The foods we eat can directly affect our body and bones. Usually when people think of food to eat for bones, calcium is the first thing that comes to mind. While calcium is extremely important for bone health, other vitamins such as vitamin D, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and potassium are also extremely important.
To help prevent bone disease such as osteoporosis, it is imperative to eat foods rich in these vitamins and minerals are imperative to have healthy bones and help prevent bone disease such as osteoporosis.
When looking for a balanced diet, consider these vitamins and minerals and why they are essential for bone health:
- Calcium is a mineral that is stored in your bones. It is used to keep the bones and teeth strong, supporting skeletal function. The calcium that isn’t used for skeletal function is used for blood clotting, nerve function, and muscle contraction.
- Vitamin D also plays an essential role as it is needed to properly absorb the calcium.
- Vitamin K is also critical for bone health as it helps form bone proteins and can reduce calcium loss in urine.
- Potassium neutralizes acid and reduces calcium loss, which is beneficial for bone density.
If you are not getting enough of these vitamins and minerals in your diet, it can lead to fragile bones that are more susceptible to fractures and disease.
Below are just a few of the best foods to eat to help you bone health:
- Dairy – One of the obvious food choices to eat that is rich in calcium are dairy products. Consuming low-fat milk, cheese, and yogurt is the healthiest way to eat dairy. Three servings of dairy products a day can provide recommended daily calcium intake that is needed to help promote healthy, strong bones.
- Vegetables – Many vegetables can be a great source of calcium and other vitamins. Dark leafy greens such as kale, collard greens, and turnip greens are rich in calcium. In fact, one cup of cooked turnip greens contains 200 mg of calcium. Most dark greens also contain a lot of vitamin k which reduces risk of osteoporosis. Other vegetables such as potatoes, spinach, and sweet potatoes are high in potassium which also helps prevent bone disease.
- Lean protein – Lean proteins such as salmon, tuna, and chicken are filled with vitamin D, which helps the body use calcium. Fish is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids which can also help your bones. Skinless chicken is a healthy way to provide protein in order to help support bone density and tissue repair.
- Nuts – Many nuts such as almonds and pistachios are ideal for bone health due to their calcium and magnesium content. In particular, nut spreads such as almond butter contain 111 mg of calcium per two tablespoons. Eating this or snacking on a handful of nuts per day can greatly increase your calcium intake as well as other important nutrients they contain.
- Fruits – Fruits such as berries, oranges, bananas, kiwi contain calcium, potassium and vitamin C. Getting enough servings of fruit a day by snacking on them, adding them to salads, or making a smoothie can ensure you get the proper dose of these essential vitamins a day.
Eating these types of foods will contribute to healthy bones, as well as a multitude of other benefits to keep your body functioning at best.