Bone is a living tissue, constantly being absorbed and replaced in the body. But as you age, the bone mass and density typically decrease. In some of the cases, it can lead to weaker and brittle bones— condition known as osteoporosis. More than 40 million people suffer from either osteoporosis or low bone mass.
Osteoporosis is a progressive disease which means that as people grow older, the process of replacing the existing bone with new bone slows down. You start losing bone density either due to loss of too much bone, making too little bone or both.
Osteoporosis can affect both men and women. However, it is more common in women after the menopause due to the reduction of estrogen levels in the body.
Other common risk factors include
- Poor nutrition
- Low body weight
- Physical inactivity
- Family history
- Certain medications
- A small-boned frame
- Overactive thyroid
- Inadequate calcium intake
Other nutrient deficiencies that have a role in the bone formation such as magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, boron and vitamins D and K can also lead to osteoporosis.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation calls osteoporosis a “silent disease” because no symptoms of bone loss are visible in the early stages.
However, the main consequence of it is the increased risk of bone fractures. The bones become so light that even a slight fall can cause a fracture, which commonly happens in the wrists, hips or spine. In the later stages, there may be an appearance of some signs and symptoms like back pain, a stooped posture, and loss of height over time and limited mobility.
If you are diagnosed with osteoporosis, you must follow a strict diet and also maintain a healthy lifestyle to ward off or slow the progression of this disease. Also, you can try some simple home remedies at home to keep your bones healthy and strong.
Simple and Effective Natural Remedies for Osteoporosis
Prunes (dried plums) are good for bones as they have a high concentration of polyphenols and antioxidants that help reduce bone loss. Eating prunes regularly prevent fractures and osteoporosis. Moreover, prunes are a good source of boron and copper, two trace minerals which are important in bone formation. It is advised that people of all ages must eat 2 to 3 dried plums daily, gradually increasing the amount to 6 to 10 per day to prevent the condition of osteoporosis.
Apples possess a unique combination of antioxidants like polyphenols and flavonoids that makes it a bone-healthy powerhouse. A flavanoid called phloridzin present in apples helps to protect postmenopausal women from osteoporosis by improving the inflammation markers and by increasing bone density. Furthermore, apples are rich in boron (a trace mineral) that helps the body hold on to calcium. Eat apples along with the skin to enjoy their bone benefits.
3. Coconut oil
Studies reveal that supplementing your diet with virgin coconut oil can help in reversing the effects of estrogen deficiency including loss of bone density.
Coconut oil has antioxidant compounds that have the potential to maintain bone structure and also prevents bone loss due to hormonal changes. Also, this oil helps the body in absorbing calcium and magnesium, two essential nutrients required for the development and maintenance of strong bones. Consuming 3 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil daily can help prevent osteoporosis and 5 tablespoons of this oil daily can help reverse it. You can also use virgin coconut oil for cooking.
Alternatively, you can externally apply the oil over your entire body, massaging in a circular motion for a few minutes. Then take a hot bath. If followed regularly, this simple home remedy will have a positive effect on your bone health.
4. Almond milk
Almond milk is a good remedy for osteoporosis as it contains a good amount of calcium. Also, the flavonoids present in almond milk helps in reducing the number of free radicals in the body, which in turn helps to protect against osteoporosis. Moreover, it contains manganese, magnesium, and potassium, which are essential for maintaining healthy and strong bones.
- Soak 1 cup of almonds in water overnight. The next morning, remove the peels of these almonds and blend them with 2 ½ cups of water. When you get a smooth puree, add a pinch of cinnamon powder and honey according to your taste and blend again. Strain this solution using a cheesecloth and strainer. Drink this almond milk daily.
- Else, soak ten almonds in water overnight and then peel them off. Blend them with 1 cup of warm milk (try to opt for goat’s milk). Now, add a pinch of cardamom, saffron, and ginger powder to this blend. Drink it twice a day, before breakfast and before bedtime.
5. Sesame seeds
In order to prevent osteoporosis condition, it is advised to include sesame seeds in your diet. Sesame seeds are rich in calcium, which is one of the essential nutrients for bone health. Also, they contain other nutrients important for maintaining bone health such as vitamins K and D, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc and copper.
- Roast a handful of white sesame seeds and chew them daily in the morning.
- Or, mix 1 teaspoon of roasted and grounded sesame seeds in 1 cup of warm milk. Drink it twice daily.
- You can also use roasted sesame seeds in your cooking and baking.
6. Fish oil
The supplements of fish oil help increase the bone mineral density due to omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D content in it. The omega-3 fatty acids present in fish oil inhibits the activation of factors that lead to the loss of bone and muscles by minimizing bone breakdown.
- Take 1,000 mg of fish oil supplements once daily with your meal.
- Else, you can eat salmon to help raise the amount of essential fatty acids in your diet.
Patients taking blood-thinning medication should not take fish oil supplements without consulting their doctor.
The manganese present in pineapple is beneficial in preventing and treating osteoporosis. The deficiency of manganese has been linked with the malformation of bones and bone loss, which in turn can cause low bone density and osteoporosis.
- Eat 1 cup of fresh pineapple pieces daily before a meal.
- Also, you can drink 1 cup of pineapple juice daily to prevent osteoporosis.
Coriander possesses a good amount of minerals that are valuable in maintaining bone health. The leaves and seeds of coriander are rich in calcium, manganese, potassium, magnesium and iron. Calcium and manganese play a major role in treating and preventing weak bones. Also, these nutrients help reduce spinal bone loss in older women.
- Mix 2 teaspoons of coriander seeds in a cup of hot water. Cover and let them steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain it and add honey for taste. Drink this twice daily.
- Also, include coriander leaves and seeds in your cooking.
Vitamin D is important for maintaining healthy and strong bones. It plays an important role in nutrition by facilitating the absorption of calcium, thereby preventing osteoporosis in later years. Sunlight is one of the best natural sources of vitamin D. expose you to early morning sunshine for 10 to 15 minutes daily to increase the intake of vitamin D. This helps to produce vitamin D in the body. Avoid over exposure and also do not forget to apply a sunscreen before stepping out in the sun during the daytime.
Exercise is one of the most important things one must do to stay fit and to fight osteoporosis. Regular physical exercise can help reduce bone loss, increase your bone density and improves bone health. There are few exercise that is helpful for your bones-
- Low-impact aerobics
- Playing tennis
- Resistance exercises with free weights or using stretch bands.
- Flexibility and balance exercises.
Tips to remember
- Eat foods rich in calcium every day.
- Foods that are rich in vitamins K and D, magnesium, essential fatty acids, and manganese should be consumed.
- Avoid alcohol intake.
- Don’t smoke
- Reduce stress. Practice yoga and meditation to reduce stress. Stress can lead to increase in cortisol levels, a hormone that causes minerals to leach out of bones.
- Cut down on your colas and caffeine intake as it increases the loss of calcium from your body.
- Take calcium and vitamin D supplements after consulting a doctor.
- Avoid packaged foods high in sodium, fermented soy foods and protein powders as well.
- Reduce meat intake as it contributes to reducing the calcium content in bones.