TLike any living tissue, bones need nutrients so that they can grow and maintain their strength. That’s why a key component to both managing and preventing osteoporosis is high-quality nutrition! Alternatively, if you’re not getting the right nutrients you actually put yourself at greater risk for bone, muscle and joint disease.
So what does a bone healthy diet look like?
1. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Studies show that eating more fruits and vegetables can improve your bone health. These types of food are generally lower in calories and fat, and are high in fiber and essential vitamins and minerals. They also contain phytochemicals, substances that can help protect against a variety of diseases, including osteoporosis.
To increase your bone health, aim to eat four or more servings of vegetables and three servings of fruit each day. Fruits and vegetables are also excellent sources of magnesium, potassium, and vitamins C, K and A; all of which play a vital role in strengthening your bones.
2. Choose Protein Carefully
Protein plays a vital role in maintaining bone strength. The best protein choices include:
- Skinless poultry
- Lean cuts of meat
Low-fat dairy products, including milk and plain yogurt, are also good sources of protein and provide calcium, which benefits bone health. Protein should account for 25-35% of your total daily calories.
3. Eat Foods Rich in Calcium
Calcium is very critical to bone health as it helps prevent bone loss and osteoporotic fractures in the elderly. Milk and other dairy products are the richest calcium food sources, but it can also be found in kale, broccoli, and calcium-fortified foods such as juices, cereals and tofu products.
If you are having trouble getting enough calcium in your diet, then you may need to consider taking a calcium supplement.
4. Limit Salt and Sugar Intake
Foods that contain processed sugars generally provide a lot of calories, additives and preservatives, but very few vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients that are needed to maintain bone health. For this reason, dietary guidelines often recommend that processed foods and beverages, like soda and candy, be consumed in moderation.
Too much salt in your diet is also harmful to your bones. Not only can salt cause high blood pressure, but an excessive intake of salt can increase the amount of calcium you excrete from your body through urination. This can lead to bone loss and weakening overtime.
5. Limit Alcohol and Caffeine Intake
Research shows that consuming more than one or two alcoholic drinks a day hastens bone loss and reduces your body’s ability to absorb calcium. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
Caffeine can also lead to calcium loss. However, moderate caffeine consumption, about two to three cups of coffee a day, is not harmful as long as your diet contains an adequate amount calcium.
Want to have a better bone healthy diet, but not sure where to start? Goodyear Chiropractic Health Center, has an expert nutritionist on staff that can create a meal and health plan specifically for you. To schedule a consultation, please click here!