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Bone Fuel: The Best Foods for Bone Health

Posted on June 6, 2016 by Core Products There have been 0 comments

By Brian Acton

One important aspect of aging comfortably is supporting the health of your bones. Not only are strong bones important early in life as you grow, they become crucial as you age. As you get older, strong bones can slow or even prevent conditions like osteoporosis, which results in brittle bones that can easily break under low stress or impact. Women over 50 are especially susceptible to this condition, and so it’s important – whether you have osteoporosis or not – to practice a diet that strengthens your bones.

So how do you establish the right diet? You need to eat foods that are bone fuel – that strengthen, grow, and protect your bones.

Calcium-Rich Foods

One of the most important elements to include in a bone-healthy diet is calcium. Calcium is one of the major building blocks of bones, and a calcium-rich diet contributes to bone strength and density, while a calcium deficiency can lead to osteoporosis.

Dairy products are an excellent source of calcium. Milk is one of the best sources, but yogurt and cheese are also great for providing calcium.

One common condition – lactose intolerance – can prevent many people from getting their much-needed calcium from dairy. Not to worry! There are a number of great foods that contain a good dose of calcium without containing any dairy, including:

Veggies: collard greens, kale, broccoli, and turnip greens are all great sources of calcium.

Beans: White beans are a fantastic source of calcium, and can be added to many dishes, such as pasta, chili, and hummus.

Canned Fish: Canned salmon and sardines provide a big boost of calcium and omega 3’s, and are delicious to add to salads and other dishes.

Vitamin D-Rich Foods

Vitamin D helps to support calcium absorption and processes that enable bone mineralization – in other words, the processes that makes your bones dense and strong. Vitamin D also helps bones grow, and without Vitamin D bones can become thin or brittle.

While sunshine on your skin will help you meet your Vitamin D needs, many of us need to limit our exposure to UV rays to prevent sunburn and skin cancer. In addition, we tend to stay indoors in cold winter climates – and so, food sources of Vitamin D are important as well.

The best sources of naturally occurring vitamin D occur in fish – specifically, the meat of fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel. Cod liver oil is a great provider of Vitamin D as well – you may have seen the supplements in the grocery store. As you move down the list of Vitamin D-containing foods, the drop-off from fish is significant – but there are many foods that come enriched with Vitamin D, such as orange juice, milk, and yogurt.

Protein

A well-balanced protein diet is beneficial to promoting bone health. Underweight and older Americans are often eating below the protein recommendations made by the Recommended Dietary Allowance. In contrast, the American diet is often too rich in animal-based protein.

While the exact recommended intake is up for debate – and the role that protein plays on bone health is still debated – it is agreed that a diet of too little protein or too much protein can be harmful to bones. Foods that are rich in protein, such as meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy – can be harmful in excess. Essential to maintaining healthy protein intake is to balance these foods with fruits and vegetables.

In Closing

Diet is not the only way to keep your bones healthy – moderate exercise and sunlight can also go a long way towards bone health. However, diet is an extremely important factor, as it is a major source for the ingredients that help build, strengthen, and grow our bones. Making sure you get enough calcium, vitamin D, and moderate amounts of protein will help keep your bones strong and prevent or slow the onset of osteoporosis and brittle bones.

 

Sources:

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/calcium-full-story/#calcium-from-milk

https://www.nof.org/patients/treatment/nutrition/

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/


This post was posted in Company, Education

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