3 Ways to Build Strong Bones
Bone health is a key concern for any menopausal woman, because the density of our bones starts to decrease significantly post-menopause which can increase the risk of osteoporosis.
Everyone always thinks of calcium when it comes to bone health and it’s true that it plays a very important part in keeping our bones strong. Eating plenty of calcium-rich foods such as dairy products, green vegetables, nuts and seeds will help to ensure you have plenty of calcium in your diet. But bone health is about more than just calcium and it needs to work in synergy with some really important other nutrients to be effective.
Here are 3 other nutrients that you also need to focus on for strong bones:
Not only does vitamin D help build our bones, but our body can’t actually absorb calcium correctly without optimum levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D is only found in food in very tiny amounts, and the best source is actually sunlight, as it is synthesised by the body through exposure to sunshine. It’s a fat soluble vitamin, which means the body can store it for a period of time if you’ve been in the sun regularly over the summer, but we can all be pretty low by January and February as our internal stores become depleted. Vitamin D deficiency is also a possible concern for anyone who avoids sun exposure for health or cultural reasons. Requesting a blood test from your GP is essential if you’re concerned about vitamin D levels in case you need a therapeutic dose, but a standard dose of 1000IU of vitamin D3 daily should keep most of us and our bones in great shape.
This really is the menopausal woman’s friend, because it helps to calm the nervous system and relieve anxiety; it boosts energy; it relieves insomnia and it supports our bone health as well. Magnesium is required to convert vitamin D in the body to the active form which enhances the absorption of calcium – you could say that it kick-starts the whole chain reaction. Good sources of magnesium include leafy green vegetables such as rocket, kale and broccoli, brown rice, nuts and seeds.
We tend to think of this as the blood clotting vitamin, because vitamin K supports the action of certain proteins involved in the clotting process. It also plays a key part in bone health, because it helps to manufacture osteocalcin, a protein which hardens the calcium during the formation of our bones, making them dense and strong. Kale, cabbage, spring greens, broccoli, asparagus, parsley and spinach are all great sources of vitamin K, which is another excellent reason to eat your greens!
If you thinking about using a supplement, then consider using a bone complex, which contains a carefully calculated dose that combines the different elements which support bone health. High doses of any single nutrient is never a good idea, because vitamins and minerals are designed to work in synergy, which is why eating plenty of the right foods is a sensible way of ensuring the correct balance.
If your’re concerned about bone health, you might benefit from a WellWellWell nutrition consultation. The right nutrition can be very supportive and may help to relieve a range of menopausal health issues. Contact me if you’d like to arrange a free 20-minute telephone assessment.