Osteopenia is a medical condition which is supposed to be a precursor for osteoporosis, a musculoskeletal condition in which the bones become weak and brittle. Osteopenia is seen more in women due to them having thin bones as well as due the hormonal changes that occur after they attain puberty causing loss of bones at a much younger age when compared to men. Women with osteopenia may have to limit their activities quite a bit for fear of falling and fracturing their bones. Women can keep their bones healthy even after the age of 30 and even after menopause, but making some lifestyle modification like following strict healthy diet for osteopenia and physical activity. This article will give an insight on foods to eat and foods to avoid for osteopenia in women which can go a long way in keeping the bones healthy and preventing them from sustaining any fractures.
Osteopenia Diet for Women: Foods to Eat If You Have Osteopenia
Under normal circumstances, our body needs perfect balance between the acid and base content in the body. If you have a habit of eating plenty of acidic foods, then the acid content in the body increases. To balance this, the body flushes out alkaline bases which are stored in the bones and teeth. This leads to bone loss and makes the bones weak. Thus, eating a balanced diet which is not too much acidic nor too alkaline is important. Women need to cut down on the amount of meat, soft drinks, fish, nuts, and legumes and introduce plenty of green leafy vegetables like spinach in the diet along with lots of fruits and dairy products.
It is well known that throughout the life of an individual, the bones keep on getting destroyed and new bones get formed. In women who are osteopenic, the rate of destruction of bone is much faster than the rate of formation of new bones. This is yet another cause for the bones to get weak and vulnerable for fractures. This is because of the body not getting enough calcium. Thus, incorporating a diet which is rich in calcium and vitamin D is essential for women to prevent bone loss and ultimately osteopenia.
The best sources of vitamin C are milk, yogurt, and green vegetables like spinach, radish, and capsicum. Scientific research has shown that an individual above the age of 50 should have at least 1200 mg of calcium intake on a daily basis to prevent the effects of osteopenia and osteoporosis, and individuals under the age of 50 should have a daily intake of at least 1000 mg of calcium a day to prevent bone loss.
Along with calcium, vitamin D also plays a significant role in strengthening the bones. It is highly recommended to get between 400 to 800 IU of vitamin D on a daily basis. Breads, cereals, fish, and margarines are some of the best sources of vitamin D.
Osteopenia Diet for Women: Foods To Avoid For Osteopenia
There are various foods and beverages that need to be avoided in cases of Osteopenia. These foods and beverages are:
Sodium: The affected individual needs to avoid any foods rich in sodium. Salt restriction is a must. Also, salty processed foods need to be avoided along with smoked meat, fish, ham, and sausage.
Caffeine: Caffeine is something that needs to be avoided if one is suffering from osteopenia. Coffee, cocoa, and chocolate is something that women with Osteopenia should try and avoid.
Alcohol: Women should consume alcohol in moderation as excess of alcohol tends to worsen the condition further.
Spicy Foods: Spicy food increases the acidic content in the body and disturbs the balance between acidic and alkaline contents which worsens Osteopenia. Additionally, fast and junk foods like pizza, burgers, and French Fries along with soft drinks also need to be avoided to prevent worsening of Osteopenia.
While there are some foods that are necessary to keep the bones strong and prevent bone loss, there are certain foods which women should avoid in their diet for osteopenia. Homeostasis is the essence of normal functioning of the body and for this to occur it is important to incorporate green leafy vegetables along with fruits and dairy products in the daily diet. It is also essential to abstain from extremely acidic foods like fried or spicy foods, fast foods, and soft drinks from the diet in order to prevent the body from harmful effects of osteopenia and osteoporosis.