Your bones depend on a combination of vital nutrients for good health. These include an adequate supply of bone-building minerals including magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, boron, copper, phosphorus and manganese. In addition, your body needs vitamins such as vitamin D, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin K and vitamin C, which help reduce bone loss as well as significantly improve the absorption of calcium in the body. And, to round out your bone-building nutrients, you need a proper diet full of amino acids such as lysine and healthy fats in the form of omega-3 fatty acids.
In part one, we began our list of the top 10 foods for bone health. Below are 5 more superfoods that help strengthen and maintain healthy bones:
Top 10 Foods for Bone Health:
#6 – Yogurt
Yogurt is high in probiotics, the friendly bacteria in the digestive tract. Probiotics help convert vitamin K1 into vitamin K2 which activates osteocalcin, the major protein in bone that anchors the calcium molecules in bone. Research studies have shown that vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) is poorly absorbed by the body and has a very short half-life time compared to vitamin K2 (menaquinone). Therefore, if you choose to eat foods high in vitamin K1 (such as the green vegetables) it is important that you consume probiotics simultaneously – either through foods such as yogurt or in supplement form.
#7 – Squash or Pumpkin (Gourds)
Gourds and their seeds (pumpkin seeds) are high in calcium, manganese, iron, copper and zinc. They are also an excellent source of omega 3 fats. Plus, the healing properties of pumpkin seeds have been reported to improve bone conditions including osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.
#8 – Avocado
Avocados contain several of the nutrients essential to bone health including vitamin K, vitamin D, vitamin C, boron, copper and folate and they are a good source of omega 3 fatty acids.
#9 – Red Kidney Beans
All beans contain iron, but red kidney beans are especially healthy because they are high in boron. They are also rich in magnesium, zinc and copper.
#10 – Lemons
Despite being acidic on the palette, lemons have an alkalizing effect on the body when consumed. This is important because a prolonged acidic environment in the body can lead to osteoporosis as well as other chronic health conditions. In addition, lemons are high in the minerals needed for bone maintenance (calcium and copper) and they are loaded with vitamin C.
The Foods That Cause Osteoporosis
Now that you know the top 10 foods for bone health, it is just as important you learn the types of foods you should avoid. Why is this so important? Well, you can eat all of the healthy foods in the world, but if you’re eating them in combination with foods that induce bone loss, it will all be for naught. So, what are these harmful foods? Find out in our Comprehensive Guide, Osteoporosis Relief: Natural Remedies for Osteoporosis Prevention and Treatment. Our Guide will teach you all about the foods you should avoid as well as show you how you can “exchange” these foods for healthier options. By using an “exchange list”, you’ll learn how to actually prefer the healthier choices in your normal daily food intake.
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 Am J Clin Nutr, Sept. 2004:80(3):715-721. 2004. PMID:15321813.