Osteoporosis refers to bone mineral density that is below normal peak bone density (-2.5 or lower on your DXA reading).
If you have osteoporosis, it means that you have to act quick and make changes to your diet to help increase your bone density. But the good news is you can make certain lifestyle choices that can combat and turn it around.
One way is to focus on an osteoporosis diet plan.
As you know, your diet plays a major role in the health of your bones. Providing your bones with the vitamins and minerals needed to maintain normal bone health and bone strength is crucial to combatting reduced bone mineral density.
Top Essential Bone-Building Vitamins and Minerals
Calcium is arguably the most important nutrient in your body. As the most abundant mineral, it has several important functions. Therefore, there are many calcium health benefits. More than 99% of your calcium is stored in your bones and teeth where it supports their structure and is ready to be called into action for many other critical functions.
The top sources of calcium are milk, cheeses, yogurt, canned sardines and salmon with bones in them, sesame seeds and kale.
Did you know that as many as 80% of Americans are magnesium deficient! Deficiency of this mineral affects bone growth, osteoblastic and osteoclastic activity, osteoporosis, bone fragility, and alter calcium metabolism.
Top sources of magnesium are sesame seeds, almonds, dark chocolate and black beans.
Ever hear of headlines in the news talking about calcium increasing cardiovascular risk? That’s because those studies did NOT have participants taking vitamin K2 in addition to calcium. This is crucial because Vitamin K2 cleans calcium deposits from your arteries and deposits it in your bones. On top of directing calcium where it needs to go, Vitamin K2 has been clinically proven to provide extraordinary benefits for bone health and cardiovascular health.
The top source of vitamin K2 comes from natto, which is a fermented soybean traditional to Japanese food. This is one of the most significant dietary sources of vitamin K2 so in case you are not a fan of the taste (most people aren’t) supplementing with K2 is the way to go.
Osteoporosis is most often associated with inadequate calcium intake. However, a deficiency of vitamin D also contributes to osteoporosis by reducing calcium absorption.
The best natural source of vitamin D3 is sunlight. While this isn’t considered a part of your ‘diet’ per se, it’s still something you should be getting regularly. If you are unable to get the sun all year round, an alternative to natural sunlight is to supplement with vitamin D3.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids in the forms of EPA and DHA are crucial for bone health. The reason is they play a major role in reducing inflammation. Lara Pizzorno, author of “Your Bones” explains that “anything that causes inflammation activates osteoclasts, the specialized cells that break down bone. Inflammatory signals tell these bone removal cells it’s time to get to work.”
The top sources of omega 3 fatty acids are – cold water, fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines and fish oil.
In addition to following an osteoporosis diet plan with the above foods, it’s also important to start incorporating regular weight-bearing exercise into your routine.