World Osteoporosis Day: 4 foods to eat and avoid if you are fighting this bone disease
By NCVC Staff | Published on Sep 24, 2023
Osteoporosis is a condition that significantly impacts overall health by affecting bone health. The strength and energy we feel daily are closely related to the health of our bones. To prevent osteoporosis, a major public health concern, it is crucial to maintain a diet rich in high-quality protein, calcium, and vitamin D. When bone metabolism is disrupted, bones become fragile and weak. This can be the result of poor nutrition, aging, menopause, or certain medications. However, with the right foods, you can help strengthen and maintain healthier bones. On World Osteoporosis Day, let’s discover four essential foods for bone health.
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Foods for Healthier and Stronger Bones
1. Calcium-Rich Foods
Research consistently shows a positive correlation between calcium intake and bone mass. Conversely, a low calcium diet is often associated with higher fracture rates. Dairy products, such as yogurt, curd, milk, and cheese, are excellent sources of calcium. Additionally, green leafy vegetables like amaranth, spinach, drumstick leaves, Chinese cabbage, and broccoli, as well as soy products and fish, can contribute to your calcium intake.
2. Vitamin D-Rich Foods
Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, plays a crucial role in calcium absorption. Sunlight is the primary source of vitamin D, but it can also be obtained from various foods. Include egg yolks, fatty fish like salmon, trout, mackerel, and tuna, cheese, organ meats, and fortified foods such as milk, orange juice, margarine, and cereals in your diet for optimal bone health.
3. Good Quality Protein Sources
Protein intake is directly linked to bone mineral density. Research suggests that lower protein intake may lead to higher rates of fractures. Incorporating nuts and seeds, dairy products, pulses and legumes, meat, fish, eggs, and soy products into your diet can provide good quality protein. However, it is essential to avoid excessive protein intake as it can lead to calcium excretion in the urine.
4. Fruits and Vegetables
Higher consumption of fruits and vegetables has been associated with increased bone mass due to their micronutrient content. Vitamins C and K, magnesium, potassium, and carotenoids present in fruits and vegetables promote bone health while reducing the risk of fractures.
Foods that May Affect Bone Health
1. Low Salt Intake
High salt consumption has been linked to calcium excretion from the kidneys (calciuria). To promote bone health, it is advisable to reduce table salt and limit the consumption of packaged foods. Further research is needed to better understand this relationship.
2. Alcohol Intake
Excessive alcohol consumption can interfere with the body’s absorption of calcium and vitamin D, both essential nutrients for bone health. Alcohol intake can also reduce male hormone testosterone and female hormone estrogen levels, which can increase the risk of osteoporosis.
3. Oxalate and Phytate-Rich Foods
Foods rich in oxalates and phytates, such as spinach, beans, soy products, beets, and whole wheat, can hinder calcium absorption. Oxalates and phytates bind with calcium in the body, leading to its excretion. To minimize this effect, soak these foods in water for several hours before cooking them in freshwater.
Also, read: Worried about your bone health? Then eliminate these 5 foods from your diet right away.
Beverages like colas and coffee have been associated with negative effects on kidney health, leading to calciuria. In certain cases, increased consumption of these beverages has been linked to reduced bone mass and an elevated risk of fractures.
Maintaining a healthy diet is essential for better bone health. Ensure your diet includes these essential foods and avoids those that may negatively impact bone health. By prioritizing bone health, you take a significant step towards overall well-being.