World Bone and Joint Week takes place between 12-20 October and to promote awareness about this important initiative, we bring you a list of 10 foods to include in your diet for bone health!
According to the South African government, bone and joint conditions are the most common cause of severe long-term pain and physical disability worldwide, affecting hundreds of millions of people. Bone and Joint National Action Week is held 12-20 October with activities focused on disorders including arthritis, back pain, osteoporosis and the effects of childhood obesity on the musculoskeletal system. To read more, click here.
Food for healthy bones:
Some of the key nutrients we need for bone health include calcium, Vitamin D and vitamin K. Here we look at a comprehensive list of ingredients to include in your daily diet to ensure good bone health.
- Leafy greens
Spinach and kale are your top contenders for a healthy diet packet with nutrients that support bone health. Leafy greens contain calcium and vitamin C which stimulates the production of bone-forming cells. A high intake of green and yellow vegetables has been linked to increased bone mineralization during childhood and the maintenance of bone mass in young adults.
A study in women over 50 found those who consumed onions most frequently had a 20% lower risk of osteoporosis, compared to women who rarely ate them.
- Lean protein
Think chicken breasts and tofu. Researchers have reported that low protein intake decreases calcium absorption and may also affect rates of bone formation and breakdown
Milk and cheese contain high amounts of calcium.
Packed with protein and high in Vitamin D. Vitamin D plays several roles in bone health, including helping your body absorb calcium. (For the best quality eggs and nutrients, choose free-range organic eggs.)
This vegetable should be touted as a super-food for its health benefits. Including being a plant-based source of protein and calcium, broccoli also contains Vitamin K, which helps to make various proteins that are needed for the building of bones.
- Fatty Fish
Trout, salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. These are also natural sources of vitamin D.
- Calcium Fortified Foods
This is particularly important for those following a plant-based diet. Opt for plant milks, breads and cereals that are fortified with calcium.
While there isn’t a lot of research on the topic yet, early evidence suggests that collagen supplements may help protect bone health. Collagen is naturally found in bone broth, but can also be consumed as a supplement.
- Eat enough good food
Consuming enough food in a well-balanced diet is so important. Studies have shown that diets providing fewer than 1 000 calories per day can lead to lower bone density in normal-weight, overweight or obese individuals. This article serves as a guideline only. Eating a well-balanced diet from an early age and following a healthy lifestyle, including physical exercise (strength training is particularly good for bone health), can aid in preventing and reducing the risk of many bone disorders.
We recommend speaking to your medical doctor or nutritionist to help create a tailor-made sustainable nutrition plan that meets your individual needs.