Bone health, whether you are younger than 50 or older, is often an overlooked health consideration that may not be thought about until it is too late.
Increasing bone density may be one of the best long-term investments in your health that you can make.
Your skeleton provides the foundation for your overall physical strength while providing the structure of your body. Knowing that, you can probably deduce that your bones are extremely important for pretty much every function of your body.
6 Natural Ways to Increase Bone Density
Below we'll go over the best ways to naturally increase your bone density. These suggestions includes both lifestyle tips and a few nutrition hacks.
1. Eat Plenty of Fresh Foods
One of the best ways to naturally improve your bone density includes focusing on a proper diet. Those concerned about bone health should make sure to get adequate amounts of Vitamin D, calcium, magnesium and Vitamin K. Collagen and vitamin C can also provide your body with what it needs.
You should focus on consuming more raw and organic fresh cruciferous vegetables as well as leafy greens. These vegetables are high in important nutrient, such as vitamin K2 and vitamin D.
2. Exercise to Strengthen Your Bones
Exercise is often an overlooked factor for increasing bone density. Physicians recommend that a good combination of both cardio and resistance exercises can strengthen your skeletal structure.
Strength training exercise can help signal for your body to form new bone cells while cardio can increase the density of your bones. A side benefit of these exercises is that it strengthens your muscles.
3. Consider the Age and Specific Needs of Your Bones
Age is a very important factor for bone density as well because statistics show that skeletal disorders are much more common among older generations. The older you are, the more important bone health becomes. However, this does not mean that young people should neglect their health.
When you start focusing on your health at a younger age, this can build a stronger foundation for the future to prevent problems. Paying attention to your bone health at a young age can help to slow down the bone degeneration process. Your family history and awareness of current nutrient deficiencies can further push you in the right direction to increase bone density for the long term.
4. Get Sunshine (and get the right form of Vitamin D3)
Studies have shown that vitamin D is essential as a partner for calcium when the body needs to produce healthy and strong bone cells. Vitamin D helps your body to absorb calcium, but not many people know about this.
There are many types of vitamin D (like vitamin D2 and vitamin D3), but these nutritional compounds are not exactly the same in structure or function. Vitamin D2, also known as ergocalciferol, is a compound produced by some plants when they are exposed to UV radiation.
Supplement manufacturers actually obtain vitamin D2 by irradiating mushrooms and isolating the nutrients that it makes. However, this type of vitamin D is not exactly the same nutrient that you need for bone and immune health.
Researchers are skeptical that Vitamin D2 actually provides the human body with any benefit. When compared to vitamin D3, it has proven to be much less bioavailable to the body. This makes sense because D2 is the nutrient that plant and fungal life uses, which have differing needs than humans.
When foods like dairy and grains are enriched for higher vitamin D content, ergocalciferol (D2) is usually the form that it comes in.
TIP: Value Vitamin D3 Over Vitamin D2
Vitamin D3 on the other hand is the biologically active form of vitamin D that humans and animals use. Also known as cholecalciferol, it is produced naturally when your skin is exposed to the sun’s UVB rays. After your skin creates this vitamin D, it is used for healthy immune and bone function, among others.
It seems that vitamin D3 is more beneficial for humans and animals in supplement form, as well as animal food products. Cholecalciferol can be found in the lipids, or fats, of meat products, notably fish and shellfish.
We can attempt to get vitamin D3 from good quality food sources, but it will always be much easier to just sit outside in the sun. When you let the sun’s ultraviolet rays hit your skin, it quickly produces the daily value of this vitamin in about 20 minutes. You can also take a natural vitamin D3 supplement.
5. Get Vitamins from Natural Sources
Most nutritionally-beneficial nutrients come from fresh and natural foods, rather than isolated supplements. It has been proven that certain nutrients like vitamin K2 provide a more beneficial function to the body when it is paired with vitamin D. Therefore, the ideal K2 supplement is one that includes Vitamin D as well, but this is also the case for many other vitamins and minerals.
The best way that you can ensure that you are supplementing with nutrients properly (the way that nature had intended for you to) is to consume them through natural supplements. When you are shopping for a vitamin K2 product, look for one with Vitamin K2 + Vitamin D3.
6. Don’t Rely on Dairy Alone for Healthy Bones
We all know that calcium is essential for proper bone health, but most of us don’t even know what that really means. We used to be told that we should drink milk because it had calcium in it. However, this might not be the case any more with more research about dairy. It seems that a large portion of the population already experiences some type of allergic reaction or sensitivity when they consume milk, but the calcium content might just be overhyped in general.
Maybe the best way to obtain quality calcium is by eating fresh and raw fruits and vegetables. Most importantly, cruciferous vegetables are the best natural food sources of calcium.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale and cauliflower provide for excellent sources of calcium and the nutrients that it likes to be paired with for maximum absorption in the body.