Food for Thought: The Link Between Diet and Bone Health

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Consuming the right vitamins and minerals is crucial for maintaining healthy bones and preventing disorders like osteoporosis. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption, bone growth, and bone maintenance, and it can be obtained from sunlight, supplements, or a balanced diet. Calcium is also vital for strong bones and can be found in dairy products and non-dairy sources like dried figs, greens, and almonds. Magnesium, which is abundant in green vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, also plays a crucial role in bone health.

Omega-3 fatty acids found in seeds, oils, and oily fish like salmon and mackerel can help prevent bone breakdown and increase calcium absorption. Vitamin K, which is abundant in leafy green vegetables and fermented soy, has been linked to a reduced risk of fractures in those with osteoporosis. Additionally, prunes have been found to improve bone mineral density in postmenopausal women. By incorporating these foods into their diets, individuals can improve their bone health and lower their risk of osteoporosis.

Take in extra sunlight vitamin

Vitamin D is very important for getting calcium into the body, for bone growth, and for fixing broken bones. If we don’t get enough vitamin D, our bones can shrink, break, or change shape as we become older. Since most foods don’t have much vitamin D, we have to get the quantity we need from the sun or through supplements. In the UK, the recommended daily amount for adults is 10 mcg. In the US, however, the recommended daily amount is higher, with individuals over 70 being told to take up to 20 mcg. By getting enough vitamin D through a balanced diet, supplements, or time in the sun, we can improve bone health and lower the risk of diseases connected to bone health as we age.

Choose a prune

In a study of US postmenopausal women, those who ate about 10 prunes per day had far higher bone mineral density in the ulna (one of the long bones in the forearm) and spine than those who ate dried apples as a control. People think that some parts of prunes may help stop bone from breaking down, which would be good for bone health. If you eat prunes, especially if you are past menopause and at a higher risk for bone loss, you may be able to improve your bone mineral density and lower your risk of disorders like osteoporosis.

Know your requirements

Calcium is a very important mineral that makes up about 2 pounds (1 kilogram) of the human body. 99% of calcium is found in the bones. Adults need to eat at least 700mg of calcium every day to keep their bones strong and lower their risk of osteoporosis. By eating foods that are high in calcium or taking supplements as needed, we can help make sure that our bodies get the right amount of this important mineral for good bone health.

Consume non-dairy meals to get calcium


Milk and other dairy products are great sources of calcium, but there are many other foods that can help you get more of it. You can meet your daily calcium needs with a 7oz (200ml) glass of milk, a 5oz (150ml) container of yogurt, or a small slice of cheese. Also, the following are calcium-rich meals that don’t come from milk:

  • Dried figs: One dried fig has 130mg of calcium in it.
  • Greens: Spring greens, savoy cabbage, broccoli, and kale are all great sources of calcium. About a fifth of your daily calcium needs are met by just one cup of cooked kale, which has nearly 200mg of calcium.
  • Almonds: One ounce (26 grams) of almonds has 60mg of calcium. You can sprinkle toasted almonds on salads, cereals, or fruit compotes or you can use them to tagines, meatballs, or pesto. A healthy snack would be a tiny handful of almonds.

By adding these foods to your diet, you can get more calcium and help your bones stay in good shape.

Emphasize magnesium

Magnesium is a very important mineral that helps keep bones strong. It is recommended that you eat green vegetables, beans, peas, nuts, seeds, and whole, unprocessed grains to obtain more magnesium. Magnesium can also be found in whole-grain bread, which has more of this mineral than white bread. This is because the process of making white flour removes the magnesium-rich wheat germ and bran. Magnesium deficiency is more likely to happen in older people, thus it’s crucial for them to eat foods that are high in magnesium. By eating these magnesium-rich foods, you can help your bones stay healthy and improve your overall health.

Consume seeds to reduce bone loss

Seeds and oils made from seeds can be very important for keeping bones in good shape. Recent research that NASA paid for show that omega-3 fatty acids contained in seeds and oils may help astronauts with osteoporosis and stop their bones from breaking down while they are in space. Essential fatty acids have been demonstrated to enhance the amount of calcium the body absorbs, decrease the amount of calcium lost through urine, and make bones stronger and help them grow. To get more omega-3 fatty acids into your diet, consider cooking with canola and flaxseed (linseed) oil, sprinkling chia seeds on your salads, snacking on walnuts, and eating oily fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and herring on a regular basis. By adopting these modifications, you can help your bones stay in good shape and lower your risk of getting osteoporosis.

Consume greens

According to recent research, vitamin K can lower the risk of fracture in those who have osteoporosis. We can increase our intake of vitamin K by eating lots of leafy green vegetables like kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, and watercress, even if the majority of it comes from the good bacteria in our stomach. Natto, a type of fermented soy, is yet another superb source of vitamin K. By including these foods in our diets, we can support ideal bone health and lower the incidence of osteoporotic fractures.

Eat some soy


Natto, which is a traditional Japanese breakfast meal prepared from fermented soy beans, has the most vitamin K2 of any natural food. Vitamin K2 has been linked to better bone health. It’s one of only two natural places where vitamin K2 may be found. Yoshiie Minamoto, a Samurai warrior in the 11th century, is said to have come up with natto when an attack forced him to leave his boiled soybeans behind. When he went back to eat the beans, which were now fermented, he found that he liked them more than he thought he would. He informed all his friends about them. Since then, Natto has been an important part of the typical Japanese diet. Even though its texture is sticky and its taste is strong, not everyone in the West would like it. However, you may buy it as a supplement at health food stores. By adding natto or vitamin K2 supplements to our diets, we can help keep our bones in good shape and lower the risk of osteoporosis-related fractures.

Watch how much cola you consume

Some meals and drinks can lower bone density by taking calcium out of bones and stopping new calcium from getting in. Studies have found that cola drinks, alcohol, caffeine, and salt can have this effect, thus it is crucial to restrict your intake of these things. There is also evidence that eating pasta often can have the same impact. To keep your bones strong, it is best to switch out pasta for other kinds of carbohydrates, such potatoes, every so often.

Take on that weight

No matter how old you are, it is never too late to start weight-bearing exercise to help your bones get stronger. Even if most of your bone mass is formed by the time you’re in your mid-20s, you can still lower your risk of osteoporosis by working out as you become older. Regular weight-bearing workouts help the bones take in calcium, which is vital for both men and women and good for people of all ages. Talk to your doctor to identify weight-bearing exercises that are safe and good for you.

Get moving

A US study indicated that postmenopausal women who walk about 7.5 miles (12 kilometers) a week or take a half-hour walk four days a week can keep their bone density for four to seven years longer than those who don’t walk at all. This kind of workout is equally good for males.




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