Do you remember when you went through puberty?
Most girls go through it between the ages of 10 and 14. But, for some, it can start as early as seven or eight years old or as late as 16.
If you’re about my age, the beginning of puberty for you was probably a long, long time ago. And, you may be wondering why it even matters now.
Well, it matters now, because we’re at the age where our bone strength really matters — a lot.
And the later you went through puberty, the more you need to pay attention to your bone density now.
That’s because a new study has linked the timing of puberty to osteoporosis…
What’s puberty got to do with your bone density?
A study by researchers from the University of Bristol, looked at six repeated bone scans (over a 15-year period) from over 6,000 children in Bristol’s Children of the 90’s study to assess how the timing of puberty influences bone density.
And, they found that if you have your pubertal growth spurt later than your peers, you will continue to have lower bone density than average for at least several years into adulthood. This effect was seen in both sexes, only slightly more so in girls.
That’s a problem because peak bone mass at the end of your teenage growth spurts is considered to be an indication of your later risk of fracture and osteoporosis.
As lead author and Senior Research Associate in Epidemiology, Dr. Ahmed Elhakeem, puts it, “Our research adds to the evidence that children who mature later may be at increased risk of fractures as they grow. They may also have increased risk of the fragile bone condition osteoporosis in later life.”
And she adds, “I’d like to see more advice available for people who reach puberty later on measures they can take to strengthen their bones.”
Support your bones so they keep supporting you
Of course, we didn’t know then what we know now about the timing of puberty and how it could affect our bones. But since learning this, it’s something that I certainly share with my children and my friends who have children and grandchildren.
As for me, If I had known, I probably would have worked harder in my younger days to boost my bone health.
But it’s not too late to do the right things now…
So, if you hit puberty and experienced your growth spurt later than the kids around you (or just want to make sure that your bones are as healthy as possible as you age), taking steps to strengthen your bones now to avoid osteoporosis and fractures later is vital. And, here’s how you can do that…
#1 – Eat your veggies
Vegetables aren’t just important for your overall health. They work to keep your bones healthy too.
In fact, numerous studies have shown that getting plenty of dark green, leafy veggies in your diet can help support bone mineralization and density. And, to top it off, another study found that women who eat more veggies can lower their risk of osteoporosis by a whopping 20 percent.
So, get more veggies in your diet on a daily basis. Or, do what I do and take a scoop of Peak Organic Alkalizing Greens™ to up your veggie intake the easy way.
#2 – Pump some iron
To keep your bones strong, it’s also important to add strength training and weight-bearing exercises to your exercise routine.
These types of exercises can help boost bone mineral density while protecting against the bone loss that can occur with aging.
#3 – Get more protein
Getting enough protein in your diet is another part of the strong bone formula. Studies have shown that older women who eat higher amounts of protein regularly have improved bone density versus those on low protein diets.
And, a study of over 140,000 post-menopausal women found that protein eaters not only had better bone density in their hips and spine but were also significantly less likely to experience a fracture than their non-protein eating counterparts.
#4 – Focus on your omegas
Finally, don’t forget to get a healthy punch of omega-3s from fish in your diet. While you may think of them as great heart protection, studies have also demonstrated their power to protect against bone loss as you age.
Fish high in omega-3s include salmon, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines.
Of course, you can always take an omega-3 supplement if you’re like me and know that you don’t eat enough fish on a regular basis to do the trick. My omega-3 supplement of choice is Peak Krill Oil™ because of its amazing level of purity and bioavailable omega-3s.
Strong bones can help keep you strong for life. If you think you may have to work harder at keeping them strong if you were a late bloomer, give these tips a try. But regardless, it’s always a good idea to boost your bone health.
- Puberty — MedicineNet
- Delayed puberty in girls — MedlinePlus
- When Is Puberty Too Early? — Duke Health
- Bone strength could be linked to when you reached puberty — EurekAlert!
- Post-menopausal Women and Exercise for Prevention of Osteoporosis — ACSM’S Health and Fitness Journal
- Dietary patterns associated with fat and bone mass in young children — The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
- Daily intake of green and yellow vegetables is effective for maintaining bone mass in young women — The Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine
- Effects of genetic and nutritional factors on bone mineral density in young adults — International Journal of Molecular Medicine
- The association between onion consumption and bone density in perimenopausal and postmenopausal non-Hispanic white women 50 years and older — Menopause
- Effects of exercise training with weighted vests on bone turnover and isokinetic strength in postmenopausal women — Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
- Short-term bone formation is greatest within high strain regions of the human distal radius: a prospective pilot study — Journal of Biomechanical Engineering
- Response of bone mineral density, inflammatory cytokines, and biochemical bone markers to a 32-week combined loading exercise programme in older men and women — Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
- Strength training stops bone loss and builds muscle in postmenopausal breast cancer survivors: a randomized, controlled trial — Breast Cancer Research and Treatment
- Effect of impact exercise and its intensity on bone geometry at weight-bearing tibia and femur — Bone
- Physical exercise and osteoporosis: effects of different types of exercises on bone and physical function of postmenopausal women — Arquivos Brasileiros de Endocrinologia & Metabologia
- Amino Acid Intakes Are Associated With Bone Mineral Density and Prevalence of Low Bone Mass in Women: Evidence From Discordant Monozygotic Twins — Journal of Bone and Mineral Research
- Protein consumption and bone mineral density in the elderly : the Rancho Bernardo Study — American Journal of Epidemiology
- Biomarker-calibrated protein intake and bone health in the Women’s Health Initiative clinical trials and observational study — The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
- An increase in dietary n-3 fatty acids decreases a marker of bone resorption in humans — Nutrition Journal
- The role for dietary omega-3 fatty acids supplementation in older adults — Nutrients
- Ratio of n-6 to n-3 fatty acids and bone mineral density in older adults: the Rancho Bernardo Study — The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition