Like any other tissue in the body, the bone is diet and lifestyle dependent. The bone is our calcium bank, the more you deposit and the fewer withdrawals you make while you are young, the more you save for later life. Remember the old adage, ‘Save for a rainy day’? Well that’s what women have to do. Eat calcium-rich foods and avoid the calcium leaching ones. Besides, calcium is a fussy mineral and better calcium absorption depends on a number of factors.
Check out the following tips to enhance your calcium reserve:
#1- Certain food fibers bind calcium and thwart its absorption. This doesn’t mean that high-fiber foods are bad for you. What it means is, avoid taking calcium supplements along with high-fiber foods. (like whole-wheat, bran cereal, spinach, fenugreek, etc.) Even stimulants like tea, coffee, alcohol, tobacco and minerals like zinc and antacids hinder calcium absorption. Try not to take your calcium supplements along with them.
#2- Take your calcium supplement in a divided dose rather than all at one time. In this way, your body will be able to absorb calcium better. Calcium citrate and calcium glycinate get more readily absorbed than any other supplement form you choose.
#3- Researchers say that the best option for calcium absorption is to take a major part of your supplement after dinner rather than in the morning. Probably the body performs a better job of storing calcium while at rest.
#4- Think twice before you pop an antacid. Antacids contain aluminum, a mineral that reduces the amount of calcium in the body. Also, remember that calcium is best absorbed in a slightly acidic environment in the stomach. While antacids may relieve you from heartburn they would hinder calcium absorption. Try and change your diet instead to avoid heartburn.
#5- Vitamin C supplements, around 500mg, are recommended to aid better absorption of this mineral.
#6- Foods rich in mineral boron also improve calcium absorption. Boron can be found in soyabean, raisins, almonds, peanuts, apples and pears. Besides, vitamin D and K, magnesium, phosphorus and silicon have to exist in a delicate balance along with calcium to aid its absorption.
#7- Keep on the move or fritter your precious calcium away. Physical inactivity pulls calcium out of your bones. If you are laid up in bed for too long or are immobilized in a cast or have a sedentary job, you are fast losing vast amounts of calcium, phosphorus and other minerals. Women who exercise regularly have better bone mass than women who don’t.
#8- Eat calcium rich foods like sesame seeds, cheese, milk, curd, tofu, soyabean, leafy vegetables, kelp (a sea weed), brewer’s yeast, whole pulses like rajma, channa, chowli, etc. and whole grains like wheat, jowar, bajra, millet and wheatgerm. Although some of you would want to take it in the natural form, it would be wise to consume foods rich in calcium as well as take a calcium supplement daily to ensure healthy bones. Consult your physician regarding the dosage for your specific requirement.
#9- Limiting excess sodium and avoiding junk foods is a good rule for prevention of almost any disease, and the same is true with osteoporosis. A recent study showed that women who ate mainly junk food had low bone mass versus women who followed a healthy diet had higher bone mass.
#10- Soda and other drinks with carbonation have high amounts of phosphorus, therefore it’s wise to reduce or eliminate your intake to help reduce your risks of osteoporosis.
The most effective treatment for osteoporosis is prevention. Knowing your risk factors and making the necessary lifestyle changes now will help to prevent osteoporosis in your future.
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.