9 Key Nutrients for Bone Health
Did you know that your bones are a living tissue? Up to 90% of your peak bones mass is achieved when you are 18 years old if you are a male or 20 if you are a female. Your peak bone mass is set between the ages of 25-30 years old. Your bones are not dormant and from this peak bone mass the amount of strength you maintain or lose in your bones is largely determined on your lifestyle choices.
Lifestyle choices like resistance training can increase your bone mass while alcohol and smoking are two choices which are linked to reduced bone mass. Your diet is a major player in the strength of your bones and here are key nutrients to include for your strongest bones throughout life:
A well-known mineral for keeping your bones strong and is vital for bone remodeling. Almost 99% of your body’s calcium stores are found in your bones. Good sources of calcium include cow’s milk, cheese, yoghurt, salmon with bones, sardines, and tofu.
- Vitamin D
This fat-soluble hormone is the key that allows calcium to be absorbed properly in your body. The easiest way to get this vitamin is through sunlight but it can also be found in foods like seafood, dairy, margarine, mushrooms exposed to UV light, egg yolk and fortified food products.
Phosphorous works with calcium to help build your bone. Good sources include dairy, meats, seafood, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and whole grain containing foods like Corn Thins slices.
Zinc helps to prevent your bones from breaking down and helps to remodel new bone. Good sources of this mineral include animal meats, seafood, whole grain containing foods like Corn Thins slices, nuts, seeds, legumes, and dairy.
Magnesium plays a role in over 300 enzyme reactions in your body, one which includes helping to keep your bones strong. Magnesium helps to increase the density of your bones as well as regulates how calcium is moved into your bone as well as how it is moved between your bone cells. Good sources of magnesium are whole grain containing foods like Corn Thins slices, nuts, seeds, leafy greens, dark chocolate, legumes, avocado, and tofu.
- Vitamin K
Vitamin K is important for maintaining your bone strength. Good sources from food include animal meats, fermented foods, leafy greens, cheese, and eggs.
A mineral your bones need to keep them at their strongest. Good sources of boron include peanuts, raisins, peaches, beans, potatoes, apples, pears, avocados, and grape and prune juice.
This mineral helps your enzymes that create new bone and prevent oxidative stress to work well. Good sources of manganese include spinach, sweet potato, swiss chard, brown rice, hazelnuts, mussels, potato, pineapple, whole wheat bread, and black tea.
Silicon helps the process of building strong bones as well as helps the inside part of the bone called the intracellular matrix which is comprised mostly of collagen fibers to optimize its quality. Good sources of silicon include whole grains foods like whole grain bread, brown rice, and Corn Thins slices, bananas, green beans, carrots, and raisins.
Take home message: Food provides a matrix of health benefits and when you include the right amounts and varieties in your diet you are supporting the health of your entire body including your bones. If you are unsure if you are meeting your needs make an appointment with and Accredited Practising Dietitian who can help you meet your needs for optimal health.