Did you know that the 52 bones in your feet account for 25% of all the bones in your body? Your foot bones provide a foundation for your body and enable you to walk and run. Therefore, it’s essential to take care of your bones by making sure they receive the nutrients they need to stay strong.
Why You Need Calcium and Vitamin D
The two nutrients that are essential in building bone mass, as well as reducing your risk of osteoporosis, are calcium and vitamin D.
Calcium is a mineral that isn’t found in the body. It’s important, not only for your bones, but for your teeth and the proper function of your heart, muscles and nerves. You can get calcium through your diet or by taking supplements.
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. When your body doesn’t get enough vitamin D, it takes calcium from your bones, which ultimately weakens them and prevents the development of new bone. You can get vitamin D through the absorption of sunlight in your skin, through your diet, or by taking supplements.
Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones caused by loss of bone density and deterioration of bone tissue. Osteoporosis increases the risk of fractures in your wrists, hips and spine. In fact, research suggests that by 2020, 50% of Americans aged 50 years and over will be at risk for fractures from osteoporosis.
So, in order to fight osteoporosis, you need to make sure you’re getting adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D.
The daily calcium recommendations are:
- 700 milligrams (mg) – children 1-3 years old
- 1,000 mg – children 4-8 years old
- 1,300 mg – teenagers
- 1,000 mg – adults up to age 70 (1,200 mg for women, 51 years and over)
- 1,200 mg – adults 71 years and over
The daily vitamin D recommendations are 600 international units (IU) from 1 to 70 years old and 800 IU after age 70. However, some experts recommend taking 800 to 1,200 IU per day.
Calcium and Vitamin D through Nutrition
Since it’s easier to remember to eat, rather than taking a pill, it’s best to get your calcium and vitamin D through the foods and beverages you consume.
Good sources of calcium include:
- Dairy products – low fat or nonfat milk, cheese and yogurt
- Dark green leafy vegetables – broccoli, spinach and kale
- Seafood – oysters, ocean perch, clams, blue crab and shrimp
- Calcium-fortified foods – orange juice, breakfast cereals, soy milk, bread, and tofu
- Nuts – almonds
Look for foods that contain 10% or more of the recommended daily value for calcium.
Good sources of vitamin D include:
- Vitamin D-fortified foods – milk, orange juice and breakfast cereals
- Seafood – salmon, tuna and sardines
Calcium and Vitamin D Supplements
If you’re not able to get enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet, then you should take supplements. Calcium citrate and calcium carbonate are two types of calcium supplements. Most calcium supplements on the market include vitamin D. Calcium carbonate supplements should be taken with meals for better calcium absorption, while calcium citrate supplements can be taken alone. These supplements are better absorbed when they’re taken in small doses (500 mg or less) throughout the day.
So remember to get enough calcium and vitamin D each day to help maintain strong, healthy bones – not only in your feet – but also the rest of your body.
ezWalker® Performance Insoles – Nutrition in Your Shoes
Similar to how calcium and vitamin D provide better nutrition for your bones, custom foot orthotics, like ezWalker® Performance Insoles, are like added nutrition in your shoes to help support your feet. While these insoles can’t reduce or prevent your risk of osteoporosis, ezWalkers® are biomechanically designed to guide your feet into better alignment – providing your arches with the proper support they need while reducing stress on your metatarsal bones.
Just as inadequate calcium in your body can lead to osteoporosis, improper biomechanics of the foot can lead to conditions like corns, calluses, bunions and plantar fasciitis. But proactive use of ezWalker® Performance Insoles can reduce your risk of developing these foot conditions and relieve any foot pain you may experience.
Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.