Osteroporosis Diet Foods that are Good for the Bones and Body

More examples of bone healthy food

Recent studies have shown that soy, olive oil, blueberries and foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids like flax seed oil and fish oil may be especially beneficial for an osteoporosis diet. More research is needed before the association can be definitively be made, but these foods are without a doubt an excellent addition to any healthy diet, including an osteoporosis diet. Some research has also shown that certain alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks such as tea, beer and wine, in moderate amounts might also benefit bone health. More research will be able to help us learn more about our bones and the relationship between our health and drinking these beverages.

More Tips for Eating for Good Bone Health

Legumes (beans): Legumes contain calcium in addition to magnesium and fiber. They also contain "phytates." Phytates are substances that inhibit the absorption of the calcium from the beans. In order to lower the phytates level so your body can use the available calcium, cover the beans with water and allow them to soak for several hours or overnight. Then drain the beans and cook them in fresh water to include in your osteoporosis diet.

Meat and other high protein foods: Getting enough, but not too much, protein is very important for overall health. Diets that are lacking in protein are harmful for the bones, but diets that are exceedingly high in protein may also cause harm. Too much protein causes the loss of calcium in the body. Dairy products are high in protein, but they also contain calcium, so include these in your osteoporosis diet.   

Salt: A high intake of sodium (salt) can lead to a loss of calcium which may result in bone loss. To reduce your sodium intake, limit the amount of salt you add to foods at the table and try to cut back on the amount of processed foods you consume in your osteoporosis diet. Learn to read nutrition labels. Look at the sodium content and if it is listed at 20% or more of the daily value, the food is high in salt. You need no more than 2,400 mg of sodium per day in your osteoporosis diet.  

Oxalates: Your body has a difficult time absorbing calcium from foods like spinach that contain high amounts of oxalic acid (oxalates). These foods are excellent sources of other nutrients, just don't count on them to contribute toward your calcium needs. Besides spinach, other foods with high oxalates are beet greens and rhubarb, so don't count on these toward your calcium intake in your osteoporosis diet. 

Wheat bran: Like legumes, wheat bran has phytates which prevent the absorption of calcium, but wheat bran prevents the calcium in other foods that are eaten at the same time from being absorbed from your osteoporosis diet as well. For instance, if you pour milk on your 100% wheat bran cereal, not all the calcium in the milk will be absorbed by your body. If you eat 100% wheat bran for breakfast, and take calcium supplements, you may want to take your supplements with a meal other than breakfast.

Caffeine and Alcohol 

Alcohol:  Heavy alcohol use can cause bone loss. Alcohol use should be limited to no more than two or three drinks daily in your osteoporosis diet.

Caffeine: Tea, coffee and colas all contain caffeine which may interfere with the absorption of calcium, leading to bone loss. Consume these in moderation in your osteoporosis diet. 

Soft drinks: Some research has suggested that drinking cola is associated with bone loss. Here is what the studies have shown:

  • Carbonation does not harm bones. The phosphorous and the caffeine that many colas contain may contribute to changes in bone density when included in an osteoporosis diet. Phosphorous is sometimes listed on food labels as phosphoric acid or phosphate.
  • Some researchers believe that Americans consume too much phosphorus. Other experts say that phosphorus is not problematic as long as enough calcium is also consumed as a part of the osteoporosis diet. The problem may be caused, not by the phosphorus, but by the lack of calcium because people substitute colas for dairy drinks in their osteoporosis diet.

Make sure you're getting enough calcium by limiting your intake of alcohol, caffeine and soft drinks. Make up for what you're missing by getting enough extra calcium in your osteoporosis diet.

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