To avoid osteoporosis, there are several key nutrients you need to supply your body with to make your bones as strong as possible. Before we get to building your diet, you first need to know about the kinds of nutrients your body really needs and which foods to go for.
Essentially, you need to learn to naturally build bone density, or increase the mineral content of your bones, and you can work to reduce your risk of osteoporosis.
How do I get my daily dose of calcium (without overdoing it?)
The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends 1,000 mg of calcium daily for adults under 50, and 1,200 mg for those 50 and over.
Taking a calcium supplement is a good way to make sure you meet your daily requirement, but you can also naturally build bone density by increasing your dietary calcium intake without overdoing it on the milk.
Here's a list of calcium-rich foods...
- Seeds. For example: poppy, sesame, chia and pumpkin. Try adding a couple of tablespoons to your porridge every day or sprinkle over your salad or soup for that boost.
- Cheese. Most cheeses are excellent sources of calcium. In fact, Parmesan cheese has the most 33% of the RDI (recommended daily intake) per 28g. If it’s to your tastes, try hard aged cheeses as they are lower in lactose!
- Yoghurt. 245g of yoghurt contains 30% of the RDI. It’s best to avoid the sugary yoghurts and opt for natural so you are not overloaded with sugar. Yoghurt is a great source of phosphorus, potassium and vitamin B2 and B12. Don’t forget to opt for one that contains live bacteria – check out our blog on good and bad bacteria!
- Tinned fish – especially oily types such as sardines and salmon. They’re great because you eat the bones with the tinned fish and you get the added benefits.
- Nuts. Did you know 22 almond nuts alone will deliver 8% of your RDI?
- Leafy greens. Some vegetables such as kale, spring greens and chard can make a huge difference. However some leafy greens contain oxalates which makes some calcium unavailable to your body (like spinach!) – so if you’re unsure, consult a professional.
Don’t forget vitamin D…
If you don't get enough vitamin D, your body can't absorb calcium from foods. So, in order to make sure your body actually benefits from your daily dose of calcium, it's important to keep tabs on vitamin D intake.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends 400 to 800 IU of vitamin D daily for adults under 50 and 800 to 1,000 IU for older adults. Natural sources of vitamin D include egg yolks, fortified milk, saltwater fish, cheese, liver and of course: direct sunlight.
If you’re interested in talking through your bone health with your osteopath, please get in touch with us to book your next appointment 01722 512 043.