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Eat your way to stronger bones

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Osteoporosis – bone weakening – threatens the health of about 44 million Americans. But research at the University of Surrey in England shows that, with the right foods, you can strengthen your bones at every meal.

The diet you need to follow is to simply eat more fruits and vegetables. These foods contain potassium salts (bicarbonate and citrate) that support bone health. Consuming these items keeps your bones from breaking down quickly and weakening. They also keep your body from eliminating the calcium you need in your bones.

“This means that excess acid is neutralized and bone mineral is preserved,” says researcher Helen Lambert. “Excess acid in the body, produced as a result of a typical Western diet high in animal and cereal protein, causes bones to weaken and fracture. Our study shows that these salts could prevent osteoporosis, as our results showed a decrease in bone resorption.”

Your body continually breaks down (resorbs) and reconstructs the bones that make up your skeleton. But even though these natural bone processes are necessary to let bones grow, heal and adapt to the body’s needs, when bones’ infrastructure thins faster than the tissue can be rebuilt, you can become more prone to fractures.

Globally, osteoporosis causes about 9 million broken bones a year. Experts estimate that half of all women over the age of 50 will eventually break a bone because of osteoporosis. About one in five men in that same age group will also suffer osteoporotic fractures.

The complications of osteoporosis send more women over the age of 45 to the hospital for more days than do diabetes, heart attacks or breast cancer.

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