Osteoporosis is a bone disease where the bones weaken and become less dense. It is most common in older individuals. Decreased bone density can lead to damage and even breaks from falls and other injuries that would generally be less severe. Calcium and vitamin D are essential for bone strength and density. As such, it can be important for those living with or at risk of developing Osteoporosis to consider including more food rich in these nutrients in their diet.
Consult Their Doctor First
Before making any major changes in your loved one’s diet, consult their doctor. While making healthy changes to a diet is always a good idea, how you go about these changes should be discussed. For example, dark leafy greens like spinach and bok choi are great for bone health. However, the high Vitamin K content can also affect those taking blood thinners. Because many older individuals take different medications for various ailments, it can be essential to consult their doctor first.
A Healthy Variety of Food
Many vitamins and minerals can contribute to better bone health. Below, we will discuss different foods that can help your loved one get the nutrients they need to strengthen their bones.
Dark, Leafy Greens
Darker leafy greens are a great source of calcium and Vitamin K. Spinach, bok choi, collared greens, Chinese cabbage, kale, and turnip greens are all good examples of these leafy vegetables. Vitamin K and calcium are essential to bone health while staving off osteoporosis in at-risk individuals.
An orange or grapefruit can be a great addition to your loved one’s breakfast. Vitamin C is vital to bone health. The high Vitamin C content of citrus fruits can be an easy way to incorporate this nutrient into your loved one’s diet.
Other Vitamin C-rich Food
Other foods that are high in Vitamin C can also help round out your loved one’s diet. These include bell peppers, broccoli, strawberries, and papayas.
Food Rich in Magnesium and Potassium
Magnesium and Potassium are often overlooked when discussing bone health because they often do so indirectly. Low magnesium can affect your Vitamin D balance, which can affect your bones. Potassium is a good neutralizer of acids, which can leach calcium. Foods rich in both include figs, sweet potatoes, squash, and avocado.
Almonds are a great source of both calcium and potassium. As mentioned above, both nutrients are vital for combatting osteoporosis. They also provide protein and other nutrients. Unsalted almonds can be a great afternoon snack for your loved one.
While cow’s milk is often touted for its bone-strengthening qualities, it isn’t the only option. In addition to eating almonds, drinking almond milk or other plant-based milks can provide plenty of calcium and Vitamin D. Soy, coconut, and almond milk are all rich in these nutrients.
Fish can be an excellent source of nutrients for your loved one. Salmon, tuna, and other fatty fish can contain high amounts of calcium and omega-3 fatty acids. Canned salmon often contains small bits of bone, which offers even more calcium.
Managing and Preventing Osteoporosis Through Food
What we put in the body can greatly impact our overall health. Eating right is essential to living a longer, healthier life. By targeting vital nutrients, you can help your loved one strengthen their bones.
Recipe Ideas for Osteoporosis
For bone-healthy recipes, the International Osteoporosis Foundation has a list of recipes on its website to help those living with the condition. You can even filter recipes for dietary restrictions such as vegetarian, gluten-free, and lactose-free.
Meal Preparation and Food For Osteoporosis
Preparing meals can help your loved one meet their nutrient goals for their health. Planning out food for the week and preparing it in containers is a great way to reduce costs and make sure your loved one has nutritious meals. One way that our home health aides can help your loved one is through meal preparation.
Safe Harbor Healthcare Services does not provide medical, healthcare, or financial advice via articles. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for medical advice.
Safe Harbor Healthcare Services has provided excellent home care on Staten Island since 1967. Our services help older individuals and the disabled live safely and independently; while giving their families the peace of mind they need. For more information contact us or call (718)-979-6900.