What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones that happens when you lose too much bone, make too little bone or both. As a result, your bones become weak and may break from a minor fall or, in serious cases, even from sneezing or bumping into furniture.
What can you do to protect your bones?
- Get enough calcium and vitamin D and eat a well-balanced diet.
- Engage in regular exercise.
- Eat foods that are good for bone health, such as fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid smoking and limit alcohol to 2-3 drinks per day.
What foods contain calcium and Vitamin D?
Calcium – Dairy products such as low-fat and non-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese, canned sardines and salmon, collard greens, turnip greens, kale, okra, and broccoli.
Vitamin D – Dairy products fortified with vitamin D, fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines, and other products fortified with vitamin D such as juices, cereals, and breads.
How much do you need?
Calcium – Women age 50 and younger and men age 70 and younger need 1,000 mg daily. Women age 50 and older and men age 70 and older need 1,200 mg daily. This is about as much as 3-4 cups of milk.
Vitamin D – Women and men under age 50 need 400 – 800 international units (IU) daily. This is about as much as 4 cups of orange juice that is fortified with vitamin D.
About the Author
Amy Bloom was a former Dietetic Student who worked with AgeWell Services.