Osteoporosis is a decrease in bone mass in the various bones in our body, which leads to decreased mechanical resistance and a higher probability of fractures. It is the primary cause of bone fractures in post-menopausal women and in the elderly. The onset of osteoporosis is not easily defined, and until recently, the first visible sign of this illness was generally a fractured hip, wrist or vertebra, leading to pain or deformity.
According to orthopedic experts worldwide, we may be looking at an epidemic of hip fractures in the coming decades as the bones of a growing number of people are weakened by osteoporosis. It is calculated that at least 6.3 million people throughout the world will suffer a hip fracture in the year 2050, three times greater than the 1.7 million hip fractures registered in 1990.
The best treatment for osteoporosis is prevention. If our diet includes foods that are rich in calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron and vitamin D, together with regular physical activity during adolescence and youth, we can actually increase our bone mass, meaning that the bone will not weaken as easily and the possibility of suffering a fracture in future years will be much lower.
Consuming enough calcium and vitamins during adulthood is essential for healthy bones.
Our bones continue to form and grow until we are about 20 years old, and at the age of 30 is when they have the greatest mass. It is therefore extremely important to maintain a daily intake of iron, calcium and vitamin D during these stages in life. After 30, we begin to lose 1% of our bone mass per year.
There are various nutrients that are well known for the prevention of osteoporosis, as they help to increase bone mass. Recent studies have shown that iron is also highly beneficial in preventing this disease.
The latest studies done in this field show that including plenty of iron in our diet during the early stages of life, such as childhood, adolescence and youth, helps to reduce the probability of suffering osteoporosis later in life, such as post-menopausal periods and old age. It is therefore recommendable to include foods rich in iron as part of a balanced diet to help avoid this type of pathology. Serrano ham is rich in iron and zinc, making it the perfect ally to help fight against osteoporosis.