How to Keep Your Bones and Joints Healthy

Keeping your bones and joints healthy becomes more important as we age. Serious conditions such as osteoporosis and arthritis can make it hard to move around and may lead to even more medical issues. There are simple things that you can do to reduce your likelihood of developing these conditions or at least prevent them from becoming worse. Simple lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, getting more calcium, and incorporating weight bearing exercises can help to protect your bones and joints.

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1
Incorporate more calcium rich foods into your diet. Getting enough calcium is essential to keep your bones healthy and strong. The best way to make sure that you are getting enough calcium is to eat a diet that includes lots of calcium rich foods. Calcium rich foods include:

  • Low-fat dairy products, such as low-fat yogurt or milk.
  • Green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, bok choy, kale, and turnip greens.
  • Foods fortified with calcium, such as orange juice, cereal, bread, soy beverages, and tofu products.

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2
Eat foods that contain Vitamin D. Not many foods contain Vitamin D, so it is easy to become deficient. The primary way that we get vitamin D is from the sun, but if you live in a place that does not get much sun, you will have to find ways to get it from the foods you eat. Foods that contain vitamin D include:[2]

  • Fatty fish, such as tuna and sardines.
  • Egg yolks
  • Cheese
  • Fortified milk, yogurt, or soy products
  • Beef liver

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3
Get enough Vitamin C. Vitamin C is necessary to help repair tissues, including the cartilage in your joints. Make sure that your diet includes plenty of vitamin C rich foods to ensure that you are getting your daily allowance, but do not exceed 2,000 milligrams per day. Foods that are rich in vitamin C include:[3]

  • Citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruit, and lemons
  • Watermelon
  • Berries, such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and cranberries
  • Tropical fruits, such as pineapple, papaya, kiwi, and mango
  • Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts
  • Leafy greens such as kale, cabbage, and spinach
  • Sweet potatoes and regular potatoes
  • Winter squash
  • Tomatoes

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4
Boost bone density with Vitamin K. Some studies have suggested that vitamin K may help to promote bone density.[4] Other studies have shown that vitamin K does not help promote bone density, but it may help prevent bone fractures and cancers.[5]Consider adding a vitamin K supplement or more vitamin K rich foods to your diet. Foods that are rich in vitamin K include:[6]

  • Leafy greens
  • Meat
  • Cheese
  • Eggs

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5
Reduce your sodium intake and increase your potassium intake. A diet that is high in salt may cause you to lose bone density. To eliminate this factor, follow a low-sodium diet and increase your intake of potassium rich foods to help offset the salt you do consume. Look for low-sodium options for your favorite foods and avoid adding salt to the foods you eat.[7] Add potassium rich foods to help offset your sodium intake. Most fruits and vegetables are high in potassium. Some common potassium rich foods include:

  • Bananas
  • Baked potatoes
  • Orange juice
  • Winter squash
  • Broccoli
  • Yogurt
  • White beans
  • Cantaloupe
  • Halibut
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Lentils[8]

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6
Consume less caffeine. The occasional cup of coffee is not bad for you, but drinking too much caffeine can cause your bones to lose calcium. Keep your caffeine intake under 300 milligrams per day to help prevent these losses. Keep in mind that caffeine can be found in many different beverages, such as coffee, tea, cola, energy drinks, and hot chocolate.[9]

  • Try switching to half-decaffeinated coffee or switch to drinks that are naturally caffeine free, such as herbal tea, water, and juice.

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  1. 7
    Moderate alcohol consumption. People who drink a lot of alcohol are more likely to have broken bones and brittle bones. Drinking not only interferes with your body’s ability to absorb vitamins and minerals, it also results in an increase in hormones that deplete bone density. To avoid these side effects, drink only in moderation or get help to quit drinking if you have problems moderating your consumption.[10]

    • Talk to your doctor if you think that you may have a problem with alcohol addiction. You may need help to get your drinking under control.
  2. 8
    Try glucosamine supplements. Glucosamine is a chemical compound which occurs naturally in your body and supports the cartilage in your joints. It is not found in any foods, so to increase your glucosamine, you must take supplements.[11]

    • Try taking 500 milligrams three times a day.

     

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