What age can you stop worrying about osteoporosis?

Healthy bones have the strength of cast iron – but they’re as light as wood.

Our bones provide imperative structural and protective benefits to the body, yet most of us rarely even think about our bones – even now, during Osteoporosis Awareness Month. Unfortunately, a disastrous fall can cause our bones to fracture or break, and even a minor fall can result in injury if your bones are brittle and weak, like when you have osteoporosis.

Most people know they need to build strong bones when they’re kids, but did you know that your bones are still growing until you’re about 30?

The stronger our bones, the better we’re able to heal should they break.

Think of your bones as banks. The more calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus in your diet, the better your bottom line. Those nutrient reserves continue to grow through childhood until you’re at least 30 years of age. Then as you get older, you start to withdraw nutrients from your bone banks – which means continuing to build that bank of bone nutrients as adults is just as important as when we were kids.

So what can you do to help build a better bone bank and prevent osteoporosis? Nutrition and exercise is where to start. Those nutrients I previously mentioned – calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus – are vital, as is protein.

We happen to have a food that contains all those essential bone nutrients: Dairy. All in just one simple bone-building glass of milk, a few bites of cheese or a cup of yogurt, adults can deposit some vital nutrition into their bones:

  • Calcium: 25% daily value
  • Vitamin D: 15% daily value
  • Phosphorus: 20% daily value
  • Protein: 16% daily value

Just by getting the recommended three servings every day, along with a healthy diet as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines, you’re making a major portion of the deposits your bone bank needs. Add in a little exercise; it doesn’t just strengthen your muscles, but your bones too.

Remember those bones the next time you flex your biceps and curl up with a nice glass of milk. You never know when you might need them.

By Katie McKee, MCN, RDN, LD

Katie has always loved teaching others about the power of nutrition. She has a background in journalism as a reporter, writer and editor and has been part of the Dairy MAX team since 2015. When she's not working, Katie enjoys cooking and spending time with her young son and family. Learn more about Katie

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