These Are the Best Foods for Your Bones

Osteoporosis, which is low bone mass, affects more than 10 million people over the age of 50, and another 43 million adults have low bone density – a precursor to osteoporosis. Maintaining strong bones not only wards off osteoporosis, it guards against spinal conditions such as degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, and osteoarthritis of the spine.

Board-certified orthopedic surgeon Thomas Jones II, MD, and our team at The Spine Institute of Southeast Texas want to help you keep your bones and joints healthy. A balanced diet of nutritious foods is key to bone health. If you have low bone density, adopting a nutrient-dense diet that supports strong bones is crucial. 

Here, we share what you need to know about the best foods for your bones.

Bone-strengthening nutrients

Calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D are key nutrients for bone health. Your bones are made up of living tissue reinforced with calcium. The body is continuously breaking down old bone and replacing it with new bone, so it needs a steady supply of minerals to keep up with bone remodeling. 

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in your body, and most of it is stored in your bones, underscoring the importance of calcium to bone health.

Vitamin D is necessary for your body to absorb calcium. While there are some food sources of vitamin D, like egg yolks, salmon, and mushrooms, it’s challenging to get enough vitamin D from food alone. Fortunately, the body makes vitamin D when your skin gets sun exposure.

Magnesium is another key mineral for strong bones. It contributes to bone density and protects against osteoporosis.

Calcium-rich foods

If you fall short of getting enough calcium in your diet, the body will take calcium from your bones. Many foods contain calcium, but dairy foods provide the richest source. 

Some of the top calcium-rich foods include the following:

If you have a dairy allergy or are lactose intolerant, focus on other calcium-rich food sources like leafy greens and calcium-fortified milk alternatives. Talk to your primary care provider about taking a calcium supplement if you’re having trouble getting enough non-dairy calcium foods in your diet. 

Magnesium-rich foods

Calcium often takes center stage when it comes to nutrients for bone health, but magnesium is also important. People with higher intakes of magnesium have higher bone density. In fact, taking 100 mg of supplemental magnesium per day reduces the risk of osteoporosis in women aged 55 and older, according to a report funded by the Council for Responsible Nutrition.

Magnesium-rich foods include:

The foods and nutrients mentioned here have scientifically proven health benefits. Getting a diverse array of food in your diet is the best way to get enough bone-health nutrients. If you have any concerns about your ability to get enough of the right nutrients in your diet, discuss it with Dr. Jones.

Good nutrition is one key aspect of bone health. Getting physical activity and engaging in weight-bearing exercises, along with partnering with an orthopedic specialist, are equally important for people with orthopedic concerns. 

If you’re having neck or back pain, or you have other orthopedic symptoms, our team is standing by to help. For this and all of your orthopedic needs, call the office nearest you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jones. 

To keep our patients connected with top-quality spine and joint care, we offer telemedicine services for new and existing patients. You can also request an appointment while you’re here on our website. We have offices in Pearland, Houston, and Lake Jackson, Texas.

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