Foods To Combat Osteoporosis

The bones that make up our skeleton are essential to keep our bodily shape and make movement possible. But if we don’t provide our bones with the nutrients they need to stay healthy and strong, or have a genetic susceptibility, we are at risk of developing Osteoporosis.

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Our bone strength, health and density are usually at its peak in our early 20’s. As we age, our bones slowly begin to degenerate. If you don’t keep a healthy lifestyle and diet, or if you were born with extra porous bones, then you are most at risk of developing Osteoporosis, which is a serious degenerative disease that makes your bones weak and brittle. If it’s left untreated for too long, it can lead to the requirement of a wheelchair, and in many cases, the wheelchair is for life. This is why it’s best to try to prevent it from developing altogether by keeping a bone-healthy diet. But if you have been diagnosed with Osteoporosis, try not to panic. Luckily, there are many foods that can help fight it off and prevent it from getting worse.

Listed below are some of the best foods that can lower your risk of developing Osteoporosis and combat it, according to Osteoporosis experts and certified dieticians.

Osteoporosis

Milk, Cheese & Yogurt

Remember those “Got milk?” commercials? Well, it turns out that they knew what they were talking about. Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt are high in calcium, which is one of the most critical nutrients for bone formation, strength and maintenance. When choosing dairy, try to purchase products that don’t have a lot of additives, like salt, sugar or artificial sweeteners.

If you have lactose intolerance, try to look for calcium-rich dairy products that don’t contain lactose, or buy lactose enzyme pills from a pharmacy and take them before meals. If you’re a vegan, you can get calcium in pill form or in other non-dairy foods, such as leafy greens and almonds.

Leafy Greens

When you’re shopping for your dark green and leafy veggies, focus on spinach, collards, kale, arugula, beet greens and swiss chard. All of these leafy greens will help support your skeleton by offering up impressive amounts of vitamins C, E, K, and the various B vitamins.

As mentioned prior, these super greens also have a decent amount of calcium, along with manganese, magnesium and selenium. They may not contain as much calcium as some of those dairy products, but it’s still pretty decent and will make your bones happy. A nice tasty salad a day keeps the doctor away. So go ahead and add generous amounts of leafy greens to your favorite salad or dish.

Salmon

It may be a bummer, but it’s true- There aren’t many natural foods rich in vitamin D, which is also essential for healthy bones. But luckily, salmon is one of those rare Vitamin D commodities, and gets first place as well.

Salmon is also an excellent source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and our best friend calcium (especially the canned variety with the bones). The omega-3 fatty acids help keep inflammation at bay, while the other suite of vitamins and nutrients promote general overall health, strength and longevity.

Alternatively, if you’re not a big fan of fish, you can also find small amounts of it in eggs, or buy Vitamin D supplements and soak up sufficient sunshine.

Nuts And Seeds

Most nuts and seeds pack a punch and offer an impressive profile of essential vitamins and nutrients, but a select few are especially good for combatting bone degeneration caused by Osteoporosis. Fill up your shopping wagon and go nuts with Macadamia nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds, which all contain generous amounts of calcium, magnesium, zinc and many other essential nutrients.

Apart from that great big bowl of salad, you might also enjoy nuts and seeds cooked with chicken, or try mixing them into pumpernickel dough or cottage cheese.

Oranges And OJ

Rich in vitamin C, oranges and orange juice help your body produce the things it needs for stronger, healthier bones. For instance, vitamin C is necessary for collagen production, which is a protein that supports healthy bones and joints.

For a super strong punch, choose an orange juice fortified with calcium. If you can tolerate it, pulpy OJ is the best option. If you don’t like oranges or OJ, yellow peppers are a fantastic, vitamin C – rich alternative.

Asparagus

Low in calories but high in nutrients, asparagus provides your body with ample amounts of calcium and magnesium, along with vitamins A, K, and C.
And as far as veggies go, asparagus is surprisingly high in natural protein as well (more than 4 grams per cup when boiled.)

Final Thoughts

It’s important to know that these foods and many others are at their very best nutritional value when they are raw. Once you cook them in any way, they lose quite a bit of their nutritional benefit. For this reason, it’s highly recommended to eat as much of these foods as possible in your daily diet.

Additionally, before you make any changes to your diet, check with your doctor to make sure that it won’t interfere with any supplements or medications you may be taking, and won’t aggravate any other present health conditions you may have.

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