Bone health is something we’re all aware of, but probably not something we all practice. Bone health is important at any age. We need strong bones to help us through adolescence and then to help us as we age.
Below are some of the nutrients that can help with bone health:
A number of recent studies suggest that a diet lacking in protein accelerate bone loss. Unfortunately, however, excessive amounts may be detrimental. The recommendation is to eat moderate amounts of high-quality proteins including lean meats such as chicken, turkey, lean beef, seafood, low-fat yoghurts and cheese and beans, legumes and peanut butter.
Is thought that calcium may help lower high blood pressure and protect against colon and breast cancer. A lack of calcium could lead to a condition called rickets in children or osteoporosis in later life. When it comes to osteoporosis prevention and treatment, calcium is one of the most important nutrients. The best choices for calcium include low fat dairy products and cheeses, soya beans, kale, broccoli, and almonds. Care needs to be taken with calcium, as an excess of calcium can also lead to problems such as kidney deposits.
Studies suggest that vitamin C rich foods may also help slow the rate of bone loss as we age. Vitamin C also helps protect cells and keeps them healthy and is essential for the maintenance of healthy connective tissue. Eating oranges, lemons, grapefruit, pineapple, raspberries, mangoes, lychees, bell peppers, hot-chili peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage and tomatoes, to name but a few, enables your body to produce collagen, a protein that contributes to bone strength and integrity.
Many fruits and vegetables contain significant quantities of potassium. It is thought that eating a diet rich in potassium may help slow the decline in bone mineral density that occurs with ageing. There are some great sources of potassium in fruit and vegetables including bananas, honeydew melon, plums, prunes, raisins, avocados, artichokes, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, beans, nuts, fish, shellfish, meat and chicken.
It is thought that magnesium may play a supporting role when it comes to treating and helping to prevent Osteoporosis and helps to convert the food we eat into energy. Natural sources of magnesium are green leafy vegetables, wholemeal bread, pumpkin seeds, brown rice, nuts, sweet potatoes, beans, sesame seeds, flaxseed, meat and fish and dairy foods.
Another critical nutrient for bone health is vitamin D. Calcium relies on vitamin D to help it with absorption. Your body can make vitamin D with the help of sunlight, but in the interest of protecting your skin and during the year when we see very little sunlight, we must get most of our vitamin D from food and supplements. The best food sources are fatty fish including salmon, herring, mackerel, and sardines, low fat milk, soya milk, and yogurt and egg yolks. As there are only very few foods that are rich in vitamin D, you may need to take a supplement, such as a multivitamin that contains vitamin D.
This vitamin is essential for the formation of osteocalcin, a type of protein found only in bone and a high intake of vitamin K has been linked to lower risk of fractures. Vitamin K is especially found in leafy green vegetables such as kale, lettuce, and spinach as well as asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and watercress. However vitamin K is a natural blood thickener and may cause problems if you’re taking blood–thinning medication, so talk to your doctor before incorporating vitamin K rich foods into your diet.
We should also try to include high-quality soya foods such assoya beans, tofu, soya cheese and soya milk, soya yogurt into our diets a few times each week. Some soya products can be an acquired taste if we are used to the taste of dairy foods, but soya yoghurts and milk in particular are very tasty.