Build Strong Bones
“ Look at the animals with the largest bones — cows, elephants. What do they eat? Leafy plants.”
The biggest component of a bone-healthy diet is leafy greens, both cooked and raw, according to Colbin. “Greens give you not only calcium, but vitamin K, potassium, and other minerals and nutrients you need to lay down bone. My first three recommendations are vegetables, vegetables, vegetables,” she says with a laugh.
Vitamin D is also important for strong bones and a good source is the sun. Colbin recommends being out 20 minutes a day with no sunblock, but others would dispute the wisdom of ever going out without sunblock and recommend instead, a multivitamin or vitamin D supplement.
“Bones last longer if you stress them more. Exercising — putting the weight of your body or an outside weight on the bone — makes it lay down more bone material to strengthen it. Use it or lose it! Any exercise is better than none.”
“Ideally, several times a week — and you need aerobic, weight bearing, and resistance. But be careful — heavy weights or too vigorous exercise in women with osteoporosis might trigger a fracture. Basically”, she says, “walk a lot and carry stuff.”
It works. A study done at the University of Toronto shows that aerobic exercise, such as walking, jogging, or dance, improved the amount of calcium in the upper body and upper thighs, two areas at risk for fractures.