Healthy bone support for women

Healthy bone support for women

Taking care of your bones as you age helps you stay healthy. What can you do to keep bones as healthy as possible? We’ll discuss diet tips and lifestyle practices that can prevent or slow the deterioration of bone mass that happens naturally over time.   

How do you support bone health?

Your bones provide structure, protect organs, anchor muscles, and store calcium. Bones change continuously, making new bones as older bones break down. This remodeling process naturally slows down as you age, and there’s more bone loss than bone gain. How can you promote bone health for longer and prevent future problems? Taking care of your diet and lifestyle can support your bone health and slow any deterioration that potentially leads to osteoporosis.  

Diet for bone health

Support your bone health by consuming a variety of foods. Eat a mix of fruits, vegetables, carbs, dairy or dairy alternatives, and proteins (all in moderation). Although you have a lot of flexibility when it comes to what you eat and how you prepare the food, it can be helpful to understand how different foods interact with one another. We suggest speaking with your primary care provider or nutritional expert(s) if you’re confused about what combinations of foods pair well while still promoting optimal bone health. These experts may help answer some of your questions.  

Vitamins and minerals for healthy bones

A variety of micronutrients help support bone health. Calcium and vitamin D work well together because vitamin D helps with calcium absorption. In terms of supporting bone health, calcium and vitamin D are considered two of the most important micronutrients. Potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, and vitamin K are nutrients that also help support bone health, preventing issues like osteoporosis. Potassium plays a role in excretion processes helping to reduce calcium loss. Higher amounts of magnesium are associated with greater bone density. Vitamin C and vitamin K are positively correlated with bone mass and bone density, respectively. If you need help finding a nutritional balance that supports bone health, we suggest speaking with your primary care provider or nutritional expert.  

Healthy recipes for strong bones

You’re most likely offering bone health support if you have a balanced and varied diet. One good Food should be colorful. Eat a mix of dairy, protein, and fruits and vegetables with a variety of colors. Nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin K are more likely to be balanced when you mix things up. When it comes to promoting bone health, you have flexibility in how you prepare your meal. Of course, some foods are more beneficial than others. Foods that contain nutrients vital for bone health include:

  • Dark, leafy greens (for calcium and vitamin K)

  • Sweet potatoes (for magnesium and potassium)

  • Grapefruit and other citrus fruits (for vitamin C)

  • Figs (for calcium, magnesium, and potassium)

  • Fatty fish like salmon (for vitamin D)

  • Dairy and plant-based dairy alternatives (for calcium and vitamin D)

Some extra diet tips

Several factors influence how your body uses the energy it gets from food. Your body’s ability to process certain nutrients can be impacted by what you eat because different nutrients compete for absorption. Bone loss can be a side effect of consuming substances such as salt, alcohol, and caffeine. You might be able to minimize dietary side effects by:

  • Soaking beans before cooking them to reduce phytates (substances that interfere with calcium absorption)

  • Paying attention to how much protein is in your diet (too little can be harmful, but too much can cause calcium loss)

  • Limiting your salt intake (too much can lead to loss of calcium)

  • Limiting alcohol and caffeine 

Lifestyle practices to support bone health

As you age, your bone mass will decrease. Factors that can influence the rate at which bone health deteriorates include: 

  • Sex, size, and age (Smaller women are at higher risk of osteoporosis.)

  • Family history 

  • Hormone levels (Bone loss increases with too much thyroid hormone and too little estrogen.)

  • Conditions including eating disorders (you need the energy produced by food to carry out life processes) 

  • Some medications (including corticosteroids when used long-term)

Tips to support bone health 

You can influence bone health, despite limited control over some factors impacting the health of your bones. Promote optimal bone health by making small adjustments to your lifestyle. Factors such as diet, exercise, and sleep impact your overall well-being. You can try to slow down bone loss by:

  • Increasing the calcium and vitamin D in your diet (pay attention to the Recommended Dietary Allowance)

  • Getting physical activity daily (outside when possible) like walking, biking, or climbing stairs

  • Limiting or avoid substance use (including alcohol)

  • Getting enough sleep (sleep deprivation impacts many natural processes)

  • Asking your primary care provider about bone density testing if you’re concerned about bone health

For more tips about supporting your bone health, consider chatting with your primary care provider and maybe a nutritional expert or two. 

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