As we get older, our bodies don’t process certain crucial nutrients as well as we used to. This makes our systems weaker at fighting off disease and slower in recovering from an injury.
For instance, osteoporosis develops as our bones become less dense and therefore become more fragile. This is one of the reasons why older people can fall and easily break a hip – the hip often first cracks due to osteoporosis and enables a fall, not the other way around.
Let’s talk about some of the key concepts surrounding bone health, muscle health, and how proper nutrition can be beneficial to your overall orthopedic health.
Calcium and Vitamin D for Strong Bones
Consuming and absorbing enough calcium and vitamin D when you are young is vitally important to good bone health because this will create a stable skeletal baseline. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, and calcium-fortified (dense) bones will be more resistant to musculoskeletal conditions like osteoporosis later in life.
Still, it is important to continue consuming plenty of calcium throughout your lifetime in order to reinforce and maintain strong bones. Calcium-rich foods include:
- Milk and dairy products
- Canned salmon
Protein and Carbohydrates for Strong Muscles
Maintaining strong muscle is essential in sports and in living a long and enjoyable life with less pain. Muscles are kept strong by exercising them and also by consuming plenty of protein, which can be found in these foods:
- Lean red meat
And while protein is necessary to build muscle, carbohydrates (sugars) are necessary to fuel the muscles. Excellent sources of carbohydrates that will boost your musculoskeletal system include:
By eating a healthy diet with plenty of protein, natural sources of carbohydrates, and a daily supplement to fill in any missed quantities of nutrients, you are giving yourself the best chance at a long and healthy life.
Have your orthopedist run a nutritional analysis, because it can reveal any deficiencies you may have of certain vitamins or minerals in your diet. It is always preferable to get your nutrients from food because of the added benefit of other factors, such as fiber.
Orthopedic Physicians in Maryland
If an orthopedic doctor has diagnosed you with osteoporosis, ask the physician whether taking certain vitamins and minerals could be beneficial as a supplement to your daily regimen. Likewise, if you are an athlete or enjoy high-impact sports, have your orthopedist evaluate your nutritional profile for anything you should add to your daily regimen for optimum health.
We grow up learning the basics: Eat plenty of dairy, protein, fruits, vegetables, and grains, and take a supplement for anything you may be lacking. Maintaining proper nutrition is a lifelong habit that will help you maintain strong bones and muscles.
For a nutrition evaluation by a skilled and experienced orthopedic physician, contact our team at the Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland today by calling us at (410) 644-1880 or (855) 4MD-BONE (463-2663), or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to partnering with you for a lifetime of health and wellness!