After age 35, when our skeletons gradually lose density and can slowly weaken with time, many American women will be put at risk for osteopenia, the thinning of bone density to an unhealthy level. Experts estimate that 34 million Americans suffer from this condition, the vast majority of them women. Do you know your risk? It’s not surprising that smoking and alcohol abuse can devastate bone density as you age. If you are currently a smoker, quit – it’s the single most important thing you can do for your health. Follow Dr. Oz’s Kick the Habit plan.
Follow the simple steps of this bone-boosting plan to keep your precious bones from breaking down. Remember, as aging affects bone strength, falling becomes one of the greatest risks for fracture. Keep physically active and engage in activities that improve your balance, like yoga. Click here for Dr. Oz’s beginner yoga routine.
Bone-Boosters for Your 30s
Thirty is the new 20. Keep your young bones younger by providing them with calcium to help build new bone and vitamin D, which helps absorb the calcium.
Foods rich in calcium include skim milk, plain yogurt, cheese, dried figs and sardines.
Foods rich in vitamin D include oily fish such as tuna and mackerel. If you don’t care for fish, try cod liver oil, a supplement that can be taken in pill form.
Take 1000 mg of calcium per day (two 500 mg doses for better absorption) and 400 IU a day of vitamin D.
Bone-Boosters for Your 40s
Keep the bone-boosting regimen explained for your 30s, but add a few additional foods and supplements:
Healthy fats like olive oil, almond nut butter and avocado, to absorb calcium and transport vitamin D.
Vitamin K2 found in egg yolk; kefir, a cultured, fermented milk product; and fermented cheese, like cottage cheese, helps to prevent excess bone loss and increases bone density in people with osteoporosis.
Iron is also essential for bone formation. Add 18 mg a day to your daily supplements dose.
Bone-Boosters for Your 50s
The majority of women in this age group don’t get enough protein. Adding increased amounts of protein to your diet helps with bone growth and helps reduce hip fracture risk. Examples of healthy protein are legumes and eggs, or try soy protein found in soy milk, edamame and tofu.
This decade brings about one of the biggest physical changes for women: menopause. As one approaches menopause, their vitamin needs change drastically:
Calcium increases to 1200-1500 mgs a day.
Iron decreases to 8 mg per day if you are a woman who is still menstruating in her 50s. After menstruation ceases, eliminate iron supplements from your bone-boosting plan.
Vitamin D needs remain the same.