November is Osteoporosis Awareness Month.
Before I was diagnosed with the disease at age 25, I believed Osteo was only an "older woman's" condition. However, bone loss can occur anytime in life (it's occasionally called "a paediatric disease with geriatric consequences"). One in three women and one in five men will suffer from an osteoporotic fracture during their lifetime - and in the case of hip fractures, 28% of women and 37% of men die within the following year.
Osteoporosis is often known as “the silent thief” because bone loss occurs without symptoms. The common risk factors are age (50+), sex (women), past vertebral compression fractures, a fragility fracture after age 40, parents with past hip fracture and glucocorticoid drugs. Many other medical conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s, colitis, celiac disease, hypogonadism, kidney or liver disease, diabetes, COPD, hyperthyroidism and neurological disorders can all be contributing factors.
However, good nutrition throughout your life - a varied diet of whole foods rich in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, vitamins C, D, K, and B complex, has shown to be an important key to preventing the destruction of bone. Here are just some sources of these vital micronutrients:
Calcium - Tofu, figs, sardines, sesame seeds, dairy products, dark leafy greens
Phosphorus - Scallops, sardines, tuna, soy products, pumpkin seeds, lentils
Magnesium - Pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds, spinach, quinoa, black, navy and soy beans
Potassium - Dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes, lima and soy beans, avocado
Vitamin C - Papaya, bell peppers, potatoes, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kiwi
Vitamin D - Oily fish (salmon, mackerel), mushrooms, fortified milk, eggs
Vitamin K - Dark leafy greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kiwi, parsley
B-Complex Vitamins - Meat, eggs, dairy, whole grains, mushrooms