Love Your Bones

Osteoporosis occurs when bones become thin and fragile. The result is that they break easily, even following a minor bump or fall from standing height. Worldwide one in three women and one in five men over the age of 50 will suffer a fragility fracture (broken bone) due to osteoporosis. Although fractures can occur in any part of the body, they most commonly affect the wrists, spine and hips

Fractures due to osteoporosis are a major cause of pain, long-term disability and loss of independence among older adults, and can even result in premature death

Risk Factors

  • Getting older
  • Having a family history of osteoporosis
  • Low body weight
  • Lack of exercise
  • Lack of calcium and vitamin D
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Use of certain medications that affect bone strength like oral prednisolone

The goal of a bone-healthy diet is to help

  • Children & Adolescents build maximum peak bone mass
  • Adults maintain healthy bones & avoid premature bone loss
  • Seniors sustain mobility and independence

Key bone-healthy nutrients

Easy ways to boost your calcium intake
  • Consume dairy products as they are calcium rich;
    • Add low-fat cheeses to your meals
    • Try calcium-set soy, which can be used as a substitute for meats
    • Drink milk or calcium-enriched substitutes – and add to your coffees and tea
    • Eat yoghurt regularly as a nutritious breakfast or snack
  • Add wholegrains or seeds like quinoa and chia to your meals
  • Snack on nuts or dried fruit
  • Drink calcium-rich mineral water (check the labels)
  • Choose vegetables that are especially calcium rich (such as cress, broccoli, okra) Add chickpeas, lentils and white beans to your meals
Vitamin D plays two key roles in the development and maintenance of healthy bones. It assists calcium absorption from food in the intestine and ensures correct renewal and mineralization of bone. Sunlight is a major source of Vitamin D.

Maintaining healthy bones

As an adult
  • Ensure bone-healthy nutrition, with sufficient calcium, protein, vitamin D and important micronutrients
  • Engage in weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercise
  • Avoid negative lifestyle factors such as smoking and excessive alcohol use
As a kid
  • Snack on cheese, yoghurt, nuts and dried fruit
  • Drink milk-based beverages, fruit smoothies and mineral waters
  • Eat balanced meals that contain calcium and protein, as well as fruits and vegetables
  • Move & spend time outdoors on physical activities that involve running and jumping

Exercise and lifestyle matter

Nutrition and physical activity work hand in hand to enhance bone development in people of all ages, and at no stage in life is this more important than in youth.

BMD Tests

Osteoporosis and the risk of developing the same can be detected by Bone Mineral Density (BMD) tests. BMD test uses X-rays to measure the amount of minerals (calcium) in the bones.


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