It pays to focus on bone health sooner, rather than later. Bone health is needed not only to protect us from falls and fractures, but also to keep us as active and robust as possible while we age. While you may not be able to totally control factors like age or genetics, you can decide how to fuel your body for maximum health and protection.
Many of my clients with soy, gluten and dairy intolerances have found that they feel better following more of a Paleo Style Diet. Benefits of the Paleo Style Diet can include weight normalization, decreased hunger and feeling generally well due to the removal of many over processed foods. Whatever style of eating is best for you, avoiding, or at least limiting, over processed foods is key.
You want to make sure that you’re eating foods that are a powerhouse of essential nutrients each day, especially if you are concerned about maintaining excellent bone health as you age.
Key Components of Bone Nutrition
To ensure strong, healthy bones, you’ll want to be sure you’re eating a healthy diet rich in the following nutrients:
- Calcium: Calcium is needed for building strong bones and teeth. It plays a role in muscle contraction and relaxation, nerve signaling, etc.
- Vitamin D: To ensure the proper absorption of Calcium and Phosphorus, the body requires sufficient Vitamin D. Vitamin D can help support a healthy immune system, bone health, healthy blood sugars, etc.
- Phosphorus: Works with calcium to help build strong bones and teeth.
- Magnesium: Important for strong bone structure and strength, amongst many other important roles.
- Vitamin K: Vitamin K is needed for bone formation, mineralization, blood clotting and may help by assisting calcium directly to the bones.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is needed for the synthesis of collagen.
- Vitamin A: Important in the maintenance of healthy skin, teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, etc.
NOTE: While you want to be sure you’re getting enough Calcium and Vitamin D, etc., consuming too much can cause dangerous side effects as well. Always speak to your healthcare practitioner as to the best dosage for your specific needs.
Bone Healthy Foods
- Calcium – Excellent sources include: Sesame Seeds, Bone-In Sardines and Salmon, Leafy Greens (Collard Greens / Spinach), Dry Roast Almonds, Molasses, and homemade broth.
- Vitamin D – Excellent sources include: Salmon, Halibut, and Eggs. Remember, you can also get your Vitamin D from 10-15 minutes of unprotected sunlight a day! Supplements are another option.
- Phosphorus – Excellent sources include: Scallops, Beef Sirloin, Pork Sirloin, Pumpkin Seeds, Brazil Nuts, Lentils, and Salmon.
- Magnesium – Excellent sources include: Spinach, Chard, Pumpkin Seeds, Almonds, Black Beans, Avocado, Figs, and Banana.
- Vitamin K – Excellent sources include: Dried Herbs Like Basil, Leafy Greens, Scallions, Brussels Sprouts, Chili Powder, Asparagus, Pickles, and Olive Oil.
- Vitamin C – Excellent sources include: Yellow Bell Peppers, Guavas, Kale, Kiwi, Broccoli, Strawberries, Oranges, Tomatoes, Peas and Papaya.
- Vitamin A – Excellent sources include: Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Kale, Butternut Squash, Romaine Lettuce, Dried Apricots, Cantaloupe, Sweet Red Peppers and Tuna.
TIP: Be sure to visit the Healthaliciousness Blog listed in the resources section for comparable alternatives if there are any foods you don’t care for on this list! There are too many equally good substitutions to list all in one article!
For more delicious, gluten free/grain free, whole foods recipes, visit me at www.apassionforhealthyliving.com
In college, Tricia Cardone studied biology, nursing and the nutritional sciences. She attained her nutritional certification through American Health Science University in Colorado. Tricia is a (CGP) Certified Gluten Practitioner and she is Tier 1 and Tier 2 Certified by the Gluten Free Society. Tricia is also a graduate of the prestigious Institute for Integrative Nutrition® school, located in NYC, and is a Board Certified Holistic Health Coach. This training has inspired her to pursue her passion of teaching clients about whole food nutrition, healthy cooking, and holistic approaches to healthy living. Tricia is an established natural foods cook/instructor. Tricia currently gives ongoing cooking classes for those with various health concerns by teaching clients cooking alternatives with the omission of gluten, dairy and refined sugars.