Eight Foods for Bone Health

March 31, 2014
Aging parents can get bone healthy nutrients from kale.

Aging parents can get bone-healthy nutrients from kale.

Bone health is a concern for many aging parents, spouses, and others. As we age, our bones tend to become more brittle and are easily damaged if we fall or experience blows to the bones. It’s in the best interest of all aging parents and adults to keep their bones as strong and healthy as possible.

Consuming foods rich in bone healthy nutrients is one of the best ways to maintain bone health and to protect against fractures and other bone issues. Below are eight foods that can make significant contributions to continued bone health.

As in all things, every individual has different needs and requirements, so consult with your doctor before making significant changes to your diet. For example, a person who is lactose intolerant will not want to increase his or her intake of dairy products.

Eight great foods for bone health

  1. Kale. This delicious, tangy, leafy green vegetable has both calcium and vitamin K and is a tasty way to make your bones happier. If you need to ease your way into kale, try putting it on sandwiches or mixing it in with other salad greens.
  2. Collard greens. These are other zesty, flavorful greens that should be in your refrigerator. One-half cup contains the equivalent of 20% of the recommended daily allowance of calcium. Eat them cooked or mix them in with kale in you next salad.
  3. Dandelions. These are another excellent salad ingredient, rich in boron and calcium.
  4. Cabbage. Women especially can benefit from upping their cabbage intake; this popular vegetable raises estrogen levels, which can play a positive role in bone health.
  5. Yogurt. Not only does yogurt contain calcium, but many find that it also helps with digestive issues such as diarrhea.
  6. Cottage cheese. A staple of many weight loss diets, cottage cheese contains up to 300 mg of calcium.
  7. Broccoli. Rich in calcium and vitamin K, broccoli is also high in fiber and low in calories.
  8. White beans. Like broccoli, white beans are great sources of calcium and fiber, as well as potassium and magnesium – and those are all valuable in keeping bones healthy.

There are many other foods that can help maintain good bone health for aging parents, such as fortified milk, edamame, tofu, and almonds, and the good news is that all of these foods can provide many vitamins and nutrients that have benefits beyond good bone health.

If you’re unsure of whether you need to make changes to your diet to improve bone health, consult your doctor. It’s a worthwhile change to make!

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Writer, Craig Butler

Craig Butler has been writing on a wide range of topics for more than fifteen years. As the National Communications Director for the Cooley's Anemia Foundation, Craig regularly writes on a range of health and medical topics. Among the many projects he has written for the Foundation is the Cooley's Anemia Storybook, a collection of original short stories for children with the blood disorder Cooley's Anemia. His freelance work has ranged from reviewing moves and CDs to creating entertainment-related stories about baldness, to creating text for comic strips. Craig looks forward to having a dialogue with you about senior care and issues of concern.

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