Strong bones are best!
Nutrition for bone health
By Hannah Dentry, WAC Dietitian
May is recognized as National Osteoporosis Month! Individuals with osteoporosis have weakened bones and are at an increased risk of fractures. In some cases, you may be unaware that you have osteoporosis until a bone breaks. While osteoporosis is more common for individuals over age 50, people of all ages can take steps to improve their bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. In fact, your peak bone strength is built between the ages of 20 and 30.
Calcium plays the star role in forming new bone cells. Bones store over 99 percent of calcium in the body. Calcium is also needed for countless other essential functions, so if your body isn’t getting enough from your food it will leech it from your bones and weaken them. Calcium rich foods include:
- Milk or plant-based milks fortified with calcium and vitamin D
- Yogurt (also good for your gut health)
- Dark green leafy vegetables
Calcium doesn’t work alone. Vitamin D, vitamin K, potassium and magnesium also serve as bone strengthening sidekicks!
The food form of vitamins and minerals is always preferable to the supplement form. However, if you are concerned about your calcium intake, talk to your registered dietitian to determine if you may benefit from supplements and how to avoid excessively high doses.
—Posted May 1, 2019