Healthy Foods for Good Bone Health

March 21, 2014

Certain foods and nutrients can improve bone health

Certain foods and nutrients can improve bone health

The risk of falling is a common fear among aging parents or their caregivers and brittle bones are subject to breaks during the most minor falls.  Strong bone health is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle for all generations.

In addition to proper exercise, consuming foods rich in bone healthy nutrients is one of the best ways to maintain bone health and to protect against fractures and other bone issues.  Below are eight foods that can make significant contributions to continued bone health.

As in all things, every individual has different needs and requirements, so consult with your doctor before making significant changes to your diet.  For example, a person who is lactose intolerant will not want to increase his or her intake of dairy products.

Eight great foods for bone health

  1. Kale.  This delicious, tangy, leafy green vegetable has both calcium and vitamin K and is a tasty way to make your bones happier.  If you need to ease your way into kale, try putting it on sandwiches or mixing it in with other salad greens.
  2. Collard greens.  These are other zesty, flavorful greens that should be in your refrigerator. One-half cup contains the equivalent of 20% of the recommended daily allowance of calcium.  Eat them cooked or mix them in with kale in you next salad.
  3. Dandelions.  These are another excellent salad ingredient, rich in boron and calcium.
  4. Cabbage.  Women especially can benefit from upping their cabbage intake; this popular vegetable raises estrogen levels, which can play a positive role in bone health.
  5. Yogurt.  Not only does yogurt contain calcium, but many find that it also helps with digestive issues such as diarrhea.
  6. Cottage cheese.  A staple of many weight loss diets, cottage cheese contains up to 300 mg of calcium.
  7. Broccoli.  Rich in calcium and vitamin K, broccoli is also high in fiber and low in calories.
  8. White beans.  Like broccoli, white beans are great sources of calcium and fiber, as well as potassium and magnesium – and those are all valuable in keeping bones healthy.

There are many other foods that can help maintain good bone health for aging parents, such as fortified milk, edamame, tofu, and almonds, and the good news is that all of these foods can provide many vitamins and nutrients that have benefits beyond good bone health.  For more resources on food suggestions and recipe ideas, visit the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

If you’re unsure of whether you need to make changes to your diet to improve bone health, consult your doctor.  It’s a worthwhile change to make!

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