Nutritional properties available in certain foods have positive influence in bone health. The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) comments on diet and bone health stating, “A healthy diet can help you prevent and manage osteoporosis and related musculoskeletal disorders by assisting in the production and maintenance of bone.” The IOF goes on to share how not receiving adequate nutrients increases the risk of bone, muscle, and joint disease. By implementing nutritious food choices you can promote bone health. Let’s explore further!

 According to the IOF the two most important nutrients for bones are calcium and vitamin D. Calcium aids in the building of bone tissue, and vitamin D assists in the body’s absorption of calcium. Calcium and vitamin D can be found in milk, yogurts, certain cheeses, tofu, sardines, fortified orange juice, and cereals. Individuals who are lactose intolerant or needing additional calcium may require calcium supplementation. Dietary calcium intake varies depending on age, sex, pregnancy, and other health needs. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) – OrthoInfo recommends the following daily intake of calcium:

1. Women 19-50 years - 1,000mg

2. Women 51-70 years – 1,200 mg

3. Men 51-70 years – 1, 200 mg

4. Women and men > 70 years – 1,200 mg

5. Pregnant and nursing women (14-18 years) – 1,300 mg

6. Pregnant and nursing women (19-50 years) – 1,000 mg

Consult with your practitioner before taking calcium or other nutritional supplements. Your doctor can provide adequate suggestions based on your individual health needs. Supplemental calcium is available in tablets, chewable, liquid, and nasal spray. For more information on calcium and vitamin D visit AAOS – OrthoInfo.

Protein also plays an important role in building and maintaining healthy bones during adolescence and throughout the adult years. The IOF comments on protein and bone health noting, “Lack of protein robs the muscles of strength, which heightens the risk of falls, and contributes to poor recovery in patients who have had a fracture.” Consuming a balanced diet with adequate protein intake is key for maintaining muscle strength and bone mass.

Fruits and vegetables carry vast nutritional benefits. Fruits and veggie contain vitamins and minerals needed for healthy bones, such as calcium and magnesium. Collard greens, kale, broccoli, and turnips contain high sources of calcium. Spinach, sweet potatoes, artichoke, and raisins are good sources of magnesium. For more insights on healthy foods for your bones visit the National Osteoporosis Foundation.  

* All information shared in this article should be discussed with your healthcare practitioner prior to incorporating any suggestions. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide advice or direct client decisions.