Top 7 Bone-Building Foods


Top 7 Bone-Building Foods

Your skeleton is greatly impacted by the food you consume over time. Make these healthy foods a priority in your diet to keep your bones strong.

Milk can strengthen your bones, but it's not the only food that has this beneficial effect on your health.

Taking care of your bones pays off. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, they not only assist you in moving and maintaining your balance but also help safeguard your sensitive internal organs and provide essential minerals like calcium and phosphorus when the body requires them for other purposes.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) reports that sadly, by the age of 40, these vital structures start to lose mass as the body stops replacing old bone. If you don't restock on the nutrients you need to stop your losses, this gradual loss could affect your ability to move independently and raise your risk of developing a disabling condition like osteoporosis.

According to Angel Planells, RDN, a Seattle-based spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, "what we eat and the activities that we do throughout the years [have] an impact on bone health."

Include these foods recommended by registered dietitians in your diet to help build and protect healthy bones.

Also keep in mind that variety is crucial for diet and bone health, according to Planells. Your bones (and palate) will thank you for including a good variety of food groups in each meal.


Here are Top 7 Bone-Building Foods


Top 7 Bone-Building Foods

1. Nuts Provide Magnesium and Phosphorus to Help Strengthen Bones

Top 7 Bone-Building Foods

While nuts do contain some calcium, they also provide magnesium and phosphorus, two other nutrients crucial to bone health. According to Allonen, magnesium aids in the absorption and storage of calcium in the bones. In the meantime, phosphorus is an important component of bones; according to the NIH, your bones and teeth contain about 85% of all the phosphorus in your body.

There are many different types of nuts to pick from, including Brazil nuts, cashews, walnuts, peanuts, and pecans, but Allonen suggests that almonds are always a safe bet because, according to the USDA, 1 ounce (oz) of almonds (a small handful) is a good source of magnesium and provides some phosphorus.


2. Cruciferous Veggies Offer a Bevy of Nutrients That Help Fortify Bones

Top 7 Bone-Building Foods

As if you needed another reason to consume your greens, cruciferous vegetables, a group of leafy green vegetables, according to Oregon State University, offer a number of nutrients that promote bone health, including vitamin K and calcium, which, as previously mentioned, are nutrients that support bone health.

According to Allonen, vitamin K and calcium together help to promote the development of strong bones. In addition, one review found that osteoporosis and fractures have been linked to vitamin K deficiency.

According to the National Cancer Institute, cruciferous vegetables include arugula, turnip greens, kale, cabbage, and broccoli.

The USDA cites 1 cup of cooked kale as an excellent source of calcium and vitamin K as an illustration of what you get from it. This adaptable leafy green is a good source of vitamin A, which is good for bones and can be added to soups, salads, and other dishes. If kale doesn't appeal to you, try broccoli instead. According to the USDA, 1 cup of this cooked, chopped cruciferous vegetable is an excellent source of vitamin K, a good source of vitamin A, and contains some bone-strengthening calcium and magnesium.


3. Seeds Have a Similar, Bone-Bolstering Nutrient Profile to Nuts

Top 7 Bone-Building Foods

According to Allonen, seeds contain calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus just like nuts do.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, seeds also contain fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid that may help lower cholesterol, lessen inflammatory responses in the body, and maintain healthy brain and nervous system function. (Studies have shown that walnuts are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids).

Only a few excellent seed varieties to include in your diet are chia seeds, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds. (Eat ground chia and flaxseed to get the most out of their omega-3 content. The USDA also states that 1 oz of sesame seeds is a good source of phosphorus, an excellent source of calcium, and a good source of magnesium.

Try adding sesame seeds to your favorite salad or chia seeds to your upcoming smoothie or baking project to add more seeds to your diet.


4. Dairy Can Be an Excellent Source of Bone-Building Calcium

Top 7 Bone-Building Foods

Dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese are frequently mentioned in discussions about bone health because they are rich in calcium, which is the primary nutrient that contributes to bone strength and structure, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). According to the United States Department of Agriculture's estimates of nutrients, 1 cup of fat-free milk and 1 cup of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt are both excellent sources of calcium. S. USDA, the Department of Agriculture.

Your personal preference will determine whether you choose full- or nonfat dairy products. A dietitian at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center named Sandy Allonen, RD, advises people who are trying to lose weight to stick with lower-fat products.

Choose foods that have been fortified with fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin A and vitamin D, if you're going the nonfat route, advises American Bone Health. "When you pull out the fat, you also pull out the fat-soluble vitamins," Allonen claims.


5. Fortified Juices and Whole-Grain Cereals Are Packed with Bone-Boosting Calcium

Top 7 Bone-Building Foods

You can use foods fortified with calcium and vitamin D to make up the difference if your body can't tolerate dairy. According to Planells, fortified foods like cereal and juice may even contain more calcium than kale or other leafy greens.

For instance, the USDA states that 1 cup of Raisin Bran cereal contains calcium and is a good source of vitamin D. A great source of calcium and vitamin D is 8 ounces of calcium-fortified orange juice.


6. Beans Are a Powerhouse Plant Food Loaded with Bone-Friendly Nutrients

Top 7 Bone-Building Foods

All varieties of beans, including pinto, kidney, edamame, and black beans, serve up a hefty serving of nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium that help to build strong bones.

Additionally, beans are frequently high in protein and fiber, which may be particularly advantageous for people who follow a plant-based diet. Contrary to popular belief, a plant-based diet that emphasizes a decrease in animal products like meat and dairy and an increase in plant foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains does not have a detrimental effect on bone health. If you consume enough calcium, according to research, a plant-based diet like the vegan one isn't linked to a higher risk of bone fractures. Depending on sex and life stage, the NIH advises adults to consume 1,000 to 1,300 milligrams (mg) of calcium per day.

Beans and other plant-based foods can help you meet your calcium goals and provide extra nutrients. For instance, 1 cup of black beans, which contains 84 mg of calcium, is a superb source of magnesium and phosphorus, according to the USDA. Along with being a great source of plant protein, they are also a great source of fiber.


7. Fatty Fish Supplies Vitamin D, a Nutrient Necessary for Healthy Bones

Top 7 Bone-Building Foods

Although your diet alone probably won't give you enough vitamin D, fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and rainbow trout do contain some of it, according to Planells.

Vitamin D, also referred to as the "sunshine" vitamin, is a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for bone growth and remodeling, according to the NIH. It aids the gut's absorption of calcium specifically. Unfortunately, low exposure to sunlight is a major factor in the fact that nearly 50% of the global population is deficient in this critical nutrient.

According to Planells, "some sun exposure can stimulate vitamin D production, but depending on your skin type and where you live, you may not get enough.". Additionally, excessive sun exposure has been linked to an increased risk of skin cancer, so Planells continues, "we need to focus on food options to get adequate vitamin D.". According to the NIH, adults under the age of 70 should specifically aim for 15 mcg, or 600 IU, of vitamin D each day. Aim for 20 mcg (800 IU) per day for people who are 70 years of age and older.

A small, 3-point 25 oz can of salmon is an excellent source of vitamin D, and 1 oz of fresh smoked tuna is also a good source, according to the USDA. Fatty fish are among the best food sources of vitamin D. 

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