Osteoporosis is a condition that happens when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone or both. As a result, the bones become weak and brittle. About 10 million Americans have osteoporosis and another 44 million have low bone density. This means that half of all adults over the age 50 should be concerned about their bone health.
While osteoporosis cannot be completely reversed or cured, there are a number of health and lifestyle adjustments you can make to reduce bone loss. Aside from taking the appropriate medications, your doctor may also recommend bone-strengthening foods. While there are many foods in this category, dairy products, leafy greens and chicken are some of the best!
Let’s explore the health benefits of eating chicken as an osteoporosis patient.
The lean protein found in chicken is an excellent source of amino acids. Your body needs amino acids to build muscle tissue, something that is critical for people with low bone mass. Research has also shown that getting enough protein in your diet can help maintain bone mineral density. Not only is protein important for managing osteoporosis but also preventing it.
One of the amino acids that chicken contains is tryptophan, which has been linked to higher levels of serotonin. Serotonin is a ‘feel good’ hormone that helps regulate attention, behavior and body temperature. When you have normal levels of serotonin, you feel more stable, happy and calm. Why does this matter for osteoporosis patients? Because having a happier state allows you to better manage the symptoms of this condition.
Calcium is the mineral you need to keep your bones strong and healthy. Although meats aren’t necessarily the ‘best’ source of calcium, you can still get this mineral from them. Some meats have more calcium than others, and chicken breasts are one of them. One cup of chopped chicken breast has 21 mg of calcium.
It’s not just protein and calcium that chicken contains, but also zinc, copper and choline. Each of these minerals plays an important role in protecting bone loss and strengthening bone mass. For example, copper plays a key role in the normal growth and development of the skeletal system. Choline is also of great research value in the progression and prevention of osteoporosis.
Whether you have osteoporosis or at a higher risk for the condition, be sure to add chicken to your diet! Not only does it support healthy bones, but healthy bodies in general! Chicken is also low in fat and calories, and it’s extremely versatile. You can eat it plain or pack it into many of your favorite soups, sandwiches and salads.