How can you improve bone density? Following these five tips can help reduce your risk of breaks and fractures (because no one wants that).
1. Add some ’D’ to your diet.
We all know that calcium builds strong bones. But according to Dr. Mehmet Oz, “Studies have shown that the nutrient doesn't do the body much good without its sidekick, vitamin D; calcium needs D in order to be sufficiently absorbed from the digestive tract.”
Talk with your doctor about how much vitamin D is right for you. As for calcium, Dr. Oz recommends consuming 1,000 milligrams per day through food. (Low-fat dairy, kale, broccoli rabe and almonds are good sources.)
2. Jump to it.
The force from high impact activities like running and jumping “sends a signal to your bone-building cells that it's time to get to work,” says Dr. Oz.
In fact, a 2014 study in the American Journal of Health Promotion found that over a 16-week period, premenopausal women who twice daily jumped 10 times within 30 seconds of rest between each jump showed significant gains and bone density compared to those who didn't jump at all.
3. Avoid alcohol.
Consuming too much alcohol — 2 to 3 ounces every day — increases your risk of bone fractures.
“Alcohol has multiple effects on calcium,” says Dr. Primal Kaur, an osteoporosis specialist at Philadelphia's Temple University Health System. “The Bone's deteriorate because not enough calcium is getting into bones — and the body is leaching it away from bones.” And if you’re a smoker, you should kick the habit: Research suggests that tobacco use contributes to weak bones.
4. Be pro-protein.
Protein is one of the building blocks of bone, so it's important that your diet includes lean sources of protein, such as eggs, lentils, white meat poultry, lean beef and dairy.
5. Watch your weight.
Maintaining a healthy body weight is good for your bones. being too thin, for example, increases the chance of bone loss and fractures, while excess weight has been shown to lead to arm and wrist fractures.