Generally, ‘bone health’ refers to how healthy your bones are (that is, how strong are they and how susceptible are they to breaks). For most of us, by our mid-twenties we have reached a point known as 'peak bone mass' - this is the stage in our life where our bones are at their strongest.
Before we reach a stage of peak bone mass you should try and maximise your bone mass by exercising regularly (particularly weight bearing exercises such as jumping, jogging, dancing, resistance training etc) and ensuring your diet is adequare in vitamin D and calcium. At this point your bones are still actively growing and becoming stronger (denser).
Once peak bone mass is reached - your goal should be to maintain your bone mass as best you can. As we get older our bones start slowly losing calcium - so try and ensure you eat calcium containing foods daily and receive adequate vitamin D. Again, weight bearing exercises can also be beneficial in assisting to maintain bone density.
Poor ‘bone health’ - a diet low in calcium, vitamin D and physical activity increases your risk of developing bone diseases such as osteoporosis and osteopenia (essentially meaning soft and porous bones). This leaves bones more fragile and susceptible to breaks and fractures.
Dietary sources of calcium include (examples represent 1 serve of calcium):
- 250ml milk, calcium fortified soymilk or ricemilk
- 200g yoghurt
- 40g (2 slices) cheese
- 1/2 cup (85g) bok choy, kale, broccoli, chinese cabbage etc
- handful almonds, brazil nuts or hazelnuts
For more information regarding serves of calcium per day for your age/gender visit:
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