Tips to maintain strong bones - Prevent Osteoporosis

health and unhealthy bones

Your body is constantly breaking down old, worn-out bone and creating new bone. This natural balance is required to build strong, healthy bones. However, when the bone breaks down faster than it’s created, bone mineral density (BMD) declines, bones become weaker, and fracture risk increases. 

Symptoms associated with Osteoporosis

Receding gums
Your gums can recede if your jaw is losing bone. Ask your dentist to screen for bone loss in the jaw.

Weaker grip strength
In a studyTrusted Source of postmenopausal women and overall bone mineral density, researchers found that low handgrip strength was linked to low bone mineral density. In addition, lower grip strength can increase your risk for falls.

Weak and brittle fingernails
Nail strength can signal bone health. But you should also take into consideration outside factors such as swimming, gardening, and other exercises that may affect your nails.

Loss of height
Compression fractures in the spine can cause a loss of height. This is one of the most noticeable symptoms of osteoporosis.

Fracture from a fall
A fracture is one of the most common signs of fragile bones. Fractures can occur with a fall or a minor movement such as stepping off a curb. Some osteoporosis fractures can even be triggered by a strong sneeze or cough.

Back or neck pain
Osteoporosis can cause compression fractures of the spine. These fractures can be very painful because the collapsed vertebrae may pinch the nerves that radiate out from the spinal cord. The pain symptoms can range from minor tenderness to debilitating pain.

Causes of Osteoporosis

The main cause of osteoporosis is bone loss due to a drop in your body’s estrogen levels. Estrogen is a hormone that helps build and maintain your bones. The most common cause of estrogen loss in women is menopause.  Other causes include the following:

Bone loss occurs faster as you age, as your body doesn’t replace bone tissue as quickly.

Diet & Lifestyle Choices:
If you don’t get enough calcium or vitamin D, you have a higher risk of bone loss. Smoking and heavy drinking also contribute.

Medical Conditions:
Endocrine and hormonal diseases, gastrointestinal issues, certain cancers, anorexia, or HIV/AIDS can increase your osteoporosis risk.

How eating plants can help build strong bones?

Nutrient-packed fruits and vegetables, along with exercise, can help build and maintain strong bones. Exercise is one of the most effective ways to build bone density, or the measurement of the amount of minerals contained in a certain volume of bone. Exercise will also help decrease the risk of osteoporosis.

Here are five key nutrients to give your bones a boost and help them stay healthy and strong.

Calcium helps to build and protect bones. You want to aim for about 600 milligrams of calcium per day, which can easily be achieved on a plant-based diet.

Eating plants helps absorb calcium at a higher rate than if you got it from cow’s milk. Leafy green vegetables, like cooked broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, and collard greens are excellent sources and offer high absorption rates.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. Vitamin D comes from the sun, and about 15 minutes a day of direct sunlight on skin should give you enough vitamin D. However, having darker skin, living in the north, and even the winter season can all make it hard to get enough vitamin D from the sun alone. Fortified cereals, grains, bread, and soy or almond milk exist as options for providing vitamin D through diet, and vegan supplements are available and equally as beneficial.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C is essential for making collagen, the protein that binds connective tissue in bones. Citrus fruits, tomatoes, peppers and other fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of vitamin C.

Vitamin K
Vitamin K is thought to stimulate bone formation. You can find Vitamin K in the same foods that have an abundance of calcium, like dark leafy greens, beans, and soy products.

Potassium decreases the loss of calcium and increases the rate of bone building. Oranges, bananas, potatoes, and many other fruits, vegetables, and beans are all rich sources of potassium.





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