Diet and osteoporosis: Tops foods that can prevent or cause the disease

Lifestyle | 24 Sep, 2020 |

There are currently over 200 million people suffering from osteoporosis worldwide. That’s about 1 in 3 women over the age of 50 and 1 in 5 men. In fact, osteoporosis is the most common bone disease inå humans. 

Without osteoporosis treatment, your bone mass could get worse. In addition to compromising your strength, it can also increase your risk of fractures. Failing to take action could impact your quality of life. 

An adjustment to your diet could make all the difference. 

What’s the link between your diet and osteoporosis? What is the best diet for osteoporosis, anyway?

Keep reading to find out. In this guide, we’ll review the foods you should eat and avoid as part of your osteoporosis treatment. Start improving your bone strength with this osteoporosis diet guide today!

Foods to Eat

When considering your diet and osteoporosis, it’s important to focus on foods that will benefit your bone density. Here are a few foods that can help strengthen your bones during your osteoporosis treatment. 

Fruits and Vegetables

If you’re concerned about bone mineral density (BMD) loss, start increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables. Natural foods are full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can benefit your overall health.

These include calcium, which is essential for your bone health. Magnesium, vitamin K1, and potassium support your bone health, too. 

Start improving your osteoporosis diet by reaching for dark, leafy greens in the produce section. You can add these vegetables to your favorite dishes, a salad, or a delicious protein smoothie:

  • Collard greens
  • Broccoli rabe
  • Kale
  • Bok choy
  • Mustard greens
  • Turnip greens
  • Kelp
  • Kombu
  • Wakame

Sea vegetables like wakame and nori are full of iron, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus. They also help you mix up your diet with something new! 

Next, look for fruits that are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants help fight free radicals in the body to reduce oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is associated with many health conditions, including osteoporosis. 

Eating fruits that are full of antioxidants will help your body activate bone-building cells called osteoblasts. Antioxidants also help with the mineralization process. Antioxidant-rich fruits could also reduce the activity of bone-resorption cells called osteoclasts.

Look for fruits that are high in antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and lutein.

Try fruits like strawberries and blueberries. Guava and acerola cherries are rich in antioxidants, too.

Don’t forget prunes! Dried plums contain both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help your BMD.

Dairy

Dairy contains zinc, vitamin D, protein, magnesium, calcium, vitamin B12, and riboflavin. These nutrients provide bone-building nutrients to help during the course of your osteoporosis treatment. 

Cow’s milk contains a sugar called lactose. When your body breaks lactose down, it creates glucose and D-galactose. The latter can activate osteoclasts, which break down bones.

With that in mind, there is some controversy about whether or not dairy helps or hinders.

Consider fermented dairy foods like yogurt and cheese. Lactose-free options can still provide the nutrients you need.  

Protein

As you develop a plan for your diet and osteoporosis treatment, don’t forget to prioritize protein. Protein makes up about 50% of a bone’s volume and one-third of its mass. In other words, your protein intake could impact your bone mass.

Both bone and muscle loss are normal as you age. By eating dishes that are high in protein, you’re giving your bones the structural framework they need. 

Protein also boosts your insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) levels. This hormone is essential for your body’s natural healing process.

IGF-1 also plays a part in muscle growth and bone density.

Try animal protein and complete food sources, including:

  • Meat
  • Seafood
  • Quinoa
  • Chia seeds
  • Hemp seeds
  • Fairy

Seafood is rich in fatty acids like omega 3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Fatty acids could improve your bone, eye, and cardiovascular health. They also contain anti-inflammatory properties.

Try adding salmon to your next meal to develop the best diet for osteoporosis. 

Alcohol

There are a few types of alcohol that could benefit your osteoporosis diet.

Mineral waters and beer both contain bioavailable silicon. Silicon can help stimulate osteoblast production, the bone-building cell. It also helps with the synthesis of type 1 collagen.

Red wine contains resveratrol, which offers anti-inflammatory properties to help your bones.

Make sure to only drink alcoholic beverages in moderation. 

Essential Nutrients

To develop the best diet for osteoporosis, keep these vitamins and minerals in mind:

  • B vitamins
  • Boron
  • Calcium
  • Copper
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Selenium
  • Silicon
  • Strontium Citrate
  • Vanadium
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Zinc

These vitamins and nutrients can help combat bone loss. You can also add this product to your diet for an extra boost.

Foods to Avoid

Now that you have an idea of which foods to include your diet, let’s talk about what to avoid. Keep this list handy the next time you go shopping.

Refined Sugar and Carbohydrates

Excess sugar can steal vitamins and minerals from your body. Over time, it can also cause heart and liver damage. Your LDL-bad cholesterol will rise, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. 

Meanwhile, your body will produce more glycation, which can cause inflammation and damage your bones.

Avoid bread, crackers, bagels, fruit juice, breakfast cereal, chips, and white rice when planning your diet. 

Inflammatory Fats

While healthy fats like olive oil can reduce inflammation, unhealthy fats and spark inflammation. You could develop heart problems. Instead of fats (including trans fats), reach for avocados, vegetable oils, and fatty fish. 

Salt

Too much salt can cause you to lose the calcium you consume through your urine. Try to minimize your salt intake and limit processed foods. 

Salad dressings, frozen dinners, cured meats, and sauces are all high in salt.

Burnt Foods

Try to avoid flame-grillinging your food. Char marks indicate advanced glycation end products, which trigger inflammation.

Instead, try steaming your vegetables and slow cooking your proteins. 

Soda

The phosphoric acid found in soda could impact your bone density. Too much can steal calcium from your bones. Try to reduce your intake of soda to improve your bone health.

Healthy Meals for Healthy Bones: Understanding Your Diet and Osteoporosis

Don’t let your diet have a negative impact on your bone health. By understanding the link between your diet and osteoporosis, you can take new strides in your osteoporosis treatment. 

Start improving your diet and strengthen your bones by developing the best diet for osteoporosis treatment today. 

Looking for more helpful tips and tricks? Explore our latest Health posts!

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