PROPER NUTRITION FOR OSTEOPOROSIS
If people still have strong bones at an older age, it often has something to do with their eating habits. A healthy diet rich in vitamins is particularly important for people with osteoporosis.
In concrete terms, this means that you can offer your body what it needs to build and maintain strong bones with a conscious choice of foods. Calcium and vitamin D play a special role in this.
CALCIUM AS AN IMPORTANT PART OF A BONE-HEALTHY DIET FOR OSTEOPOROSIS
Bone is the only calcium reservoir in the body. If a deficit occurs elsewhere – for example, due to a calcium-deficient diet – calcium is removed from the bone, and it loses stability.
The daily calcium requirement is therefore specified as 1,000 mg. Calcium intake should not exceed 2,000 mg per day. It can be met, for example, by consuming calcium-rich mineral waters and foods. 1,000 mg of calcium is equivalent to about 4 glasses of milk.
However, this alone is not enough.
Principles for a healthy diet
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VITAMIN D FOR OSTEOPOROSIS
This is because your body can only absorb and utilize the calcium it is supplied with if it also has sufficient vitamin D. This is produced by the body itself in the skin – provided that you are regularly exposed to sunlight. This in turn is produced by the organism itself in the skin – provided that you regularly expose yourself to sunlight, or more precisely to the UVB component of sunlight.
The daily requirement of the vitamin for osteoporosis patients is given as 800 to 1,000 international units (IU).1 In the months of April to September, a stay of at least 30 minutes in the sun with a free face and free arms is often enough to achieve this amount.
In the winter months, on the other hand, UV radiation is too low, so you need additional vitamin D-rich foods. Many doctors also advise covering your vitamin D needs with tablets during this time of year.
Avoid calcium predators
Conversely, you can also damage bone substance with unsuitable foods and stimulants.2 Alcohol and nicotine in particular leave their mark. In addition, foods containing phosphate and oxalate are blamed as calcium robbers. These include cola drinks, processed cheese, canned foods and sausages, and rhubarb, cocoa and beet, respectively. Finally, caffeinated beverages are also suspected of depleting calcium from the bone.
As is so often the case, it is not a question of total renunciation. But moderate consumption is advisable.
Also important: folic acid
A folic acid deficiency also increases the risk of developing osteoporosis. A targeted diet can cover the daily requirement of 300 µg (contained, for example, in 200 g of lamb’s lettuce).3 The vitamin is found primarily in spinach, kale, endive, cucumbers, tomatoes, asparagus, citrus fruits, legumes, whole grains, meat and offal, and yeast.