, chard, lettuce (leafy greens), turnip leaf (turnip greens).
- Asparagus, cabbage, or cabbage.
To stop osteoporosis, it is necessary to adopt healthy lifestyle habits, including a varied and balanced diet that ensures the supply of essential nutrients for bone health and the prevention of osteoporosis, especially calcium and vitamin D, such as yogurts. And milk.
The practice of physical exercise adapted to age should be a regular habit to maintain an adequate weight and preserve bone mass, strengthen the muscles, and improve balance, which helps reduce falls and, therefore, fractures. Not forgetting to do an outdoor activity to achieve the formation of vitamin D through the sun’s UV radiation on the skin.
What you should know…
- To achieve and maintain adequate bone health, it is necessary to promote bone formation in the youngest and then reduce the loss of bone mass in adulthood and old age.
- The main nutrients that help prevent osteoporosis are calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D since they actively participate in bone formation.
- Not forgetting to do an outdoor activity to achieve the formation of vitamin D through the sun’s UV radiation on the skin.