One of the problems faced by people over 50 is loss of bone density. There are some studies that indicate a diet that’s higher in animal protein might actually cause loss of calcium, based on calcium found in the urine. Other studies show that while there’s more calcium found in the urine, it’s because the body absorbs more calcium when there’s higher animal protein in the diet, so the excess came from that, not leached out of the bones. One thing is certain, a healthy diet can add to bone strength and slow osteoporosis. The foods to promote healthy bones contain all the nutrients necessary to maintain bone density.
Of course, calcium is important, but so are other nutrients.
The body has to have nutrients to maintain functions. If it doesn’t, it steals it away from the bone. However, to absorb calcium, you need other nutrients, such as vitamin D3. While the body manufactures vitamin D naturally by exposure to sunshine, sun blocks and winter days often limit that exposure. Magnesium is also necessary. Among other functions it plays a role in creating DNA, muscle and bone tissue. Phosphorus is also important for bone production. Vitamin K2 (not K1 which helps clotting) acts like the traffic monitor and directs the flow of where calcium goes. There are also trace minerals necessary for healthy bones. Potassium also prevents the leaching of calcium. If you don’t have these building blocks, the potential for osteoporosis is greater.
Include super foods for bone health in your diet.
Dark greens, such as kale, bok choy and collard greens should head up the list of foods to include. These contain both vitamin K2 and calcium. Potatoes are a good source of magnesium and potassium. Figs provide many of the trace minerals, magnesium and potassium plus an abundance of calcium. If you can’t expose your skin to the sun, get some vitamin D3 from salmon. Almonds should also be part of your diet, providing protein as well as calcium and other nutrients for strong bones. Tofu and soy products can also help women build bone density.
Exercise is super important to bone health.
Bone tissue isn’t static, it’s living and continues to grow and change, otherwise bones wouldn’t mend after a break. Exercising has beneficial effects. Weight bearing exercise, for instance, causes bone and muscle tissue to grow. Weight bearing exercises include walking, dancing, climbing stairs, jumping rope and lifting weights, just to name a few. Low impact exercises, such as fast walking, is is a safer option for people with thinning bones.
- Vitamin C has been shown to help prevent bone loss, it’s time to add some citrus fruit to breakfast.
- If you’ve switched out of dairy, look for alternative milk sources, such as almond milk, which are fortified with vitamin D and calcium.
- Adding dried fruit to your diet can increase nutrients that reduce bone loss. Studies show that foods high in Omega3 fatty acids, such as flaxseed oil and fish oil also help maintain bone density.
- While beans contain high amounts of calcium and other bone healthy nutrients, they also contain phytates that interfere with calcium absorption. If you soak them for several hours, then cook in fresh water, it removes the phytates.