You have probably heard that breaking a hip in old age is a pretty common injury, but did you know that science has shown that your diet could help reduce your risk of such an injury?
While the diet you follow will not really influence whether or not you fall down, it does play a role in how strong your bones are. Studies have shown that eating a Mediterranean diet might just reduce the risk of a hip fracture later in life for women.
The Mediterranean diet is one that is rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains as well as lean meats, focusing mostly on fish and seafood.
Researchers at the University of Wurzburg in Germany found that women who ate a Mediterranean diet had a 20 per cent lower risk of hip fractures when compared to women who did not follow this particular diet. The study did not show a cause-and-effect relationship, but it did highlight the link between what you eat and bone strength.
It is also worth mentioning that the risk reduction is fairly low, although the research does suggest that eating a healthy diet definitely plays some role in the health of bones in postmenopausal women.
The study was published earlier this month in JAMA Internal Medicine, but the premise is certainly not new. The thought that diet plays an important role in bone health as people get older has been a focus of much speculation over the years. However, which diet might be best has not really been examined in detail.
The study, which investigated the link between bone health and diet in more than 90,000 American women with an average age of 64, is not conclusive. The Mediterranean diet has been noted to be one of the healthiest, but simply getting adequate nutrition may lead to a lowered risk of hip fracture simply because your body is healthier overall.
What should you take away from this research? If you’re already on the Mediterranean diet, this is great news; you may be reducing your risk of breaking a hip when you get older. If you are not already following the diet, you might want to talk to your doctor about whether it is the right option for you.
There are other things you might consider to strengthen your bones as you age. Low-impact, weight-bearing workouts are ideal. You might also want to consider watching your calcium intake and taking supplements if necessary.