How to Maintain Bone Strength Through Diet

Posted by Joe on 2/17/2015 to Healthy Habits
Mobility as we get older generally declines, and falls become more prevalent. Many of us will not be as strong as when we were younger, so it becomes harder to 'catch ourselves' when we stumble, which can lead to a nasty fall, and even broken bones.

So, not only should we work to increase our strength with weight training as we age. We also should be sure to maintain the strength of our bones as well.



Bones Weaken As We Get Older

By the time we are 18, we have built about 90% of the bone mass we will ever have. We continue to build bone faster than we lose it until 30. From that point, bone building slows down, and bone mass loss increases.

While we cannot get bone back once it is gone, we can certainly maximize our bone formation and minimize loss.

The most important thing we can do to maintain our bone strength is to get a lot of calcium in our diet. Eat plenty of yogurt and cheese, and drink a lot of milk. You also can get calcium from other non-dairy sources, which include:
  • Oatmeal and fortified cereals
  • Legumes and beans
  • Broccoli and bok choy
  • Salmon and sardines
  • Almonds

Another important nutrient to get plenty of is vitamin D. This vitamin is the key that unlocks all of the calcium in your body and allows it to be absorbed. The Institute of Medicine tells us that we should get 600 to 800 IU of vitamin D per day. This can be harder for us to get in our diets, because we synthesize the vitamin from sunlight. 

But if you live north of Oklahoma, between November and March, you don't get enough UV rays for your body to make vitamin D, even if you are outside all day. So you should try to eat these foods:

  • Eggs
  • Salmon, mackerel and tuna
  • Beef liver
  • Dairy products
  • Cod liver oil


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