The human skeleton is a fascinating part of how our bodies work, as well as how we move and function. Babies are born with 300 bones that fuse and help to form the 206 bones we have as adults.
There are actually two types of bones in your body. The cortical bones are the hard materials that form the structure of your skeleton, and the trabecular bones are the softer, spongy material found in your skull, pelvis, and ribs.
Your bones are essential to how you move, protecting vital parts of your body, and are responsible for many basic functions in your body. So, conditions that damage your bones can lead to complications that affect your overall health.
Residents of the Beverly Hills, California, area looking for ways to improve bone health can find help from Dr. Shawn Veiseh and his dedicated medical team at Shawn Veiseh, M.D.
Protecting your bones over your lifetime can be accomplished in many ways, but there are several foods that can help keep them healthy and strong. Let’s explore the importance of bone health, what conditions can affect them, and what foods can help keep them strong and healthy.
The importance of bone health
Without a skeleton, your muscles, tissues and organs would have no way to maintain any real structure and cohesion, making basic movement impossible. Additionally, your heart and lungs are protected by your rib cage, and your brain, eyes, and other tissue is protected by your skull.
As the literal framework of your body, connecting musculoskeletal tissue to muscles, storing minerals like calcium and phosphorus, and many other vital functions, protecting bone health is essential to living.
Conditions that affect your bones
Here are some illnesses that affect your bones:
Arthritis is an inflammation of your joints that can lead to joint swelling, cartilage damage, and grinding bones. There are several types of arthritis, such as psoriatic, rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, gout, and lupus, and all of them can cause joint problems in different ways.
Osteoporosis and osteopetrosis are conditions where your bones are weakened, but for different reasons. Osteoporosis often happens as you age and lose the hormones that help maintain your bone mass, and osteopetrosis comes from bones becoming too dense, making them easier to break.
Osteonecrosis (avascular necrosis) happens when your bones don’t get enough blood, leading the tissue in your bones to collapse.
Several diseases affect bone mass and development. Type 1 diabetes can affect bone growth in children, celiac disease makes absorbing nutrients for bones more difficult, and hyperthyroidism leads to bones weakening.
Five foods that help strengthen bones
Two minerals important to bone health are calcium and vitamin D, and you can find them in food and drink like:
- Dairy products: milk, cheese, and yogurt are excellent sources of calcium needed for bone health
- Fish: sardines, salmon, and tuna provide your body with both calcium and vitamin D
- Egg yolks: egg yolks alone have nearly 22 milligrams of calcium and .009 milligrams of vitamin D
- Leafy vegetables: collard greens, bok choy, kale, and spinach are loaded with calcium
- Mushrooms: an excellent source of vitamin D and one of the best non-animal sources of the mineral
Other foods include sweet potatoes, fortified fruit juices, and tofu. Breakfast cereals are also good for calcium, but you have to look for the fortified label to enjoy the benefits.
Making an effort to stay active can go a long way to keep your bones healthy, and combined with a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D can help you avoid or stabilize some of the conditions listed above.
So if you’re looking to keep your bones healthy, make an appointment with Dr. Veiseh to get the help you need. Call our office or request an appointment online today.