There are 26 bones, 33 joints, and hundreds of muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your feet. With so many parts working together to help you walk and stand, there are a lot of opportunities for things to go wrong. And this makes it even more important to take care of your feet — and your bones. When osteoporosis is a threat that faces 44 million men and women over the age of 50 in the United States, it’s incredibly important to understand how to take care of your bones.
The team of podiatrists at Allcare Foot & Ankle Care want to ensure that our patients’ entire bodies are taken care of, not just their feet. While we specialize in feet and ankles, it’s important to also take care of the bones in our bodies that support the bones in the feet. So, here are some tips from the expert foot doctors here in Arlington on how to protect your bones.
Include Vegetables in Your Diet
A range of vegetables, such as broccoli, green pepper, and Brussels sprouts, are full of vitamin C, which increases bone density. Your bone density is determined by the amount of calcium and other minerals in your bones. This is especially important for growing children and young adults when eating vegetables is more likely to help with bone mineralization.
With the right type of exercise, you can help your body build and maintain strong bones. Strength and weight-bearing exercises can help enhance bone growth and protect the bones in older adults. For a low-impact workout that will help your bones, try hiking, tennis, or climbing stairs. To strengthen your muscles, try lifting weights, using your own body weight to exercise, and using elastic bands. Studies have shown that older men and women who perform these exercises increase their bone density, strength, and size.
Your bones are made of about 50 percent protein, so it’s essential that you have a diet with enough protein in it to protect the bones. Consuming foods like cottage cheese, lentils, beans, and oats are shown to help preserve bone mass. When there isn’t enough protein in the body, bones don’t absorb enough calcium.
Your bones contain a lot of calcium, which works to help repair bone structure and improve strength. Adults should be getting between 1,000 and 1,300 mg of calcium per day. However, when you consume calcium in large amounts all at once, your body may not actually absorb it all. So, it’s better to spread out your calcium intake throughout the day. Try eating foods like cheese, yogurt, salmon, and beans. Just don’t eat them all at once.
Even though we get a lot of vitamin D through the sun, vitamin D deficiency is fairly common. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium and helps in many other ways to improve the health of your bones. Other than the sun, you can get vitamin D through fatty foods, like fish and cheese. It’s recommended that people get around 2,000 IU of vitamin D a day.
Vitamin K works to modify osteocalcin, which is a protein that helps with bone formation. Together, they help bind minerals to bones and prevents bones from losing calcium. You can get a dose of vitamin K with foods like eggs, cheese, and soybeans.
Keep a Healthy, Balanced Weight
It’s important to never be under or overweight, as either extreme can have negative effects on your bone health. Low weight, however, is a major factor in reduced bone density and bone loss. A combination of a healthy diet with the above mentioned foods, along with exercise, is the best strategy for keeping a healthy body and healthy bones.
Magnesium helps convert vitamin D into an active form that enhances the absorption of calcium. With a dose of around 400 mg of magnesium, there is a better chance of having higher bone density. Find magnesium in foods like dark chocolate, almonds, tofu, spinach, bananas, and avocado.
Zinc helps your body with the formation of bone cells and helps prevent the breakdown of bones. Even though you don’t need much zinc in your diet (just 15 mg), it’s a very helpful mineral for your bones. Find it in beef, shrimp, spinach, oysters, and pumpkin seeds.
26 out of the 206 bones in your entire body may not seem like a lot, but the bones in your feet are incredibly important, as they help you walk and provide support for the rest of your body. Eating healthy and exercising regularly will also help promote healthy muscles, tendons, and ligaments, which also make up a large part of your feet.
If you’re experiencing any of these foot or ankle conditions, schedule an appointment with your local Arlington podiatrist. The team of foot doctors at Allcare Foot & Ankle Care wants to help you lead a healthy and happy life, which starts by taking care of your bones!
Schedule an appointment with a podiatrist today for minor issues like calluses or larger issues like foot injuries. Allcare Foot & Ankle Care offers compassionate and thorough care.