The food that you eat can directly impact your bone health. Learning about the foods that are rich in calcium, vitamin D and other bone essential nutrients will help you make good food choices each day. By eating a well-balanced diet with plenty of dairy, fish, fruits and vegetables, you should get what you need. But here are four little known bone healthy foods:
- Prunes – Recent research out of San Diego State University suggests that prunes can reverse and prevent bone loss. Just five or six medium prunes a day yields positive results. Prunes are loaded with potassium, magnesium and vitamin K, all of which are crucial for building and sustaining healthy bones.
- Onions – Really, onions. Onions are packed with certain type of polyphenol which is essential to bone health. One study published in the journal Menopause, revealed that women who ate onions daily had five percent more bone mass than those who ate them once a month or less. This is great news since onions are the starting point of so many dishes from soups and stews to salads.
- Salmon – Salmon is loaded with healthy omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Vitamin D is a key bone-building nutrient and unfortunately, more than 40 percent of adults in the US are deficient. Fish is one of the few dietary sources of vitamin D with one four-ounce piece of cooked salmon containing almost 600 IU. One study in Spain found that women who ate fish five to seven times per week had significantly more bone mass and higher vitamin D intake than those who ate it two or fewer times per week.
- Walnuts – Walnuts are also rich in omega-3’s, as are flax seeds and dark green leafy vegetables. The plant form is less potent than fish, but there is evidence to suggest that it can still have a positive impact on bone health. A study published in Nutrition Journal found that participants who ate a diet enriched with walnuts and flax oil had less bone loss than those who didn’t.