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How to Prevent Bone Loss - Kitchen Arsenal Against Osteoporosis

Written by Rita Kennen

  

Your Kitchen Arsenal Against Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis can sneak up on you. There's no pain in the early stages of the disease. "Taking steps to maintain bone health are important throughout life to help prevent osteoporosis," says Molly Natchipolsky, spokesperson for the National Osteoporosis Foundation.
 
 
 
Nutrition for Slowing Aging
Past menopause, women should increase their calcium intake to 1,200-1,500 milligrams daily.
Drinking more than three cups of coffee a day increases your risk for osteoporosis by 82 percent.
If you use sunscreen regularly, don't stop. But beware that it may be keeping your skin from turning sunshine into Vitamin D, a nutrient essential to metabolizing calcium.
Good sources of vitamin D include egg yolks, butter, fortified milk and salmon.
Foods rich in soy contain phytoestrogens that lower your risk for osteoporosis.  
 
While no one step alone will prevent the disease, here's a combination which may: a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, weight-bearing exercises; a healthy lifestyle that does not include smoking or alcohol abuse; and when appropriate, bone-density testing and medication.
 
Diet and Vitamins
 
Calcium is important: Women who have not reached menopause need at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily. Once past menopause, increase your intake to 1,200-1,500 milligrams a day. When it comes to dairy products, low-fat yogurt is a good source of calcium. Canned salmon, broccoli and beans are a few others. Taking calcium supplements is another option.
 
Watch out for caffeine: Research studies indicate that people who drink more than three cups of coffee a day increase their risk of osteoporosis by 82 percent. Caffeine increases the amount of calcium that is excreted through urine.
 
Vitamin D: This is another important element for healthy bones. Your body gets its quota of vitamin D either through food or sunlight. When you're exposed to the ultraviolet rays of the sun, your body produces vitamin D. Although wearing sunscreen is great protection for your skin, it can contribute to vitamin D deficiency. Experiment with not wearing sunscreen for short periods, such as 5-10 minutes three times a week. Or, choose good food sources of vitamin D like cheese, egg yolk, fortified milk, oysters, salmon and fortified cereals.
 
Soy: Adding more soy products to your diet can lower your risk for osteoporosis. Soy foods rich contain phytoestrogens that contain similar characteristics to human estrogens. Phytoestrogens may protect against bone loss in a way similar to estrogen. Popular foods like hot dogs and hamburgers also come in a soy variety.

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