Can You Eat To Beat Bone Loss?

Next to genetic predisposition, poor nutrition is thought to be the most common cause of osteoporosis. Making healthy dietary choices can help prevent dangerous bone loss and also help if osteoporosis has been diagnosed.

Calcium If your diet isn’t great your body will use your bones as a bank, borrowing calcium to fuel functions like muscle movement, nerve operation and immune system processes. This can leave a calcium debt, weakening your bones. If you eat plenty of calcium-rich foods there will be enough to supply the body’s demands and even enough to pay back any borrowed from your skeleton.

Calcium-rich foods: Yogurt (fat-free or low-fat), milk, tofu with calcium (check nutrition label), edamame, bok choy, white beans, kale, collard greens, broccoli, figs, oranges, sardines, white beans, okra, almonds and almond butter.

Vitamin D This vital nutrient allows calcium to move from the gastrointestinal tract to the parts of the body that need it – including your bones. Vitamin D can be made in the body through a reaction of the skin and sunlight, just 10-15 minutes of sun 3 to 4 times a week is enough. You can also add vitamin D-rich foods to your weekly menu plan.

Vitamin D-rich foods:  Salmon, trout, mackerel, tuna, vitamin D-rich mushrooms, fortified milk and orange juice and egg yolks.

Vitamin K Vitamin K is associated with a reduced risk of fractures as it is essential to produce a bone protein called osteocalcin. Be aware though, Vitamin K plays a role in clot formation and is a blood thickener so anyone on blood-thinning medication should talk with their doctors before eating too many vitamin K-rich foods.

Vitamin K-rich foods: Kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, lettuce, parsley, watercress, okra, asparagus, broccoli.

Magnesium Acids formed in your body during the process of metabolism need to be balanced and neutralised by alkaline compounds, otherwise they can cause bone loss. Magnesium helps neutralise these acids and plays an integral role in bone crystal growth.

Magnesium-rich foods:  Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, cashews, quinoa, chickpeas, kidney beans, whole grains, Swiss chard, avocado, dried figs.

Potassium Potassium helps to increase bone formation and mineral density as it is involved with balancing calcium and neutralising the metabolic acids that weaken bones. Studies have shown that a potassium-rich diet can help to increase bone mineral density in premenopausal women.

Potassium-rich foods:  Avocado, Swiss chard, sweet potatoes, bananas, rocket (arugula), endive, cos lettuce, pumpkin, kidney beans, chickpeas, papaya, kale, watermelon, beetroot, broccoli, nuts and seeds.

Vitamin C Collagen is a key protein in bone tissue that contributes to strength and resilience. Vitamin C is vital to collagen health and believed to increase bone mineral density and so fewer fractures.

Vitamin C-rich foods: Bell peppers, oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, papaya, lemons, kale, kidney beans, broccoli, cabbage, okra, tomatoes, kiwi, brussels sprouts.

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