Taking good care of your bones is essential to good health.
Story: Dr. Victor Romano
Most people know when you look for a house, you want a place with “good bones.” In other words, if the structure of the home is in good shape, most people feel they can fix up the rest. If a home doesn’t have good bones, the rest doesn’t matter.
The same can be said of your body. If you don’t take care of your bones, the rest of your body will quickly fall into disrepair.
Taking care of your bones doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, but that doesn’t mean it should be overlooked, as I write in my book, “Finding the Source: Maximizing Your Results—With and Without Orthopaedic Surgery.” I recommend moderate exercise and eating the right food and drinks.
Vitamin D, for example, is important for the absorption of calcium and aids in improving muscle strength and balance. A deficiency of vitamin D can cause soft, thin, brittle bones. It’s also associated with depression, Parkinson’s disease, and seizures. Moderate weight training is always recommended to keep bones strong, even for senior citizens.
- Instead of taking calcium pills, the best way to get calcium into the body is with a healthy diet. Here are a few ways to add calcium to your diet to keep bones healthy:
- Start the day with calcium-fortified orange juice.
- Cook cereals with skim milk or almond milk (instead of water) or add two tablespoons of nonfat dry milk.
- Spread low-fat cream cheese on bread or toast instead of butter or margarine.
- Add low-fat cheeses to sandwiches, salads, and pizzas. Add sardines to salads or sandwiches.
- Include higher calcium greens, such as spinach, broccoli, and kale, in your salad.
- Enjoy low-fat or fat-free yogurt with berries for dessert.
- Make smoothies with frozen fruit, fortified orange juice, and low-fat or fat-free yogurt.
We know a poor diet can lead to a lot of health complications, but poor bone density usually is overlooked by many people who are trying to get healthy. Getting enough vitamin D and calcium is well worth the effort.
About the writer :
Dr. Victor Romano (romanomd.com) is an orthopaedic surgeon in Oak Park, Illinois. He is board-certified in orthopaedics and sports medicine with more than 25 years of experience in the field. He completed medical school at the University of Loyola at Chicago.