better bone health
March 11, 2015

The grocery list for better bone health

Dr. Charles Price for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online

Eating right is the starting point for better bone health because healthy foods are the best source of nutrients that support bones. The 2015 USDA Dietary Guidelines continue to recognize the importance of calcium and vitamin D for bone health. However, diets that also included vegetables, fruits and grains were associated with better bone health outcomes.

You can see from the foods listed below that a bone-healthy diet has a lot of variety. Here is a list of some common foods that can help you meet your goals for bone health nutrition along with a list of some essential nutrients for bone health.

Bone Healthy Foods:

  • Three daily servings of dairy – including one serving of cheese (3 oz)
  • Salmon, tuna, oysters, vitamin D enriched milk
  • Prunes, raisins, or other dried fruits
  • Whole grains, oatmeal, Almonds
  • Leafy greens and green beans
  • Cantaloupe and citrus
  • Chicken and turkey dark meat

Calcium – This is the basic building block for bone because it strengthens the collagen proteins that are the flexible framework of bone. However, too much calcium can make bones brittle. The Recommended Daily Amount is 1,200 mg/day, but the majority of American women older than forty consume less than 600 mg/day.

  • 8 ounces of milk or yogurt (350 mg)
  • 1.5 ounces cheddar or mozzarella cheese (300 mg)
  • 2 ounces of almonds (150 mg)
  • 3 ounces canned salmon or sardines (200 mg)
  • 1⁄2 cup spinach, kale, bok choy, mustard or turnip greens (100 mg)

Vitamin D – Vitamin D helps the body take in and use calcium to strengthen bone. The RDA is 600-800 IU, but the Endocrine Society recommends 1,500 IU. The majority of American women older than forty consume less than 200 IU/day. It’s very difficult to get enough vitamin D from food sources alone.

  • 1 tablespoon Cod liver oil (1,350 I)
  • 3 ounces sword fish or salmon (500 IU)
  • 3 ounces canned tuna fish (150 IU)
  • 8 ounces of vitamin D-fortified milk (125 IU)
  • one large egg yolk (40 IU)

Vitamin K – The importance of vitamin K is increasingly recognized. This helps bind the calcium to the collagen framework of bone. Vitamin K along with vitamin D and calcium have been shown to strengthen bone more than calcium and vitamin D alone. The RDA is 90 mcg (micrograms)/day for women. Improved bone density is reported with more than 109 mcg/day. More than half of Americans consume less than 70 mcg/day. *Vitamin K should not be taken with blood thinner Coumadin®

  • 1⁄2 cup cooked kale or collard greens (500 mcg)
  • 1 cup fresh spinach (140 mcg)
  • 1⁄2 cup cooked broccoli; or 3⁄4 cup raw broccoli (120 mcg; 70 mcg)
  • ½ cup cooked Brussels sprouts
(120 mcg)
  • 1⁄4 head Iceberg lettuce (35 mcg)

Silicon – Silicon is also receiving increased attention for bone health. Silicon increases the production of the collagen support structure of bone. Silicon also helps attract calcium to bone during the formation stage. The RDA has not been established. However, increased bone mineral density has been shown when more than 40 mg/day is consumed by pre-menopausal women. The average dietary intake for women older than fifty is approximately 20 mg/day. Unfortunately, it is difficult to consume enough silicon from food sources alone.

  • 16 ounces of beer (12 mg)
  • 1 Serving of whole-grain breakfast cereal, granola, or dried fruit (9 mg)
  • 1⁄2 cup brown rice (4 mg)
  • ½ cup green beans (4 mg)

Additional nutrients that help support bone health have also been identified. These include

  • Magnesium – found in nuts, seeds, oatmeal, yellow corn, spinach, avocado, salmon
  • Boron – found in prunes, apricots, raisins, almonds, peanuts and avocados
  • Vitamin C – found in citrus, strawberries, broccoli, tomato juice, cantaloupe
  • Inositol – found in cantaloupe, citrus, whole grains, prunes, green beans, Kiwi fruit
  • L-arginine – found in turkey, chicken, salmon, nuts, and eggs

This is an excerpt from the eBook Practical Tips for Bone Health and Osteoporosis from the Institute for Better Bone Health. Download your free copy today at www.bonehealthnow.com/ebook.

Dr. Charles Price is the Medical Director for the Institute of Better Bone Health, and is rated as one of America's top doctors. He is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon and faculty member of the orthopedic residency program at Orlando Health. He is a Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Florida State University. Dr. Price has authored or co-authored over 60 scientific research papers. Dr. Price is also a Certified Sports Nutritionist by the American Sports and Fitness Association.

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