Eat like a gorilla to have strong bones.
The Gorilla is one of the strongest animals on the planet, and it can be six times stronger than an average human. Yet they are primarily vegetarians, eating almost 18 kg of plants every day. We will not advise you to try to do that, especially since the gorilla's diet consists of some ants, termites and snails, which may not be very palatable. Still, we will recommend eating dark green leafy vegetables if you want to have strong bones and enjoy a happy, active life for longer.
One of the main concerns for older adults is osteoporosis which weakens bones and makes them more prone to fractures in falls. The hip is a common site for osteoporosis, and hip fractures tend to lead to severe problems or even loss of independence.
Bone mineral density changes throughout life, reaching its peak at around thirty years of age. However, for women, in the first few years after menopause, bone density drops dramatically. Although it decreases more slowly after that, it makes women more prone to osteoporosis and brittle bones. That is due to hormonal changes that occur during menopause.
A lot can be done to improve bone density, such as regular weight-bearing or resistance exercise, getting enough vitamin D and calcium. Calcium is essential for our body, and changes of its level in our system can lead to severe problems. It helps in keeping bones strong, regulating the function of the heart, muscle contracting, and nerve signalling and secretion of certain hormones. On average, women age 50 or over need 1,2000 mg of calcium a day.
Various food products contain this precious mineral, and despite the common opinion that milk contains the most calcium, it is, in fact, green vegetables that are richer in it. Kale has around 250 mg of calcium per 100g, while milk had only 110mg, which is still high. Other calcium-rich greens include collard greens, beet greens, pak choi, okra, broccoli, parsley, Brussel sprouts, green beans and many more.
The process of bones remodelling is relatively slow, and our skeleton regenerates itself about every ten years. Therefore, to help with bone density post-menopause, it is essential to start thinking of things like incorporating weight-bearing exercise, calcium-rich foods and vitamin D in daily life rather sooner than later.
To prevent falls is also vital to work on balance and coordination, and chiropractic care serves as a great tool to help with these. If you are concerned about your or your loved ones' balance and coordination that could lead to increased risk of falls and fractures, then why not book a consultation with one of our outstanding clinicians.