Paving your way to healthy bones — and maintaining them throughout your life — is key to your overall well-being. Fortunately, opting for nourishing dietary and lifestyle practices that foster bone health, avoid risk factors, and ensure a strong, long-lasting skeleton is much within your hands!
From calcium and magnesium to folic acid and vitamin D, eating the right combination of nutrients, minerals, healthful fats, collagen, and protein is a fabulous place to start if you are looking to support your immune system and preserve bone health, too.
Keep on reading to learn more about a few (and nutritious) ways to strengthen and care for your bones, prioritize nutritious foods, and keep bone-related diseases at bay.
Eating For Your Bones:
When it comes to diet and bone health, variety is pivotal! Diversify your daily eating habits with a wide selection of fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and lean protein to provide your body with the nutrients required to support bone wellness.
The darker, the better:
Leafy greens such as kale and bok choy are a great source of calcium and vitamin K, which can prevent or reduce your risk of osteoporosis. Including bone-forming, vegetable powerhouses into your diet have also been found to protect bone mass in young adults and mature women alike.
Potassium and magnesium are two of the building blocks for good bone health, and one delicious way of consuming these two is through sweet potatoes. These all-star root vegetables are rich in fiber and antioxidants with potential gut and immune-associated benefits.
Considering that 50% of your bones are made out of protein, supplying your bones with enough of these bone-building macronutrients should be a top priority. If you’re following a plant-based diet, beans, legumes, and dairy products, among others, are beneficial options to support bone health. Other exceptional protein choices include eggs, fatty fish (such as wild-caught salmon, sardines, or smoked tuna), tofu, and nuts, to name a few.
Oil it up:
Yes, healthy fats are everywhere and for a good reason! Besides their well-renown anti-inflammatory potential, fatty acids, in particular, have been shown to protect against bone loss and breakdown during the aging process. Some great sources of fatty acids include chia seeds, walnuts, flaxseeds, and soybeans.
Prioritize calcium-packed foods at each meal to optimize their absorption and improve bone strength and structure — think fortified cereals, greens, yogurt, edamame, amaranth, prunes, figs, and almonds, among many!
Food To Avoid:
If possible, staying away from refined sugar and flour, fried foods, alcohol, high-salt foods, soda, and other inflammatory edibles is essential to bone health. Besides decreasing your organism’s ability to absorb calcium, these harmful foods can also reduce bone mineral density overall. Lifestyle Practices To Support Bone Health
While food and nutrition are vital ingredients to excellent bone health, lifestyle habits are imperative to cultivating a healthy skeletal life. Here are some of many quick tips for incorporating into your daily life dynamics:
Opt for weight-bearing exercises (think walking, jogging, or climbing stairs) and high-impact activities that encourage new bone formation.
Let the sunshine in by getting short sun exposure every day. Your body needs vitamin D for adequate calcium absorption, and making sure you receive a daily dose of sunlight is fundamental to your body’s vitamin D production processes.
Check your hormones, especially if you are going through menopause or suspect you might be having a thyroid issue.
Turning to a healthy diet and nurturing lifestyle are naturally part of an integrated way of living that affects the mind, body, and heart. Each of the dietary and daily life suggestions mentioned above works best when incorporated into your own health and well-being needs.