Strong, shock-resistant bones not only help sidestep osteoporosis, they add healthy years to your life by keeping you active and pain-free! There are three easy, natural ways to work on your bone health.
Enjoy a creamy treat.
Vitamin K-2 is an under-the-radar nutrient, yet Tufts University research finds getting enough of it cuts fracture risk by up to 65 percent! “It helps brittle bones change into strong yet flexible bones,” notes Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, author of Real Cause, Real Cure. “K-2 directs calcium into bones and away from arteries.”
One option is enjoying a creamy cup or two of blueberry yogurt daily. Irish scientists found that for each serving of yogurt women ate, their chance of developing osteoporosis dropped by up to 39 percent, while blueberries boost K-2 levels even higher. Tip: Choose full-fat Greek yogurt, which has 95 percent more vitamin K-2 than low-fat varieties.
Try a pilot’s trick.
Norwegian researchers found that folks who did nothing other than get at least seven hours of sleep a night cut their risk of osteoporosis 26 percent. Sleep is when our bodies produce the “fountain of youth” growth hormone, and it’s vital for stimulating bone density and tissue repair.
The fix for sounder sleep? An Air Force “cheat” that pilots use to doze off in two minutes (13 minutes faster than average). To do: While lying in bed, focus on relaxing the muscles of your face, then your chest, thighs and calves. Now, picture yourself either lying in a canoe in a calm lake while gazing up at the blue sky or snuggled up in a black velvet hammock in a dark room. Or, just silently repeat the words “don’t think, don’t think” for 10 seconds. That’s it!
Hop to Mamma Mia.
Put on the ABBA hit, jump to the beat, and you’ll reduce the risk of brittle bones just as effectively as taking prescription osteoporosis drugs. Bones grow when they’re “stressed,” and a daily three-minute burst of hopping is one of the best ways to stress leg, hip, and spinal bones. Plus, listening to happy music triggers a flood of the feel-good hormone oxytocin, say Swedish researchers, which helps reverse osteoporosis and strengthen bone health.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.