Hi! I'm Stelios Pantazis. I'm a doctor and I specialize in medical nutrition and metabolic disorders. Today, I'd like to tell you the ideal diet for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition that affects the bones and increases the risk of osteoporotic fracture, namely bone fracture. Osteoporosis may develop at any age, but the older we get the more likely it is to suffer from it. Osteoporosis affects women much more often than men, and it is estimated that many women over 60 suffer from osteoporosis or osteopenia. Osteopenia is a mild form of osteoporosis that is very likely to develop into osteoporosis, if it's not treated. Osteoporosis does not cause any symptoms, so that you can know if you suffer from it or not, and the only way to know if you suffer from it is the bone density test. Unfortunately, many people find out that they suffer from osteoporosis after a fracture, namely after they suffer the worst development of this condition. Osteoporosis is associated with a series of risk factors, namely a series of factors that increase the risk of osteoporosis. These factors are the following: Age. As I said in the beginning, The older we get the more likely it is to suffer from osteoporosis. Family history. Studies have shown that if your mother or father suffers from osteoporosis, it's more likely that you will suffer from it too. Diet. In this video, I'll tell you which foods you should eat more often, in order to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, or if you suffer from osteoporosis, to reverse it. Exercise. One of the strongest messages that we can give our bones to become strong is exercise. The ideal exercise to increase bone mass is resistance training, for example, with weights or weight lifting equipment, while the least effective exercise is swimming. Smoking. Many people associate smoking with lung cancer and heart disease, which are certainly destructive effects of smoking, but even people that live long without suffering from something like that run a significantly greater risk of osteoporosis. Finally, some conditions increase the risk of osteoporosis, therefore if you suffer from osteoporosis, you should find out, with your doctor's help, if you suffer from any of these conditions. The good news is that most of the factors that I mentioned are reversible, namely it is up to us if they will happen to us or not. Obviously, we don't choose our parents. Therefore, you can do nothing about your parents' osteoporosis. But you can do a lot of things to change your diet, your exercise level and smoking. If there is no condition causing osteoporosis, regulating these three factors can reduce the risk of osteoporosis significantly. Today, we're only talking about diet, and specifically about the foods that help and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Calcium. Most of you know that calcium is the most important inorganic component of bones. Moreover, the calcium in our body is almost exclusively in our bones. Only a small amount of calcium is found in the other cells. The foods with most calcium belong to the dairy family. Dairy is the best source of calcium for people that are not lactose intolerant. But not all dairy are equally beneficial for the health of the bones. If you want to choose the best dairy for your health, you'd better choose fermented dairy, namely the dairy that have undergone fermentation, such as yoghurt, soured milk and kefir. If you're lactose intolerant or you avoid dairy because you follow a vegan diet, you should know that legumes, especially beans and green leafy vegetables, are also rich in calcium. In fact, per calorie, green leafy vegetables contain much more calcium than dairy. However, the many fibers contained in green leafy vegetables make calcium absorption a bit more difficult. If you avoid dairy for any reason, I'd recommend watching the video I've posted on how you can take sufficient calcium, although you avoid dairy. Vitamin D. Vitamin D is the most important vitamin for the health of bones, although it plays a much more important role in other processes and procedures in the body, as I've said in previous videos. You can take vitamin D either through your diet or after exposure to the sun. Unfortunately, dermatologists repeat that we should avoid exposure to the sun, therefore this barely leaves us any choice to have sufficient vitamin D in our body, because too few foods are rich in vitamin D. This is why most people that want to have vitamin-D sufficiency often need to take dietary supplements with vitamin D for a big part of the year. However, many foods that contain vitamin D are healthy in general and worth being included in your diet, such as sardine, anchovy, mackerel, horse mackerel, trout and other small fish that swim near the sea surface and are exposed to the sun much, in order to compose vitamin D. In any case, you should have the vitamin-D levels in your body tested and modify your exposure to the sun, your diet and possibly your dietary supplements accordingly, so that it is sufficient and you don't suffer from osteoporosis as you get older. Vitamin C. Vitamin C does a lot of useful things in the body, although it's very famous for participating in the creation of collagen. I'm sure that you all understand how important collagen is, because it's the protein that keeps the skin, bones and the connective tissue at their place. Vitamin C is abundant in fruit and vegetables, which, as I've repeatedly said, should constitute the biggest part of your daily diet. Magnesium. The second most important salt after calcium for bone health is magnesium. In fact, the crystals that form the bones mainly consist of calcium and magnesium. By extension, a big part of the magnesium in our body is in the bones. I've talked in detail about magnesium in a previous video, and I recommend watching it, if you'd like to find out more. For the purpose of this video, I'd like to remind you that magnesium is the inorganic part of chlorophyl, which is the most important substance in plants and it's green. The green plant-based foods contain a lot of magnesium, therefore you should make sure you eat lots of them. Huge amounts of magnesium are contained in green leafy vegetables, such as amaranth greens, endive, dandelion, salicorne, common brighteyes, spiny chicory and other greens. Moreover, a large amount of magnesium is contained in the leafy vegetables that we eat as a salad, such as lettuce, rocket, butterhead lettuce, etc. But not only green leafy vegetables contain a lot of magnesium. All vegetables contain magnesium, even those that are not green, such as cauliflower and tomato. All plant-based foods contain a lot of magnesium, even chocolate, but its cost in calories and sugar is forbidding, making it a mediocre solution for magnesium intake. Vitamin K. One of the questions that I receive very often in the comments concerns vitamin K, and specifically K2. Let me start by clarifying some things. It's clear that people with lower vitamin K suffer from osteoporosis more often. Therefore, we believe that vitamin K is necessary for the prevention of osteoporosis, and vitamin K2 is possibly the most useful one. But fortunately, we can transform vitamin K1 to vitamin K2 in our body. In fact, we're not alone in this effort, because the germs in our intestine also do this job. They transform vitamin K1 to K2. Therefore, you don't have to take vitamin K2 in a dietary supplement, as long as you make sure your diet includes sufficient vitamin K. Vitamin K is contained in large amounts in plant-based foods. Cabbage contains huge amounts of vitamin K, but all leafy vegetables, green or not, contain a large amount of vitamin K. A person that consumes a large amount of vegetables in their daily life can be certain that they take a large amount of vitamin K and they don't have to take it in dietary supplements. Zinc. Zinc is one more salt that is necessary for the bones, and you should consume foods that are rich in zinc. Seafood is very rich in zinc, such as mussels, oysters, crabs, shrimps and their relatives. Moreover, abundant zinc is contained in beef, chicken, pork, and a decent amount is contained in dairy. If you don't consume animal products, you'll find much zinc in soy and its products, such as soy drinks, tofu, tempeh and edamame, as well as in lentils, oat and mushrooms. These are the most important foods that your diet should be rich in, if you want to protect yourselves from osteoporosis, this common condition that causes a big problem in old people's lives. If you thought this was interesting, please give us a thumbs up. Share it with people who you think might find it interesting, and subscribe to our channel in order to get notified when we upload a video. You can also suggest subjects in the comment section. Thank you very much!