You’d think it would be fairly common sense not to build a skyscraper around a frame of pine I-beams instead of steel, yet so many people don’t apply that same common sense to the structural stability of their body, of their own frame. And without a strong structure, other components of the building are likely to fail. The benefits of bone health extend to the overall health of your body.
Bones give our bodies support, allowing us to be more than amorphous blobs of flesh. Not only do they simply support the body, bones also offer protection for our vital organs: the ribcage houses our lungs and heart; our skull houses our brain; and the vertebrae protect the most important part of our bodies, our spinal cord and central nervous system. Without bones these precious parts of our anatomy would be exposed to all kinds of damage and risk. Movement is another obvious function of our skeletal system, working in tandem with our muscular system; every movement we make, whether running, playing sports or even typing requires the interplay of bone and muscle.
What might be less commonly known about bones is that they are also one of the major producers of blood cells in our body. The marrow inside our bones is responsible for producing red and white blood cells, as well as adipocytes and fibroblasts, used for fat cells and connective tissues, respectfully. As blood cells are an integral part of every bodily transaction, bones become especially important. Bones also help regulate the calcium levels in your body, which is important for blood cells as proper calcium regulation is required in order for proper nerve and muscle function.
Now that we know why bones are so important in our body, let’s look at some ways in which we can keep maximize your bone health and keep them strong and healthy.
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that makes bones porous and therefore more susceptible to breaks, a common ailment as we age. Luckily, this can be prevented with good nutrition. One of the best things you can do for your bones is to make sure that you’re getting enough calcium in your diet (the recommended daily dosage is 1000 mg) and to stay active. Foods rich in calcium include yogurt, milk, tofu, cheese, spinach and collard greens; supplements also work great. Getting exercise will trigger your body to keep releasing growth hormones, which will help repair any damage and help generate bone growth, which will become especially helpful as you age and your bones start to lose mass in your mid-thirties. You can also supplement your diet with additional vitamins like vitamin K1 and K2. K1 is found in many common leafy vegetables like kale, broccoli, spinach and cabbage and helps with blood clotting and bone metabolism. K2, or menaquinones, is found in meat and cheese and stays in the body for much longer than K1.
Taking care of your bones doesn’t have to be hard work. In order to make sure that your bones will be healthy throughout your life, simply make sure you’re getting enough calcium in your diet and that you’re getting in some good exercise.
About the author: Steven Madison writes about health related topics for Anatomy Now on their website. Steven enjoys his down time from writing keeping up with the latest health trends online.