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You Can Bank on Good Nutrition

By Donna Stark

We make investments for our children’s future all of the time, sometimes even starting as early as the day they are born. This may include making monthly deposits to their college savings plan, spending extra money on private music lessons and athletic training sessions, or sending them to the best private school in the area. We choose to make these investments because we are hoping for a favorable outcome down the road, when they have” grown up.” It’s an incredible gift we can give them, but in addition to those types of financial investments, perhaps we should focus on their actual growth and make significant investments in their bone health as well.

Focus on Bone Health Now

Just like the deposits we make to all of the separate bank accounts and opportunities for our children as they grow up, we should also focus on depositing the right amount of nutrients into their bones. The health habits you teach your children from a young age can make (or break) their bones as they age. In fact, it has been shown that the bone mass attained during their younger years is a critical factor in maintaining lifelong skeletal health.

Bone Health Deposits

Skeletal development typically peaks in the 20s, so it is incredibly important to make as many nutritional deposits as you can for your child now in order to establish healthy habits and to build a strong skeleton for their future. Here is a list of things that help to improve bone health.

  • Dairy – milk, yogurt, cheese
  • Leafy greens – spinach, kale, mustard greens
  • Vegetables – broccoli, artichokes, mushrooms
  • Beans – chickpeas, navy beans, edamame
  • Fatty fish – salmon, sardines, tuna
  • Homemade bone broth
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fortified foods and juices
  • Sun exposure

Let’s Not Forget Exercise Too!

Bones need exercise just as much as muscles, so keep your young ones active! Being active supports bone growth by helping to build bone mass, which helps your child's bones stay healthy and strong. It is especially important to incorporate weight-bearing exercises such as running, hiking, climbing stairs, and even lifting weights into their fitness routines as well.

Not all exercises are the same though because there are some that are excellent for a child’s overall health but aren’t necessarily excellent for building bone mass. These would include swimming or riding a bike. The key idea here is that you want their bones to support weight, and in these exercises, they don’t do that as much as the weight-bearing activities.

Investments can come in many different forms, so choose them wisely. But I guarantee you can bank on the benefits that will come from all of those nutritional deposits you make on your child’s behalf.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Portland, Ore.

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