Nuts: A Bone Health Super Food

A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that eating a handful of nuts each day improves life expectancy. Even though nuts are high in calories, people who regularly eat nuts have lower body weight than those who avoid nuts.  It could be that people who eat nuts regularly are more health conscious, eating them in place of unhealthy snacks like chips, for example – but it could just be more evidence that nuts are a super food. Nuts provide superior nutritional value and many health benefits, especially for bone health.


Nuts are a rich source of anti-oxidants, fiber, potassium, and unsaturated fats that are beneficial for health. Some of the fats are not actually digested, so you may not be consuming as many calories as the label suggests. Nonetheless, there’s no need to eat excessive amounts of nuts because just a handful each day has great health benefits.

Nuts are also rich in boron that helps bone formation and enhances the availability of magnesium. Boron also increases the stability of vitamin D and makes it last longer in the body. Boron also helps strengthen the surface of joints.

Nuts are a rich source of magnesium, and increased magnesium intake lowers the risk of heart disease and diabetes. And studies suggest that increasing magnesium intake from food or supplements might increase bone mineral density in postmenopausal and elderly women.

Magnesium assists in the structural development of bone and influences the activities of osteoblasts and osteoclasts (cells that form and break down bone). Magnesium directs calcium into bone – in fact supplementing with calcium and Vitamin D without a balancing amount of magnesium is a big ‘no’ because it can trigger a series of events that cause bone loss and osteoporosis.

Supplemental magnesium is needed for the spongy bone of the spine and pelvis. Spinal fractures – called vertebral compression fractures – are almost twice as common as other fractures linked to osteoporosis.  70% of the magnesium found naturally in nuts is digested and used by the body. Compare that to the form of magnesium that is most commonly used in supplements because it is cheaper, magnesium oxide, which allows for only 4% of the magnesium to ‘work’.

While most recommendations tell you how much magnesium to get, the form is important. Replacing nuts with a run-of-the-mill magnesium supplement is not going to have the same impact on your bones. Only a supplement with magnesium citrate will achieve 70%. It requires using a slightly bigger capsule and is more expensive, but makes all the difference.

Another nutrient in nuts is arginine. Circulating arginine helps open up small blood vessels to improve the blood supply to bone.

Boron, magnesium citrate, and arginine are three of the essential nutrients in the Silical System*. Adding a handful of nuts and Silical to your day is a one-two punch for better bone health.

*Adequate calcium and vitamin D throughout life, as part of a well-balanced diet, may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

2 thoughts on “Nuts: A Bone Health Super Food”

  • Lynn

    Are magnesium, boron and arginine in Silical2 or only in Silical 1 ?

    • Institute for Better Bone Health

      Magnesium, Calcium and Vitamin D make up Silical 1 - your bone health "base". Boron, arginine and other essential nutrients make up Silical 2. Together they are the Silical System. The reason there are two bottles is to address the two components of bone strength: bone density, and bone collagen (and because some nutrients compete with calcium absorption if taken at the same time). You can order the System, or you may choose to order only Silical 2 if you already take a quality calcium, magnesium and Vitamin D multivitamin.

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