BONE HEALTH & NUTRITION - PRACTICAL APPLICATION FOR OSTEOPOROSIS
DIET AND BONE HEALTH
(For more information on Osteoporosis- brittle bone disease - see THIS article)
There are many factors that play a role in healthy bones and nutrition can be one of them. This post breaks down the different role certain nutrients can play. Remember there is no one magic fix; it is imperative to eat enough to fuel your body. The aim of this information is not to overwhelm you or encourage a quest for a 'perfect diet', but instead to educate you and acknowledge that certain nutrients are important in the quest for healthy bones. Ultimately however it comes down to eating a balanced diet of whole grains, proteins and veggies, and choosing a wide variety of foods.
Let's get nerdy...
+ Protein: about 50% of our bones are made up from protein - so this is vital. Examples include: meat, seafood, eggs, dairy, beans and pulses, tofu, protein powders, veggie meat substitutes
+ Calcium: the main mineral found in our bones.
Sources include: milk products, fortified non-dairy milk drinks, tofu, spinach, dried figs
+ Vitamin D: Needed for the absorption of calcium
Sources include: eggs, oily fish, fortified cereal & dairy free drinks
+ Magnesium: An important mineral involved in bone formation
Examples: almonds, pumpkin seeds, black beans, spinach, wholegrain bread, wholegrain pasta
+ Vitamin K: Helps to increase rate that calcium builds bones
Examples: meat, dairy, leafy greens, broccoli
+ Phosphorus: Helps to form bone tissue
Sources include: eggs, oily fish, soy, chickpeas, lentils, wholegrains, meat, potatoes, oats
What can all this look like practically?
+ A balanced diet which includes a daily intake of: dairy, fruit, vegetables, beans, pulses, nuts, seeds and wholegrains; and a weekly intake of fish, meat, poultry and eggs. (It is possible to achieve a bone healthy diet if you plant based, but more dietary planning may be needed.)
A minimum of 3 meals and 2-4 snacks a day
A simple meal framework: does your meal include protein, fats and carbs?
Adequate fuel pre and post training (even if you are training early!)
Please remember: You should always get individual advice about this from a healthcare professional.