Eating to Protect Your Bones and Prevent Osteoporosis

Calcium and Bone Health

Calcium is a key nutrient for your body to stay strong and healthy. Almost every cell in the body uses calcium in some way, including the nervous system, muscles, and heart. It is an essential building block for lifelong bone health in both men and women, while not getting enough calcium in your diet can contribute to anxiety, depression, and sleep difficulties. Whatever your age or gender, everyone can benefit from eating calcium-rich foods, limiting those that deplete calcium, and getting enough magnesium and vitamins D and K to help calcium do its job.

Prevent Osteoporosis

Prevent Osteoporosis

Calcium for mental and physical health and strong bonesCalcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, one that plays many vital roles. Your body uses it to build healthy bones and teeth, keep them strong as you age, send messages through the nervous system, help your blood clot, your muscles contract, and regulate the heart’s rhythm, among other things.

If you don’t get enough calcium in your diet, your body will take calcium from your bones to ensure normal cell function, which can lead to weakened bones or osteoporosis. Calcium deficiency can also lead to, or exacerbate, mood problems such as irritability, anxiety, depression, and difficulty sleeping.

Despite these vital functions, many of us are confused about calcium and how to best protect our bones and overall health. How much calcium should you get? Where should you get it? And what’s the deal with vitamin D, magnesium, vitamin K and other nutrients that help calcium do its job?

This confusion means that many of us are not getting the recommended daily amount of calcium. Approximately one in two women (and about one in four men) over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis. But osteoporosis is not an inevitable part of getting older. Whatever your age, it’s important to take care of your bones and get the calcium you need.

How your body gets calcium

Your body gets the calcium it needs in one of two ways. The first and best way is through the foods you eat or the supplements you take. However, if you’re not consuming enough calcium, your body will get it in a different way, pulling it from your bones where it’s stored. That’s why diet is key.

Getting enough calcium in your diet is not just important for older people. It’s vital for children, teens, and young adults under the age of 30 to get enough calcium to build bone mass. Making smart choices now will help you avoid serious bone loss later in life. But no matter your age, you can take steps to protect your bones and put the brakes on osteoporosis.