and I were talking about our families and how our parents
fared in their later years.
mom was doing great," my friend said. "Then she fell
and broke her hipÖ."
to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), one in two
women and up to one in four men over the age of 50 will break
a bone due to osteoporosis in their lifetime.
history ó the health of our parents or siblings ó is one
risk factor we canít change. But some things we can do to
help free us from fractures: Exercise regularly, eat
bone-nurturing nutrients and donít smoke.
nutrients strengthen bones? Calcium is number one. In fact, 99
percent of all the calcium in our body resides in bone.
Calcium and its buddy phosphorous combine to give strength and
hardness to our frame. But these nutrients donít just appear
out of the sky; we have to put them into our bodies. Food
sources of calcium include milk, yogurt, cheese and
calcium-fortified foods. Calcium is also found in leafy green
vegetables, broccoli and even oranges. Phosphorous is found in
meat, fish, dairy foods and beans.
strong tree that bends in the wind, bones need to be flexible
as well as strong. A protein called collagen provides much of
the flexibility to our skeletons. Foods that provide the
building blocks for collagen include meat, fish, dairy,
vegetables, nuts, beans ó pretty much anything but fruit.
course, the darling nutrient that calcium relies on for
absorption into the body is vitamin D. When vitamin D is low,
bones suffer. Another interesting note: Adequate vitamin D in
the body may actually help prevent the falls that often cause
else can we do to stay strong and upright in our later years?
A recent study found that women who were regular tea drinkers
had higher bone mineral densities in general than women who
did not drink tea. Why? It may be partly due to substances in
tea called flavonoids that may slow the natural deterioration
of bones as we age.
doesnít mean we need to gulp gallons of sweet tea, however.
According to the NOF, bone-friendly flavonoids reside in all
types of fruits and vegetables. Plant-based foods also contain
substances that reduce inflammation and guard our bones from
bones are like bank accounts. Life is easier when deposits are
greater than withdrawals.