The Top 10 Foods for Bone Health (Part 1)

Although you’ve no doubt heard that “milk does a body good,” the truth is that research doesn’t support these claims. In fact, clinical evidence strongly associates consumption of dairy products in causing, rather than preventing, osteoporosis.[1] While the media has done a great job convincing the public that we should all be drinking milk to avoid osteoporosis, research shows consumption of dairy products has actually been associated with an increased incidence of bone fractures.[2]

You might be asking, “If guzzling milk does not prevent osteoporosis, what does?” Actually, there are certain superfoods that have been shown to preserve bone health, the majority of which contain a combination of significant bone-building nutrients. You see, no one nutrient by itself is likely to prevent this terrible disease. Rather, it takes a combination of nutrients that work synergistically: calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin K, boron, vitamin C, folate, etc.

To prevent osteoporosis, you need to consume a variety of foods for bone health – foods that have the highest combination of the bone-building nutrients. The following list contains foods that will help maintain healthy bones: 

Top 10 Foods for Bone Health:

#1– Broccoli

Broccoli is high in magnesium, calcium, vitamin K, folate, vitamin B6 and vitamin C. When it comes to bone health, broccoli truly has it all!

#2 – Fish

Fish such as sardines, salmon, cod and tuna are high in calcium and the healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

#3 – Green leafy vegetables

Green, leafy vegetables include kale, collards, turnip greens, spinach, lettuce, parsley, etc. These vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that can help protect bone health. All greens contain high amounts of manganese, iron and vitamin K1. This type of vitamin K prevents over-activity of osteoclasts, the cells that break down bone to release minerals into the blood. In addition to manganese, iron and vitamin K, greens include other nutrients: Lettuce contains calcium and boron; cabbage is full of folate, vitamin B6 and vitamin C; spinach has folate, vitamin B6, magnesium and calcium; and parsley is also high in folate.  Research indicates eating an assortment of these green, leafy vegetables is most beneficial.

#4 – Prunes   

According to Florida State University researchers, postmenopausal women who regularly eat prunes have a considerably lower risk of developing osteoporosis and fractures compared to other women of the same age. The study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, noted prunes are phenomenal for bone health.[3] Additionally, prunes are an excellent source of boron.

#5 – Nuts

Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts and cashews are rich in the amino acid lysine. Lysine helps accelerate the body’s ability to absorb calcium.  Furthermore, certain nut varieties contain omega-3 fatty acids as well as folate, boron, and magnesium.

To read the next 5 superfoods on our “Top 10 Foods for Bone Health”, click here.

[1] 12-year Harvard study of 78,000 women American Journal of Public Health 1997;87.

[2] American Journal of Epidemiology, 1994;139.

[3] Shirin Hooshmanda, Sheau C. Chaia, Raz L. Saadata, Mark E. Paytona, Kenneth Brummel-Smitha and Bahram H. Arjmandi. Comparative effects of dried plum and dried apple on bone in postmenopausal women. British Journal of Nutrition DOI: 10.1017/S000711451100119X.

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UHN Staff

University Health News is produced by the award-winning editors and authors of Belvoir Media Group’s Health & Wellness Division. Headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., with editorial offices in Florida, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, … Read More

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  • But just as important is weight bearing exercise, which doctors recommend to use a weighted vest – my MD said to use the one by nyknyc. It’s made for people with osteoporosis and it works – I have gained 10% of my bone back since using this vest.

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