Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones – often referred to as ‘brittle bone disease’ it causes our bones to lose density and become more vulnerable to fracture. One way of protecting against this distressing disease is by increasing our consumption of foods that may strengthen bones and prevent osteoporosis developing.
Green leafy vegetables
Green leafy vegetables, in particular curly kale, are excellent sources of calcium – curly kale in particular also has high levels of vitamin K, known to enhance the body’s absorption of calcium. Other types of vegetables in this category include spinach, broccoli, lettuce, and Brussels sprouts.
Dairy products of all kinds are rich sources of calcium and a great many other essential nutrients – choose low fat options and enjoy a wide range of health benefits.
Oily fish such as salmon, fresh tuna, herring, sardines, mackerel, and halibut, among others, are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Vitamin D can only be produced by the body when exposed to sunshine – consuming sufficient amounts of this essential vitamin can only be done through diet. Vitamin D aids the absorption of calcium and is found in milk and eggs.
Foods rich in fibre are also known to reduce cholesterol levels – lowering cholesterol is known to improve bone growth; research has shown that individuals with high cholesterol have reduced levels of bone building cells. Foods such as corn, oats, flax seeds, and apples for example will have a beneficial effect on bone health.
Carrots – and other vegetables
Everyone knows that fresh vegetables, along with fresh fruit, have many benefits to overall health. Fibre rich vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, raspberries, strawberries, avocadoes and beets, as well as carrots, also contain high levels of silica known to improve bone density.
Many seeds, especially pumpkin seeds, are rich in the magnesium required for strong, healthy bones.
Foods such as artichokes, cheese, seeds, oats etc. that are high in phosphorous will contribute to strong bones and the regulation of calcium in the body.
Mushrooms, along with calf liver, cashews, soybeans, lobster, oysters, and cocoa powder, are rich in copper – another essential mineral for good bone health.
The mineral boron is found in honey, pears, wheat, dates, and red grapes among other things and is beneficial in improving bone health.
Eggs are an excellent source of the good quality protein required to build strong, healthy bones. Bone quality is very much dependent on the quality of protein in the diet – this protein provides the collagen required for good bone strength and health.
In addition to eating a healthy diet, it is also essential to take part in a regular exercise program whilst taking sensible precautions against any injury that may result in a fracture. Patients with osteoporosis should take care not to trip or fall and should always follow the advice of their medical practitioner regarding their treatment program, diet, and exercise.