Consider this — about half of people 50 or older in the United States (about 54 million) are at risk for broken bones because of osteoporosis or low bone density. Whether you fall into this age group or you’d like to prepare yourself for age-related bone loss in advance, a great way to keep your bones strong and healthy is through your diet.
Our team of musculoskeletal experts at LA Orthopaedic Specialists believes in the old saying, “You are what you eat.” In fact, diet, along with exercise and a healthy lifestyle, is essential for preventing fractures due to weak bones.
Here, we explore some easy ways to support and strengthen your bones through your diet.
Bone loss — what we’re up against
Before we review effective diet hacks for bone strength, let's take a moment to discuss what we’re up against when it comes to age-related bone loss.
Throughout your life, your bone is constantly rebuilding and remodeling itself. Your body removes old bone and replaces it with newer materials to keep your skeletal structure strong.
After 50, however, the rate of bone loss can outpace the rate of regrowth, leading to a gradual deficit in bone density. That leaves your bones more porous, thinner, and weaker, making them more prone to fracture.
Keeping your bones strong through your diet
Several vitamins and minerals are essential to bone health. For example, about 65% of your bone tissue is made up of calcium and phosphorus, which is why calcium tops our list of bone-healthy dietary tips.
Foods containing significant amounts of calcium include:
- Dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese
- Leafy greens
- Canned salmon, which is packed with small bones
- Beans and lentils
- Edamame and tofu
Of course, you can also take a calcium supplement to ensure you get enough of this bone-healthy mineral, but the foods we list above are great sources of other healthy nutrients as well.
Another essential vitamin for bone health is vitamin D, which regulates calcium absorption and accelerates bone turnover. Some great sources of vitamin D include:
- Egg yolks
- Canned tuna
- Fortified orange juice
- Wheat bran cereal
You can also take a supplement to boost levels of vitamin D in your diet.
Magnesium is a mineral found in abundance in your bones, and you want to keep these levels high. Foods that are full of magnesium include:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Black beans
- Dark chocolate
- Whole wheat bread
We want to point out that each list of foods we present here is far from complete, but our goal is to illustrate the wide range of choices you have when it comes to eating your way to stronger bones.
If you’re serious about supporting your bone health through your diet, we suggest scheduling a visit with us for a bone density review so we can figure out bone strength goals unique to you. Next, we can help you devise a customized diet and supplement plan to provide your bones with the tools they need to counter bone loss.
To get started, please call our Los Angeles office at 213-455-8448, or schedule an appointment online.