Your bones may just be the most essential part of your body. Without them you wouldn't be able to run, jump, skip or enjoy many of your favorite things. That is why taking care of your bones to maintain and prolong their health and function is so critical. The importance of peak bone mass The maximum size and strength of a given person's bones is called peak bone mass, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The higher your peak bone mass, the more material you have to protect you against osteoporosis. When your bones begin to grow weaker, it can lead to osteoporosis, a condition that is common with age. This lowered bone density, though impacted by genes, has much to do with diet and lifestyle habits. Most people will begin to lose bone mass around the age of 40, noted the source. However, there are five ways to significantly slow this process and help to maintain the bone density and strength that you already have: 1. Start prevention measures early Those most likely to develop osteoporosis are menopausal women over the age of 65 and men older than 70, reported TIME magazine. Once the symptoms have begun to appear, it is difficult to undo the effects of this disease. Thus, practicing prevention measures from an early age is key - including recognizing your family's history with bone health. 2. Opt for a diet high in alkaline Highly acidic foods, common in the Standard American Diet, are contributors of osteoporosis. Consuming too much coffee, sugar and fat can cause bone damage, reported Better Bones. By avoiding these foods and opting for a raw, alkaline diet such as the Hallelujah Diet can help to promote bone health. A far cry from the SAD diet, our natural, raw clean food diet is considered an alkalizing diet. Not only does this help the body keep steady its crucial alkaline pH, but alkaline foods also provide the body with trace elements, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and even enzymes if they're raw. The cereal grass juice powder BarleyMax is a great way to support the body's alkaline environment.3. Eat raw, avoid meat Leaders in the medical field agree that diet plays a big role in osteoporosis. As Dr. Russell Blaylock wrote in his monthly newsletter "The Blaylock Wellness Report," a diet that avoids consuming meat and other highly acidic foods is best for avoiding a loss of bone density: "People who eat little or no meat have very low incidences of osteoporosis and this is confirmed by worldwide studies. Meat is acidic and depletes the calcium in bones." 4. Exercise regularly Regular exercise and physical activity are two of the best things you can do for strong bones, noted the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Exercise is actually the prescription for both osteoporosis prevention and treatment. Think of your muscles: When you do not use them, they become weaker but when they are engaged in physical activity and weight-bearing exercises, they grow stronger. Similarly, regular exercise helps to strengthen your bones. There are two different types of exercise for promoting bone density. To maintain and also build your bone density, you can engage in muscle-strengthening or weight-bearing exercises. 5. Get enough calcium and vitamin D You've most likely heard this since you were a young child, but getting enough calcium and vitamin D is one of the best ways to protect your bones, according to the NOF. Calcium can be found in an abundance of plant-based foods such as leafy greens, fruits, nuts and seeds. Hallelujah Diet supplements that can help absorb calcium and strengthen bones include Vitamin D3 with K2 and EZorb Calcium. The calcium in plants is naturally balanced with magnesium, potassium and other minerals which are also needed for bone health. Cow milk however, which is very high in calcium but low in magnesium, has been shown in population-based studies to either increase the risk of hip fractures, or not protect people from hip fractures. Thus, getting your intake from plants, instead of cow milk is ideal for consuming your daily amount of calcium for strong and healthy bones.