Did you know that what you eat can significantly impact your bone health?
Our bones become more fragile as we age, but proper nutrition can help keep them strong and healthy. In this blog, we'll discuss nutrition's important role in bone health and the foods you should be eating to keep your bones strong. Remember to always discuss changes in your diet or bone health with your medical professional!
Nutrition and bone health
Nutrition is crucial in maintaining bone health, especially as we age. Our bodies become less efficient at absorbing nutrients, and our bone density can begin to decline. However, by ensuring you're getting enough of the following nutrients, you have a better chance of keeping your bones strong and healthy.
Calcium is essential for building and maintaining strong bones. Good sources of calcium include dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt and leafy greens like kale and spinach. Almonds and fortified foods like cereal and orange juice are also calcium-rich.
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. While sunlight is an excellent source of vitamin D, it may not be enough, especially for those living in areas with limited sun exposure or concerned about skin cancer. Incorporate fatty fish, like salmon and mackerel, eggs, and fortified foods, such as milk and cereal, into your diet to ensure adequate vitamin D intake.
Magnesium is essential for bone health because it helps your body absorb calcium. Include foods like leafy greens (such as Swiss chard and collard greens), nuts, whole grains, and beans to increase your magnesium intake.
Vitamin K plays a role in bone metabolism and helps keep calcium in your bones. Leafy greens like kale and broccoli, as well as Brussels sprouts, are excellent sources of vitamin K.
A diet rich in antioxidants can protect bones from oxidative stress and inflammation. Be sure to look for antioxidant-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, berries, and green tea.
Protein builds and repairs bone tissue. Ensure you get enough protein from lean meats, poultry, fish, dairy, legumes, tofu, and nuts.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Get those omega-3 fatty acids in your diet! They reduce inflammation and support bone health. Consider eating fatty fish, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts.
What to avoid for healthy bones
While proper nutrition can help maintain strong bones, certain dietary habits can harm bone health.
There's a link between high sodium intake and increased calcium excretion. Limit your salt intake by finding a salt alternative, and avoid processed and packaged foods, as they often contain high sodium levels.
Soda and Sugary Drinks
We are hearing more and more about the negative effects of excessive sugar consumption, and the impact on bone health is no different. Soda and sugary drinks can interfere with calcium absorption and contribute to bone loss.
High Caffeine Intake
Too much caffeine can negatively impact calcium absorption. Be sure to keep your intake of coffee, tea, energy drinks, and other caffeinated beverages in moderation.
There is a relationship between heavy alcohol consumption and decreased bone density. It's best to avoid alcohol altogether for optimal bone health.
Eating excessive amounts of processed meats can negatively affect bone health. Why not try alternative protein sources like lean poultry, fish, legumes, and tofu?
Lifestyle Choices for Bone health
In addition to nutrition, other factors play a role in maintaining strong bones, such as:
Try weight-bearing exercises, like lifting weights, to help maintain bone density and strength. Walking, jogging, or dancing can also contribute to overall bone health.
Maintain a healthy weight
Being either underweight or overweight can negatively impact bone health.
Bone health is for everyone!
Ask your healthcare provider about your bone health and how your nutrition can impact your bones. They, or a registered dietician, can provide personalized guidance and help you develop a nutrition plan tailored to your needs.
You can help maintain strong and healthy bones as you age by making simple changes to your diet and lifestyle. Your bones will thank you for the care and attention you give them. Remember, there is always time to start prioritizing your bone health and making positive changes.
Start today and take control of your bone health journey! Your first step can be finding out your fracture risk level by using the American Bone Health Fracture Risk Calculator™ for free, today. You can opt to have American Bone Health send your risk assessment results directly to your inbox.
Click here to use this online tool: [https:// AmericanBoneHealth.org/frcmedguardian ]