Osteoporosis and low bone mass are currently estimated to be a major public health threat. Adequate nutrition plays a major role in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis; the micronutrients of greatest importance are calcium and vitamin D. Calcium has been shown to have beneficial effects on bone mass at all ages, Two of the most important nutrients are calcium and vitamin D. Calcium is a major building-block of bone tissue. Vitamin D is key at it assists your body to absorb calcium – the two go hand in hand.
The other micronutrient needs for optimizing bone health can be easily met by a healthy diet that is high in fruits and vegetables to ensure adequate intakes of magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin K, and other potentially important nutrients, In addition, a healthy diet that includes 5 servings a day of fruits and vegetables should optimize the intake of micronutrients required for bone health.
Calcium is essential for healthy bones. The body uses and loses calcium every day. If more calcium is lost than is replaced, bone loss occurs.
Adequate dietary protein is essential for an optimal bone mass gain during childhood and adolescence. It’s also responsible for preserving bone mass with ageing. Lack of protein delay in recovery of fractures. Lean meat, poultry and fish, as well as eggs and dairy foods, are excellent sources of animal protein. Vegetable sources of protein include legumes (e.g. lentils, kidney beans), soy products (e.g. tofu), grains, nuts and seeds.
B Vitamins and Homocysteine
Some studies suggest high blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine may be linked to lower bone density and a higher risk of hip fracture in the elderly. Vitamins B6 and B12, as well as folic acid, play a role in changing homocysteine into other amino acids for use by the body.
Magnesium plays an important role in forming bone mineral. Magnesium deficiency is rare in well-nourished populations. The elderly are sometimes the risk of mild magnesium deficiency, as magnesium absorption decreases with age. Particularly good sources of magnesium include green vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, unrefined grains and fish.
Vitamin K is required for the correct mineralization of bone. Some evidence suggests low vitamin K levels lead to low bone density and increased risk of fracture in the elderly. Vitamin K sources include leafy green vegetables such as lettuce, spinach and cabbage, liver and some fermented cheeses and soya bean products.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables contain an array of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and alkaline salts – some or all of which can have a beneficial effect on bone. Studies have shown higher fruit and vegetable consumption is associated with beneficial effects on bone density in elderly men and women.
While beans contain calcium, magnesium, fibre and other nutrients, they are also high in substances called phytates. Phytates interfere with body’s ability to absorb the calcium that is contained in beans. We can reduce the phytate level by soaking beans in water for several hours and then cooking them in fresh water.
Eating foods that have a lot of salt (sodium) causes the body to lose calcium and can lead to bone loss. Try to limit the amount of processed foods, canned foods and salt added to the foods you eat each day.
Spinach and Other Foods with Oxalates
The body doesn’t absorb calcium well from foods that are high in oxalates (oxalic acid) such as spinach. Other foods with oxalates are beet greens and certain beans. These foods contain other healthy nutrients, but they just shouldn’t be counted as sources of
Drinking heavily can lead to bone loss. Limit alcohol.
Coffee, tea and soft drinks (sodas) contain caffeine, which may decrease calcium absorption and contribute to bone loss. Choose these drinks in moderation.Drinking more than three cups of coffee every day may interfere with calcium absorption and cause bone loss.
Phosphorous commonly found in colas may contribute to bone loss.