Nutrition for Strong Bones
If you have ever been diagnosed with Osteoporosis or Osteopenia or are at risk of developing one of these conditions due to a low bone density count, now is the time to act for strong bones.
There are many things we can do for ourselves to ensure we stay strong. Nutrition plays a crucial role in supporting bone density and overall bone health. Here are some key nutrients and dietary strategies that can help maintain and improve bone density:
Calcium: Calcium is a fundamental mineral for bone health, as it provides the structural component of bones. Good dietary sources of calcium include dairy products (such as milk, yogurt, and cheese), leafy greens (like kale and spinach), fortified plant-based milk alternatives, and canned fish with bones (such as sardines and salmon).
Vitamin D: Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium and its utilization in bone formation. Sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D, but it can also be obtained from fatty fish (like salmon and mackerel), fortified dairy or plant-based milk, egg yolks, and supplements.
Magnesium: Magnesium is involved in bone mineralization and supports the conversion of vitamin D into its active form. Good dietary sources of magnesium include nuts (like almonds and cashews), seeds (such as pumpkin and sunflower seeds), whole grains, leafy greens, and legumes.
Vitamin K: Vitamin K is important for bone health because it helps regulate calcium in the bones and blood. Leafy greens (like kale, spinach, and broccoli), Brussels sprouts, and fermented foods (such as sauerkraut) are good sources of vitamin K.
Phosphorus: Phosphorus is another mineral that contributes to bone structure and strength. It is found in a variety of foods, including dairy products, meat, fish, poultry, nuts, and whole grains.
Protein: Adequate protein intake is important for overall bone health, as protein provides the building blocks for bone formation. Sources of lean protein, such as poultry, fish, beans, lentils, and lean meats, can contribute to bone health.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These healthy fats, found in fatty fish (like salmon, mackerel, and sardines), flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts, have anti-inflammatory properties that may support bone health.
Limit Excessive Sodium and Caffeine: High sodium intake can lead to calcium loss in the urine, potentially weakening bones. Similarly, excessive caffeine consumption may interfere with calcium absorption. Moderation is key.
Limit Excessive Alcohol: Heavy alcohol consumption can negatively impact bone health by interfering with the absorption of calcium and other bone-building nutrients.
Balanced Diet: Focus on a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods to ensure you're getting all the vitamins and minerals necessary for bone health.
Weight-Bearing Exercise: Alongside proper nutrition, engaging in weight-bearing exercises like walking, running, dancing, and resistance training helps stimulate bone formation and maintain bone density.
Avoid Smoking: Smoking is associated with reduced bone density and increased risk of fractures. Quitting smoking can contribute to better bone health.
Remember that individual nutrient needs may vary based on factors such as age, gender, activity level, and overall health status.
If you have specific concerns about your bone health or dietary needs, book an appointment with our Naturopath, Nutritionist & Yoga Therapist, Keri Hogarth.
Our Strong Bones Program is designed for women and men who are currently living with or are at risk of Osteopenia or Osteoporosis. This is a 5-Week program that combines Yoga Therapy and Nutritional medicine to get you on the right path to strong bones.