Eating Your Way to Stronger Bones
According to American Bone Health, the three main nutrients that play a crucial role in keeping your bones healthy are calcium, vitamin D and magnesium. A deficiency in any of these nutrients may increase your risk for bone loss and weakness, or even osteoporosis. Making an effort to eat foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals can strengthen your bones and help you achieve good health.
Vitamins and Minerals That Support your Bones
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in your body and is used to carry out a variety of important bodily functions such as building strong bones and teeth. Almost all of the calcium in your body is stored in your bones and teeth, where it maintains structure and density.
The essential vitamin that allows your body to absorb calcium is vitamin D. Vitamin D typically enters your body through sunlight or supplementation.
Magnesium plays a variety of important roles in the body. In regard to bone health, magnesium contributes to increased bone density and helps to prevent the onset of osteoporosis.
There are many other vitamins and minerals that also play a role in maintaining good musculoskeletal health including vitamin C, vitamin A and potassium. In order for your body to absorb all of the vitamins and minerals that you need on a daily basis, focus on eating a variety of plant-based foods that are minimally processed. Speak to your doctor or nutritionist to determine what foods you should be eating on a regular basis.
Nutrient Rich Diet
Choosing a diet that includes nutrient rich foods is an important step to maintaining healthy bones. Educating yourself on the foods that will heal and nourish your bones and your body is the first step to a healthier version of yourself. By eating mindfully, or being aware of the foods that you are putting into your body, you can decrease your risk for musculoskeletal diseases in the future.
Your diet can be used as a powerful tool to optimize your bone health and overall wellness. By prioritizing healthy eating, you can ensure your body gets the vitamins and nutrients it needs.
Foods High in Calcium
- Sweet Potatoes
- Pinto Beans
- Dairy products
- Bok Choy
- Collard Greens
- Fortified Almond Beverage
- Fortified Soy Beverage
Magnesium Rich Foods
- Dark leafy greens
- Whole Wheat Bread
- Brown Rice
- Cocoa Powder
- Legumes (lima beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas)
- Seeds (pumpkin)
- Nuts (almonds, cashews, peanuts)
- Brown rice
It may be difficult for your body to intake sufficient levels of Vitamin D through diet only. Your main source for vitamin D is sunlight. Speak to your doctor or nutritionist to find out if you should consider taking vitamin D supplements.
Consider purchasing foods that are grown locally. Foods that are grown in season and eaten soon after they are harvested contain the highest levels of nutritional value. By purchasing food at a farmer’s market you are not only optimizing your health, but you are also supporting the small-scale farmers in your community.
The state of Washington is known for its diverse community of farmers and delicious produce. There are many local farmer’s markets near the Tacoma area that are open in the spring and summer seasons.
Farmer’s Markets Near Tacoma
Proctor Farmer’s Market (Open Saturdays, 9AM – 2PM)
Olympia Farmer’s Market (Open Thursday through Sunday, 10AM – 2PM)
Point Ruston Farmer’s Market (Open Sundays, 10AM – 3PM)
Waterfront Farmer’s Market, Gig Harbor (Open Thursdays, 1PM – 7PM)
Before making a trip, check online to ensure your preferred farmers market is open.
You can also use this farmers market directory provided by the USDA to search for farmers markets near you!