Bone Health Nutrition

Healthy foods are the best source of nutrients for bone health because micro-nutrients like phytochemicals have biological properties that aren’t completely understood.

 

You can see from the foods listed below that some have several essential nutrients for bone health. Here is a list of some known nutrients for bone health, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), and approximate nutritional content in some common foods.

Calcium – RDA 1,200 mg/day, but the majority of American women older than forty consume less than 600 mg/day

  • 8 ounces of milk or yogurt 350 mgAlmonds for Calcium
  • 1.5 ounces cheddar or mozzarella cheese 300 mg
  • 1 cup frozen yogurt, cream cheese or cottage cheese 125 mg
  • 6 ounces of calcium-fortified orange juice 375 mg
  • 2 ounces of almonds 150 mg
  • 3 ounces canned salmon or sardines 200 mg
  • 1/2 cup spinach, kale, bok choy, mustard or turnip greens 100 mg
  • 1/2 cup broccoli, green beans 20 mg

Magnesium – RDA 320 mg/day, but the majority of American women older than forty consume less than 225 mg/day

  • 2 ounces of almonds or cashews 160 mgBrown Rice Magnesium
  • 2 ounces of peanuts, mixed nuts 100 mg
  • 1 cup raisin bran, bran flakes, shredded wheat cereal 75 mg
  • Medium baked potato with skin 50 mg
  • 1/2 cup brown rice, black-eyed peas, pinto/kidney beans, lentils 35 mg
  • 8 ounces of milk 25 mg

Vitamin D – RDA 600-800 IU, but Endocrine Society recommends 1,500 IU. The majority of American women older than forty consume less than 200 IU/day

  • Almost impossible to get enough vitamin D from food sources alone
  • 3 ounces sword fish or salmon 500 IU
  • 3 ounces canned tuna fish 150 IU
  • 8 ounces of vitamin D-fortified milk 125 IU
  • 3 ounces beef liver, one large egg yolk 40 IU

Silicon – RDA not established. Studies show increased bone mineral density when more than 40 mg/day. The average dietary intake for women older than fifty is approximately 20 mg/day

  • 16 ounces of beer 12 mg
  • 1 Serving of whole-grain breakfast cereal, granola, or dried fruit 9 mg
  • 1/2 cup brown rice or green beans 4 mgAvocados Boron Bone Health

Boron – RDA not established. Studies show increased bone mineral metabolism when more than 3 mg/day. The average intake of Boron is approximately 1mg/day

  • Small box of raisins, 1/4 cup prunes or almonds 1 mg
  • 1/3 cup of apricots or half an avocados 1 mg
  • 1/3 cup of dry roasted peanuts, or hazelnuts 1 mg

Vitamin K – RDA 90 µgm (micrograms)/day for women. Improved bone density is reported with more than 109 µgm/day. Average dietary intake of vitamin K in the U.S. is 80 µgm/day, and more than half the population consumes less than 70 µgm/day. Vitamin K should not be taken with blood thinner Coumadin®, but megadoses do not have adverse effects and do not increase clotting in people who are not taking Coumadin®.Greens, Vitamin K for Healthy Bones

  • 1/2 cup cooked kale or collards 500 µgm
  • 1 cup fresh spinach 140 µgm
  • 1/2 cup cooked broccoli or Brussels sprouts 120 µgm
  • 1/2 head Iceberg lettuce or ¾ cup raw broccoli 70 µgm
  • 1/2 cup coleslaw or 1 cup blueberries 40 µgm

Inositol – No RDA because the body can make inositol. It is estimated that the body consumes a few grams of inositol each day. Experimental studies have reported improved bone mineral density with inositol supplementation. Inositol from fruits may be more beneficial than inositol from hulls of grains and beans.

  • 1/4 cantaloupe 355 mg
  • 1 fresh orange, 1 slice stone ground whole wheat bread 300 mg
  • 1/4 cup of prunes (6 to 8 prunes) 250 mg
  • 1/2 fresh grapefruit, or 1 fresh lime 200 mg
  • 1/2 cup green beans 150 mg
  • 1 Kiwi fruit 130 mg
  • 1 cup watermelon, one fresh peach 60 mg
  • 1 cup chocolate milk 45 mgSockeye Salmon for bone health

L-arginine – RDA not established. Average U.S. intake is 4.4 gm/day with one quarter of the population consuming less than 2.6 mg/day. Arginine helps arteries relax and improves blood flow, but should not be taken after an acute heart attack. Large doses have been taken over periods of several years without harmful effects.

  • 3 ounces of chicken, turkey, beef, or pork 2.0 gm
  • 3 ounces salmon or shrimp 1.1 gm
  • 1/4 cup peanuts 1.0 gm
  • 1/4 cup almonds 0.8 gm
  • One whole egg 0.8 gm
  • 1/4 cup cashew nuts 0.7 gm

Vitamin C – RDA 75 mg/day. Half of all women in the U.S. between the ages of forty and sixty years consume less than 63 mg/day. Megadoses are not recommended, but increased doses of vitamin C have improved bone healing in experimental studies.

  • Cantaloupe for Bone Health3/4 cup orange juice 93 mg
  • 3/4 cup grapefruit juice 70 mg
  • 1/2 cup cooked broccoli 51 mg
  • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries 49 mg
  • 3/4 cup tomato juice 33 mg
  • 1/2 cup cantaloupe 29 mg
  • 1 raw medium tomato, 17 mg