Suggested to Have Strong Bones During Pregnancy

Bone Health (Influencing factors, necessary vitamins and minerals,
necessary lifestyle change)

Bones, which are found in different shapes and sizes in the body, are the hardest tissue of the body. Bones are made up of protein and minerals. In fact, 99% of the calcium in the body is found in the structure of bones and teeth. It has many functions such as protecting vital organs (brain, heart, etc.) in the body, providing movement, providing structural support to the body, and being a storage area for some minerals (such as calcium). All these functions show us how important bone health is.

Imbalance in the composition of the bone causes various health problems in both children and adults. These problems include osteomalacia, osteoporosis, rickets, etc. can be listed as.

Bones are considered inanimate because they are hard. However, there is a continuous process of construction and destruction in bones. Age and physiological conditions affect production and destruction. During childhood and adolescence, bone formation is very rapid. Production continues until the age of 30, although it slows down. Until this age, the mineral content of the bone reaches its peak. After these ages, destruction begins to be more than construction. In women, especially with menopause, the rate of destruction in bones increases due to hormonal changes. The rate of destruction in men is slower than in women.

Factors affecting bone health:

  • Gender

  • Nutrition

  • physical activity status

  • Genetic

  • Race

  • body mass index

  • Smoking/Alcohol use

I mentioned above that the functions of bones are affected by age and environmental factors. This tells us why we need to keep our bones strong. Decreases in bone density increase the risk of fracture. In addition, since the bones are the support structure of the body, deterioration in the body structure is observed and the bones are bent. As a result of these situations, movements are restricted and frequent falls are observed. This process can even lead to a bed-bound life. It is very important for our quality of life that we fill our warehouses and strengthen our bones at an early age, since the destruction is high in advanced ages and we cannot increase the storage capacity (it reaches its maximum capacity until the age of 30).

You have often heard that strong bones are mentioned in advertisements for children to consume milk. That’s why we know that calcium is important for strong bones. I already mentioned above that 99% of the calcium in the body is found in the bones and teeth. Then calcium is essential for strong bones. However, it is not enough for bone health alone. From vitamin D to vitamin K, from calcium mineral to magnesium mineral, many vitamins and minerals are involved in bone health. This shows us how important adequate and balanced nutrition is for bone health.

While there are factors that we cannot change, such as gender, race, genetics, which are effective in bone health, there are also factors that we can change such as nutrition, physical activity and harmful habits. We can strengthen our bones by providing conditions such as a healthy diet, adequate physical activity and sleep, abstinence from smoking and alcohol.

Vitamins and minerals needed to have healthy bones:

The foundation of healthy bones is actually laid in the womb. The bone density of the baby in the womb is related to the amount of calcium phosphorus passed from the mother to the baby. During pregnancy, the baby passes an average of 25-30 grams of calcium to the baby. When the mother does not get enough calcium from the diet during pregnancy, this requirement is met by pulling calcium from the bones. This can cause bone softening, tooth decay and loss in the mother. When the cord is cut at birth, the transfer of calcium from the mother to the baby stops. The baby begins to meet its calcium needs with breast milk. If the mother does not get enough calcium from her diet, the calcium in the breast milk also decreases and the baby gets insufficient calcium. As a result, bone health and development in the baby deteriorates.

of calcium Its primary function is the health and development of bones. The best sources of calcium are milk and dairy products such as yogurt, kefir, cheese, and cottage cheese. Apart from these, foods such as green leafy vegetables, molasses, sesame, legumes, dried fruits, nuts and peanuts are also good sources of calcium. These calcium sources should be included in the daily diet. Bones are also rich in calcium. When bones are broken and boiled with vinegar, calcium passes into the water. This bone broth can be used in cooking. Absorption of calcium in the body is as important as its intake. Only 20-40% of the calcium taken into the body with food is absorbed. Factors such as the presence of vitamin D, calcium-phosphorus balance, the presence of short and medium-chain fatty acids, acidic reaction in the upper part of the small intestine, and increased need for calcium increase calcium absorption. Calcium requirement increases during periods such as growth, pregnancy and lactation. Insufficient vitamin D, calcium phosphorus imbalance, excessive fiber, phytic acid and oxalic acid, excess zinc, aluminum intake, alkaline reaction in the upper part of the small intestine and menopause are the factors that reduce calcium absorption. In addition, excessive intake of protein, sodium, alcohol and caffeine increase urinary calcium excretion. The daily calcium requirement is 1000-1200 mg in adults. The daily calcium requirement of pregnant women is about 1300 mg.

The most abundant mineral in the body after calcium phosphorus and 80% of this phosphorus is found in bones and teeth. Calcium and phosphorus are inseparable for bone formation and health. The best dietary sources of phosphorus are; meat, chicken, fish, eggs, legumes, oil seeds, whole grain products, milk and dairy products. Calcium and phosphorus should be taken in equal amounts for high absorption. The absorption factors that affect calcium are also valid for phosphorus. Physical activity is one of the factors affecting bone health. Daily phosphorus requirement is as much as calcium.

in bone health Vitamin D should not be neglected either. Vitamin D has an important place in the use of calcium. Vitamin D increases the absorption of calcium by stimulating the synthesis of calcium-binding protein. The most effective way to get vitamin D is sunbathing. 95% of the vitamin D required for the body is obtained from ultraviolet rays in the sun, and the rest from food. Nutritional sources of vitamin D are fish liver oil, oily fish, liver, butter, milk, egg yolk, mushrooms. People who cannot benefit from the sun sufficiently and in the winter months when the rays come at an oblique angle may need to use supplements with the advice of a doctor.

Another important mineral in bone health is magnesium Stop. Magnesium is found in the structure of bones and teeth along with calcium and phosphorus. Approximately 60% of the magnesium in the body is found in the structure of bones and teeth. Legumes, green leafy vegetables, oilseeds, whole grain products are important sources of magnesium.

Zinc It is also a mineral essential for bone health. Zinc is found in both plant and animal foods. The best dietary sources are liver, red meat, seafood, dairy products, eggs, walnuts, almonds, peanuts, oilseeds such as pumpkin seeds, legumes, bulgur, wheat, mushrooms, okra, asparagus, pumpkin, garlic, spinach, peas. However, the absorption of zinc from animal origin is better than that found in plant sources.

Required for acid-base balance potassium It is also related to bone density. Potassium improves bone health. It also keeps calcium in the body longer. Legumes, spinach, lettuce, green vegetables such as parsley, nuts, bananas, potatoes, avocados, cauliflower, oranges are foods rich in potassium.

Take part in the synthesis of collagen, the protein that holds tissues together. C vitamin helps strengthen bones. If the body does not receive enough vitamin C, the bones are adversely affected. Bones can become more weak and fragile. Citrus products such as oranges, tangerines, lemons, and bone-friendly vegetables and fruits rich in vitamin C such as green peppers, capia peppers, bell peppers, kiwi, strawberries, cauliflower and parsley should be included in the daily diet.

vitamin K It plays a role in bone health and development by activating the compounds that make up bone density. Vitamin K is produced by bacteria in the intestines, as it is found in the structure of many foods. Nutritional sources of vitamin K; Green vegetables such as spinach, parsley, lettuce, broccoli, okra, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, legumes, carrots and fish.

vitamin A Although it is identified with eye health, it is also a necessary vitamin for the development of bones and teeth. Animal sources of vitamin A are fish, liver, butter, eggs and milk. Vegetable sources are orange foods such as carrots, pumpkin, apricots, broccoli, kiwi, spinach, etc.

Vitamin B12 It is one of the micronutrients that have an active role in homocysteine ​​metabolism. Homocysteine ​​stimulates osteoclasts, which are cells responsible for the destruction of bone tissue and break down bones, but it prevents the formation of osteoblasts, which are bone-forming cells responsible for bone formation, and collagen, which is the protein that holds tissues together. High homocysteine ​​level is one of the low vitamin B12 indicators. Vitamin B12 is thought to be effective in bone health due to its effect on homocysteine. When vitamin B12 is insufficient, bone mineral density, bone formation and destruction processes are adversely affected. Vitamin B12 is only found in animal sources. Red meat, liver, milk, cheese, eggs are important sources of vitamin B12.

A healthy diet is essential for healthy bones. In addition to calcium, it is necessary to take adequate amounts of phosphorus, vitamin D, magnesium, potassium, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A and vitamin B12 in bone health and development. Nutrition alone is not enough for bone health. Other lifestyle changes are also necessary.

Lifestyle to have healthy bones:

physical activity When it is regular, the bone formation process increases, and when it is irregular, the destruction process increases. However, excessive exercise does not benefit, on the contrary, it harms. “The World Health Organization recommends that children aged 5-17 do 60 minutes of moderate physical activity a day, including muscle and bone-strengthening activities (running, jumping, climbing trees, pulling and pushing activities) at least three times a week, adults and the elderly twice a week. recommends doing 150 minutes of physical activity per week along with muscle-strengthening activities.”

Regular sleep It is also important for bone health. Bedtime is when the body repairs itself and rests. It is necessary to sleep 7-8 hours a day and make it regular.

for strong bones Tea and coffee consumption should be limited is. Excessive consumption of tea and coffee can accelerate bone resorption in the long run. In addition, excess caffeine taken with excessive tea and coffee consumption causes calcium to be excreted in the urine. It would be appropriate to limit coffee consumption to 2 cups a day.

Cigaret It also adversely affects bone health. It weakens the bones by reducing the mineral density of the bone.

excess saltIt negatively affects bone health by decreasing the reabsorption of calcium and increasing its excretion.

excessive alcoholIt also impairs bone health by increasing calcium excretion.

low body mass index (weight/square height <18.5 kg/m2) is a risk factor for osteoporosis. The risk of osteoporosis increases in women with low body mass index, especially after menopause. . Obesity It is also a factor that negatively affects skeletal health. It is necessary to be at the ideal weight for healthy bones.

Tips for Having Strong Bones During Pregnancy

  • Calcium is essential for strong bones. Consume bone-friendly foods such as milk, yoghurt, kefir, cheese, cottage cheese, green leafy vegetables, molasses, sesame, legumes, dried fruits, nuts, and peanuts to meet the increased need for calcium with pregnancy.

  • Pay attention to vitamin D, which is important for the use of calcium in the body. Considering the increased need during pregnancy, take care to sunbathe for 10-15 minutes daily. Support vitamin D intake with foods containing vitamin D such as fatty fish, liver, butter, milk, egg yolk, mushrooms.

  • Consume phosphorus, which is an inseparable pair with calcium for bones, as much as calcium daily. You can meet your phosphorus need with meat, chicken, fish, eggs, legumes, oil seeds, whole grain products, milk and dairy products.

  • Get collagen support. Collagen is the protein that holds tissues together and bone health is important. You can consume pot dishes with bones or dishes made with bone broth. Vitamin C is also involved in collagen synthesis. Increase collagen synthesis by consuming foods rich in vitamin C. Include citrus products such as oranges, tangerines, lemons, green peppers, capia peppers, bell peppers, kiwis, strawberries, cauliflower and vegetables and fruits containing vitamin C in your daily diet so that the strength of your bones will increase.

  • In addition to vitamins C and D, vitamins A, K and B12 are also effective for strong bones. Vitamin A fish, eggs, butter, milk, carrots, pumpkin, broccoli, spinach; Vitamin K: legumes, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, green vegetables such as asparagus, carrots, fish; Vitamin B12 is found in animal sources such as meat, milk, cheese and eggs.

  • Potassium, which keeps calcium in the body longer; It is found in green vegetables such as bananas, potatoes, avocados, cauliflower, oranges, legumes, spinach, lettuce.

  • Another important mineral for bone health is magnesium. Legumes, green leafy vegetables, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, oilseeds such as pumpkin seeds, whole grain products are important sources of magnesium.

  • Zinc is also a mineral necessary for bone health. Red meat, seafood, dairy products, eggs, walnuts, almonds, peanuts, oilseeds such as pumpkin seeds, dried legumes, bulgur, wheat, mushrooms, okra, asparagus, pumpkin, garlic, spinach, peas.

  • In consultation with your doctor, use vitamins and minerals that are effective in bone health as supplements. During pregnancy, the need for nutrients increases and this need cannot be met with nutrition. In this case, the use of supplements is required. In particular, nutritional supplements such as vitamin D, calcium, zinc, and magnesium may be required.

  • Take care of quality protein intake, but don’t go overboard with animal protein consumption. Include vegetable protein sources such as legumes. Excessive protein intake increases urinary calcium excretion.

  • During pregnancy, the mother should exercise for her own and the baby’s health. These exercises will also strengthen the bones. Expectant mothers can learn the exercise program suitable for them by getting help from an expert in this regard.

  • Salt restriction, which is a solution to prevent edema, which is a common problem during pregnancy, will also be beneficial in bone health. Excess salt intake increases calcium excretion. Salt consumption should be minimized.

  • Limit tea and coffee consumption. Caffeine taken into the body with excessive amounts of tea and coffee can adversely affect the health of the baby and cause problems such as premature birth or low birth weight. The effect of excess caffeine is not limited to this. It increases the urinary excretion of calcium. Also, do not consume carbonated beverages containing caffeine, such as cola.

  • Smoking and alcohol consumption during pregnancy harm the baby and also negatively affect bone health. Smoking and alcohol should be avoided for strong bones and healthy babies.

  • Sleep is always a neglected factor. Adequate and regular sleep is important for general body health and strong bones. Make sure to sleep 7-8 hours a day.

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