Halloween is a perfect time to remind us of how important it is to keep our skeleton in tip top shape. There are some great pro actions you can do and eat, in order to prevent bone illnesses which could greatly affect your quality of life for years to come.

Your bones are important to maintain and treat well. They provide structure, protecting organs and anchoring muscles. They also store calcium for the body. Your bone structure is constantly changing, therefore what you do today, affects tomorrow. Osteoporosis is a serious condition that you want to avoid. Here are some of the factors that affect bone health.

Calcium in diet. Truly the best ways to get calcium is through a calcium rich diet. Unfortunately there are many problems with supplements like unnecessary fillers, lead and poor absorption. Your body is designed to absorb calcium along with other nutrients in your diet to get maximum benefits. Some of the best foods for this are sardines, eggs, salmon, spinach, tuna, dark greens, orange juice, tuna, potatoes, figs, almond butter, milk from plants like coconuts, and prunes. Many of these have other nutrients in them like potassium and vitamin D, that work with each other to absorb and strengthen your bones.

Physical activity. Weight bearing activities like light weight lifting and walking help to strengthen bones. If you are too sedentary, your bones become weak.

Tobacco and alcohol use. Both of these contribute to weak bones, as they deplete your body of nutrients and stops your body from absorbing nutrients.

Medications. Long-term use of corticosteroid medications, such as prednisone, cortisone, prednisolone and dexamethasone, can affect bone health. Aromatase inhibitors to treat breast cancer, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, methotrexate, some anti-seizure medications, such as phenytoin (Dilantin) and phenobarbital, and proton pump inhibitors can lead to osteoporosis.

Illnesses. Crohns, anorexia, bulmia, Cushing’s disease, and celiac disease can affect your body’s ability to absorb calcium.

Other factors. You have a propensity for osteoporosis if you are woman, have hormone changes whether it is testosterone or estrogen, are a certain race (if you are Asian or white your risk is higher), your age (the older you get, the more at risk you are) and your size. Thinner people have more of a risk.

Besides incorporating calcium in your foods, you should complement your calcium intake with vitamin D. Many of the foods listed above have vitamin D, but it does not hurt to boost your uptake for other health reasons. The best way to get vitamin D is from the sun. Doctors recommend 10-15 minutes a day. If you cannot get this, try to get a supplement that has good levels of D3 and that is not packaged with calcium. Unfortunately many of these combo supplements contain lead. Health vitamin D 25-Hydroxy/levels are 50-90 NG/ML and most people are deficient in Vitamin D.

So this Halloween season, move that skeleton with physical activity and take the steps above to ensure your future will be moving, shaking and not scary. BOO! Happy Halloween!

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