Bone mineral density is extremely important because it is what keeps your bones healthy. Low bone density is linked to osteoporosis. An active and healthy lifestyle is a great way to support bone density and keep your bones strong. Here are 5 simple lifestyle changes you can start today to increase your bone density naturally.

1. Consume a healthy diet 

Eat lots of vegetables, specifically green and yellow ones. If you have children, encourage them to eat vegetables too. Vegetables help increase bone mineralization in children and maintain bone mass in adolescents (1). 

Eat protein rich foods. Bones are made up of 50% protein (2). A diet high in protein can help maintain boss mass during weight loss. Low protein can decrease calcium absorption which is an important mineral for bone health (3).

2. Exercise 

Strive for an active lifestyle. Weight training can help promote new bone growth and maintain existing bone mass (4). There are countless benefits to maintaining a healthy weight and bone density is no exception. Maintaining a healthy weight can help keep your bones strong. 

3. Vitamins

Make sure you are consuming enough calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K. Calcium is the main mineral in your bones. It has to be consumed daily to maintain a consistent level. You can get calcium through foods such as milk, yogurt, cheese, dark leafy vegetables and some fish. If you don’t eat enough of these foods, check with your doctor to see if a calcium supplement is right for you. 

Similarly, vitamin K supports bone health and can be found in most vegetables, especially green, leafy ones.

Vitamin D deficiency is common. You can absorb vitamin D from just 15 minutes in the sun, take a supplement or eat foods such as salmon and egg yolks.

4. Get enough sleep

Getting less than 5 hours of sleep can impact your bone health by lowering bone mineral density (5). Aim to get at least 6-7+ hours of sleep per night for optimal bone health. 

5. Reduce or eliminate unhealthy habits 

Cut back on caffeine and alcohol consumption but there’s no need to eliminate them entirely. Too much caffeine or alcohol can prevent proper calcium absorption. Aiim to stay under two cups of coffee and alcohol per day. 

Quit smoking. Similar to caffeine and alcohol, smoking reduces calcium absorption and decreases bone mass. 

These five simple lifestyle changes can help you increase your bone density and support healthy bones for many years to come. 

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Articles Referenced
1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15375600/
2. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/87/5/1567S/4650438 
3. https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/133/3/855S/4688028 
4. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/strength-training-builds-more-than-muscles 
5. http://www.buffalo.edu/ubnow/stories/2019/11/ochs-balcom-sleep-bmd.html#:~:text=UB-led%20research%20finds%20an,and%20low%20bone%20mineral%20density 

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