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HEALTHY BONES

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HEALTHY BONES
As many as half of all women and one-fourth of all men will fracture a bone at some point
due to osteoporosis. Whether you are young and still building bone or older and trying to
preserve it, these simple steps can help keep your bones healthy and strong.
1. Make Healthy Food Choices
Your bones need a variety of nutrients, including calcium and vitamins, C, D and K.
Low-fat dairy products are well-known sources of calcium, and many are fortified with
vitamin D. You can also get calcium in nondairy foods, like salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines,
white beans and tofu. Fruits and vegetables are the best way to get these important
vitamins and minerals. You’ll get calcium and vitamin K from kale, collard greens, broccoli,
spinach and cabbage. Vitamin C is high in red and green bell peppers, strawberries, Brussels
sprouts, oranges and pineapples.
2. Quit Smoking
Smoking cigarettes is one of the worst things you can do for your health and your bones.
Several studies have shown that smokers have lower bone mass and a higher risk of
fractures than nonsmokers, and the risk increases with the number of years and cigarettes
one smokes, according to the National Institutes of Health. Compared with nonsmokers,
women who smoke often produce less estrogen and tend to experience menopause earlier,
which may lead to increased bone loss.
4. Moderate Alcohol and Soft drink Intake
If you drink alcohol, stick to no more than one drink a day, or up to seven a week for
women, and no more than two a day, or up to 10 a week for men. Consuming more than
two alcoholic drinks per day raises the risk of falls and bone loss.
Research has also linked heavy cola consumption with lower bone density. While the
mechanism has not been confirmed, experts say to substitute milk or calcium-fortified juice
for soft drinks when possible.
5. Exercise and Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
Being too heavy or too thin are risk factors for osteoporosis. Along with healthy eating,
exercise is a key part of osteoporosis prevention and treatment. Like muscles, bones
become stronger when they are active. Weight-bearing exercise strengthens bones by
making them produce more cells. The best exercises for building stronger bones include
brisk walking, dancing or aerobics, and muscle strengthening exercises. But always check
with your doctor before starting any new exercise program.
6. Spend Some Time in the Sun
Your skin makes vitamin D in response to sun exposure, and your body needs vitamin D to
absorb calcium and build healthy bones. Depending on where you live and your skin
pigmentation, you may get enough by spending as little as five to 30 minutes in the sunlight
a couple of times a week. Food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish such as salmon,
mackerel and tuna; egg yolks; cheese and fortified milk; as well as fortified juice and cereal
products.
HEALTHY BONES
List the six things that can help maintain healthy bones.
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What foods can we eat to build healthy bones?
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Why is it important to be in the sun every now and then?
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What is one thing that you could change in your life to keep your bones healthy?
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