Increase your bone strength with Calcium and Vitamin D
Osteoporosis is a condition that causes your bones to become thin and porous, which decreases their strength and increases your risk of a fracture. It is most prevalent among Canadians ages 50 and older. In fact, it is more common that heart attack, stroke, and cancer combined, affecting 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men during their lifetime!
Known as the “silent thief”, this bone degeneration usually occurs without symptoms or warning signs until they become fractured, most commonly in the wrist, spine, shoulder and hip.
What should you do to prevent osteoporosis? Healthy bones need nutrients – specifically calcium and vitamin D – to help improve your bone mineral density.
99% of the calcium you consume is stored in your bones and teeth. However, your body does not produce enough calcium required to maintain healthy bones and teeth, so it is important to ensure you consume the daily required amount. So how much calcium should you eat?
|Age Group||Average Daily Intake (milligrams/day)|
|1 to 9 years old||1200|
|10 to 18 years old||1300|
|19 to 30 years old||1100|
|31 to 50 years old||1000|
|51 and above||1200|
Now you know how much calcium you need, but what are the best sources for calcium? Dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese are well-known for their high source of calcium. But if you’re lactose intolerant, don’t worry – Green vegetables also provide a significant source of calcium, and they’re lower in fat and calories! Here is a list of calcium-rich foods recommended for your diet:
- White beans
- Salmon, perch, rainbow trout and sardines
Think of calcium and vitamin D as a dynamic duo – like Superman and Batman working together to help increase and maintain your bone strength!
Like calcium, vitamin D supports your muscles and protects your bones from injury. But it also compliments calcium by aiding its absorption. In fact, calcium is only useful to your body with the support of vitamin D.
Unlike calcium, your body produces vitamin D naturally via exposure to sunlight. However, during winter months when you’re exposed to less sunlight, your body can become deficient of vitamin D, which most commonly affects women and children, and results in the following complications:
- Bone Loss
- Decreased bone density and bone strength
- Greater likelihood of fracture
Additionally, children who are deficient of vitamin D are at risk of stunted growth. For all age groups, the daily recommended amount varies between 25 to 1000 micrograms per day.
As noted above, one of the best sources of vitamin D is sunlight. Exposure to sunlight for 5-30 minutes, preferably during earlier hours of the day when UV rays are less harmful, can replenish your body with the required amount.
Foods that are a high-source of vitamin D include:
- Fatty fish, such as tuna, mackerel and salmon
- Foods fortified with vitamin D, such as dairy products, orange juice, soy milk and cereals
- Beef liver
- Egg yolks