Although joints and bones are connected to each other, they have distinct compositions and functions. Bones are living, rigid body tissues that give support and structure to the body. They are made of a protein called collagen, which is reinforced by calcium phosphate, making the framework of the skeleton strong and durable.
Key Vitamins To Support Your Bone Density And Joint Health
On the other hand, a joint is the part of the body where two or more bones come together. Joints make the skeleton flexible, provide stability, and allow movement. The bones along with joints and muscles hold the body together and facilitate mobility.
Healthy bones and joints allow us to walk, run, jump, and perform various activities and are essential for lifelong mobility. Although it is preferred to build bone and joint health during childhood, there are steps that can be taken to protect them in adulthood.
Regular exercise or physical activity is one of the most effective ways to maintain bone and joint health. Additionally, a balanced diet with a variety of vitamins and minerals is essential for maintaining optimal health. This article will provide an overview of the key vitamins and minerals, as well as some supplements for joint and bone health.
Which Vitamins Help To Keep Our Bones Healthy?
Vitamin D promotes the absorption of the calcium we get from food, helps protect older adults from osteoporosis, and promotes the healthy functioning of our muscles and immune system. Our bodies make vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, but too much sunlight also exposes our bodies to excessive UV radiation, which can lead to skin cancer.
Use sunscreen to reduce sunburn and the risk of skin cancer. You can also consider vitamin D supplements. Good sources of vitamin D include oily fish, such as salmon, trout, mackerel, and tuna.
Additionally, mushrooms, egg yolks, and fortified foods such as milk and cereals are good sources of vitamin D. For adults ages 19 to 70, the RDA of vitamin D is 15 micrograms a day, while adults older than 70 should increase it to 20 micrograms a day.
It is an important vitamin for bones and joints because it helps deliver calcium to the bones. People deficient in vitamin K have low bone density, which can lead to bone loss and fractures. Green leafy vegetables like broccoli, kale, and spinach; meat; fruits; eggs; legumes; and certain vegetable oils contain vitamin K.
? Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a crucial component of the immune system of our body. It is a protein that provides a framework for the bones and is needed for the formation of collagen. Vitamin C can lower the risk of inflammatory arthritis and maintain healthy joints.
You can get vitamin C tablets, or you can get vitamin C from many food items such as citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, grapefruit, etc. The RDA of vitamin C is 75 milligrams and 90 milligrams per day for women and men.
Minerals and supplements aiding bone and joint health
About 99 percent of the calcium in the body is stored in the bones and teeth. It is calcium that gives them strength and hardness. The remaining one percent is utilized for the functioning of the body.
As our bones are getting constantly remodeled, calcium levels also fluctuate. During adolescence and childhood, our body builds new bones faster than it breaks down the old ones resulting in an increase in bone mass.
But in older adults especially in women who have had menopause, the rate of breaking down of old bones becomes faster than the rate at which it is built.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of calcium for adults between 19 to 50 and men older than 50 is 1,000 mg per day, while for women aged 51 or older is 1,200 mg per day.
When we do not get enough calcium from our diet, our body takes it from the bones to sustain the body’s functioning, eventually leading to osteoporosis and bone fractures.
Good sources of calcium include dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese, nuts especially almonds, green vegetables like broccoli and kale, canned fish with soft edible bones like sardines and salmon, and soy products, such as tofu.
Magnesium is a super mineral for keeping bones healthy, considering its influence on our body. It helps our body use calcium and vitamin D, reduces the risks of bone fracture, and enhances bone healing.
You can get magnesium from various food items such as nuts, seeds, leafy vegetables, dry beans, and whole grains. Research also shows that a magnesium deficiency can contribute to inflammation and osteoarthritis.
➜ Omega-3 fatty acids:
These fatty acids can reduce inflammation and joint pain. Studies have shown that taking these supplements can help reduce stiffness and joint pain in arthritis patients.
Foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids include fish and seafood, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines; nuts and seeds, including chia seeds, walnuts, and flaxseed; plant oils, such as flaxseed oil, canola oil, and soybean oil; and leafy green vegetables.’Omega-3 fatty acids: These fatty acids can reduce inflammation and joint pain.
Studies have shown that taking these supplements can help reduce stiffness and joint pain in arthritis patients.
Foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids include fish and seafood, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines; nuts and seeds, including chia seeds, walnuts, and flaxseed; plant oils, such as flaxseed oil, canola oil, and soybean oil; and leafy green vegetables.
As we get older, the health of our bones and joints becomes ever more important. Vitamins, minerals, and supplements can contribute to maintaining healthy bones and joints.
But make certain to incorporate them into a comprehensive plan that not only comprises eating healthily but also includes proper exercise, a limited intake of alcohol, and the help of healthcare professionals so that we can avoid joint and bone problems, limited mobility, and the possibility of physical impairment.