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Tips to Ensure Good Bone Health (No Pills Needed)

In lieu of calcium pills, which do not prevent or treat bone loss, Care2 offers some natural ways of obtaining the necessary vitamins and minerals for preserving bones and joints. The suggestions include eating mushrooms and a variety of herbs, and making sure that you get plenty of vitamin D in the form of sunshine, as well as maintaining a healthy gut.

Another important component for healthy bones — and heart — is vitamin K2, which is essential for activating enzymes involved in transporting calcium from your arterial walls to your bone. Vitamin K2 is produced by certain bacteria, so the primary food source of vitamin K2 is fermented foods such as natto, a fermented soy product typically sold in Asian grocery stores.

You can also ferment your own vegetables with a good starter culture, making many things including pureed baby foods, chutneys, condiments such as salsa mayonnaise, cultured dairies such as yogurt, kefir and sour cream, and fish such as mackerel and Swedish graviax.

Another way of building and maintaining strong bones is through exercise, especially weight-bearing exercises. Your bones are constantly being rebuilt in a dynamic process involving the removal of old bone through osteoclasts and regeneration of new, healthy bone by osteoblasts. Load-bearing exercise works to build stronger bones by stimulating cells responsible for the synthesis and mineralization of bone (osteoblasts). 

A good weight-bearing exercise to incorporate into your routine (depending on your current level of fitness) is a walking lunge, as it helps build bone density in your hips, even without any additional weights. Running and jumping are also effective, as is weight training.
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