How many times have you heard that calcium is a mineral that is required for healthy bones? But have you ever wondered if there are other essential minerals and nutrients that affect overall bone health? Apart from calcium, other essential minerals required to improve overall bone health are iron, magnesium, boron, copper, phosphorus, potassium, and more. Due to an inadequate diet, you may not be getting all these essential nutrients and minerals that are crucial in maintaining bone density. A balanced diet will ensure that you consume all the necessary minerals required to maintain bone health. However, consuming additional supplements will provide you with essential minerals that you may not get otherwise from food sources or will consume in small quantities that are not enough for your body.
It is especially important for women to maintain their bone health as women tend to have thinner, smaller bones as compared to men. Along with it, estrogen which works mainly to protect the bones decreases significantly on reaching menopause which can cause bone loss which is why osteoporosis is a common condition in women once they reach the age of menopause. In this article, we discuss all the minerals and vitamins that are essential for maintaining healthy bones and the role they play.
The important minerals required by the human body to maintain healthy bones are mentioned below:
Calcium is one of the most important elements that is required in maintaining mineral bone density. It is the main ingredient of our bones and is essential for both men and women. Interestingly, it is also an important mineral for maintaining cell, muscle, nerve-functioning, and heart health. The human body is incapable of making calcium on its own and hence relies on food sources like:
Women over the age of 51 years require an average of 1,500 milligrams of calcium while men require 1,100 to 1,200 milligrams of calcium on a daily basis in their diet in order to maintain good bone health.
Talking about calcium and skipping vitamin D is a crime! It is essential to note that calcium can not be absorbed by your body if you do not up your vitamin D intake. Vitamin D helps you absorb calcium in your gut leading it toward your bloodstream and regulating calcium and phosphorous levels in your blood. Sunlight is considered to be the best source of Vitamin D and costs absolutely nothing. Vitamin D is formed when you step in the sunlight and a chemical in your skin is converted into Vitamin D3 which then is transformed into an active form of Vitamin D. It is also possible to intake vitamin D from some food sources in small quantities such as mushrooms, orange juice, Vitamin-D fortified milk, and more.
If you are a fitness freak then you know the importance of lean protein in building muscle and maintaining bone health. A lot of individuals do not consume enough protein leading to bone health problems later in life with growing age. Protein is the building block of life, and rightly so. The major component of bone buildup includes protein which makes up the major part of the mass and volume of a bone. Consider protein to be the framework on which phosphorous and calcium form to stiffen up the bones. The best sources of proteins are:
Magnesium is among the most important minerals required to maintain bone health as it is required to absorb two of the main components essential to bone health that are Vitamin D and calcium. Magnesium is responsible for protecting bone density, maintaining cardiovascular health, regulating metabolism, and more. Rich sources of magnesium are:
Multiple scientific research studies have shown that boron is responsible for building muscle, regulating hormones, and improving cognitive health in an individual in addition to conserving bone-strengthening minerals. Boron is responsible for better absorption of calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium. Food sources that provide you with boron are:
Now that we have established that there are certain essential minerals and nutrients required to maintain bone health it is a common question to ask yourself "How Do You Know Mineral Deficiency In Your Body?". The answer to that is a simple Bone Mineral Density Test. Individuals who have crossed the age of 45- 50 years especially females must consider undergoing the same as it is essential to identify the problem before solving it.
A bone mineral density test will help you determine if you have osteoporosis. The test is usually conducted by performing X-ray tests on small fragments of bones such as the spine, forearm, or hips. The test determines the amount of calcium, protein, and other essential minerals present in your body. Bone mineral density tests can be done in several ways out of which the most common ones are:
Bone Mineral Density Tests are performed in order to determine the calcium levels in the body along with determining bone density loss, mineral loss, potential fracture risk, osteoporosis development, if any, and more. Before you go for the mineral bone density test it is best to confirm with your doctor about the precautions to take in case you are pregnant, it is also essential to not intake any calcium supplements 24 hours before going for the test.
It is essential to consume a wholesome diet that includes all the necessary vitamins and minerals to maintain bone health. Apart from calcium and Vitamin D, there are many key minerals and nutrients that are essential in order to achieve stronger bones. Regular health check-ups, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle will help you attain a healthy bone structure which is essential to support you in your old age and prevent any major injuries and ailments.