Nutrition

Taking Care of Your Bones with Proper Nutrition

Taking Care of Your Bones with Proper Nutrition

Your skeleton is the literal backbone of your body, doing everything from giving structure to protecting essential organs and your nervous system. When you’re young, your bones are still growing and are resilient; they rebuild themselves stronger than ever after a break. But as you get older, that rebuilding process becomes less efficient and less effective, resulting in weaker bones, osteoporosis, and even eventually death. Luckily a diet with proper nutrition rich in bone-supporting vitamins and minerals can help your bones stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible.

The Nutrients Your Bones Need

Your bones are constantly rebuilding themselves—your entire skeleton is basically remade every ten years—and certain nutrients are essential to the rebuilding process working at maximum strength.

Calcium

For the healthiest bones, you should aim for 600-1200 mg of calcium a day (more for children and teens going through growth spurts). Your bones need calcium for the rebuilding process. What are your best sources of usable calcium? Dairy and Asian green vegetables (bok choy and Chinese mustard greens for example).

The Vitamins: A, B, C, D, E, K

These vitamins all work to make sure your bones absorb and use the calcium to its fullest. They also act as antioxidants and further building blocks for laying down new bones. But be careful: Too much or too little of certain vitamins can be counterproductive and downright harmful. Keep all the vitamins within the medically recommended quantities for the best results.

Protein

Almost a quarter of your bones is made up of protein, so it is important to get enough protein into your diet. Protein also has a moderating effect on certain growth hormones and calcium levels.

Phosphorous

Phosphorous is similar to the vitamins in that both too much and too little in your body is harmful to your bones. Phosphorous that comes from whole foods seems to be absorbed less and cause less harm to your body than does phosphorous from processed foods, so a balanced whole-foods diet is probably sufficient to keep your phosphorous levels in check.

Magnesium

Many people pay attention to their sodium and potassium intake but don’t worry about magnesium. Yet magnesium is essential to laying down bone mass! A well-rounded diet with leafy greens, beans, and nuts should get you enough magnesium, but you may need to add a magnesium supplement.

The Foods Your Bones Want, and Don’t Want

Your body naturally uses vitamins, minerals, and nutrients better when they come from whole foods rather than supplements, so look to these foods for better bone health.

Fruits, Vegetables, Whole Grains, Beans, Nuts, Seeds

These foods are rich in diverse phytochemicals and antioxidants that promote bone health. The different phytochemicals seem to be most effective when combined in a variety of ways so eating different whole foods together seems to be the best way to consume these phytochemicals.

Dairy

Calcium, magnesium, and potassium are all required for bone health and are all found in dairy. In fact, dairy can almost be called the superfood for bones because it also has protein! Unless you are intolerant to dairy, try to keep some servings in your daily diet.

Fats

Fats help bones twofold: by reducing inflammation that compromises bone growth and by assisting the absorption of fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K). There isn’t any evidence that one type of fat is better than the other, therefore aim to eat a variety of fats for the best result.

Alcohol and Caffeine

An excess of either—or both—alcohol or caffeine is harmful to your bones health and reduces their ability to protect themselves from injury.

Your bones are one of the most important parts of your body, and by taking care of them with the proper nutrition and a whole-foods diet, you can keep them healthy for years to come.

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About the author

Viance Nutrition

Hi! I'm Walt Landi the founder and CEO of Viance Nutrition. Welcome to our Blog. I maintain this Blog as a free resource for anyone wishing to improve their health. Your comments and feedback are always welcomed and you can email me direct at walt@viance.com if you have any suggestions. Thanks. Ps. Spread the word and check out our products at viance.com. :)

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