Eat to Avoid Osteoporosis

Don’t smoke, don’t drink too much, exercise regularly — this is good advice, but you’ve heard it all before! This time, it’s important advice for avoiding osteoporosis. Let’s recognize that you know you should do these things, and focus on how to eat to avoid osteoporosis.

Why you don’t want osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become porous. That is, they become less solid, less dense. That means they’re weaker and more likely to break. 

Three million Americans are diagnosed with osteoporosis each year, but often people don’t know that they have it until they break a bone. 

With osteoporosis, a simple fall can lead to fractures. Bones in the spine can collapse, leading to hunched posture, loss of height, and pain as well as weakness. Untreated, osteoporosis can reduce mobility, making it hard to walk and easy to fall.

It can affect the nervous system as well. Osteoporosis in the spine can cause problems with balance, numbness, or pain.

How to eat to avoid osteoporosis

Healthy eating habits often focus on what not to eat, but eating to avoid osteoporosis is all about eating more of the right things. Specifically, you need to increase your intake of foods that are high in Vitamin D and calcium.

Vitamin D Alert

These Vitamin D powerhouse foods are good for your whole family. Enjoy them often!

  • Tuna makes great sandwiches, pasta casseroles, or salads. The classic Salade Niçoise combines tuna, hard-boiled eggs, lightly cooked green beans, tiny boiled potatoes, tomatoes, and olives on a bed of lettuce. Dress it with olive oil and lemon.
  • Salmon is another fatty fish that brings you plenty of Vitamin D. Grilled salmon is a treat, but canned salmon croquettes contain plenty of vitamin D. Click through for a recipe for Thai-style salmon cakes.
  • Liver is a great source of vitamin D. Spread liverwurst on crusty bread and top with thin slices of radish or red onion for a delicious lunch or snack.
  • Eggs, specifically egg yolks, are a great source of Vitamin D. If it’s hard to get them ready in time for breakfast, make omelets or quiche for dinner.
  • Mushrooms are the only natural non-animal source of Vitamin D, and that only goes for mushrooms which have been exposed to sunlight or UV rays. If you can find this type of mushroom, enjoy them on pizzas, in pasta sauce, or just sliced and sautéed as a vegetable dish.
  • Fortified milk and orange juice are good sources of Vitamin D, and calcium, too.
  • Cheese is also a good source of both calcium and Vitamin D. It’s high in fat and sodium, so make it part of a balanced diet, but it’s easy to include it in any meal or snack. Ricotta has the highest level of Vitamin D and it’s delicious in cakes and other baked goods, so you can even include cheese in the dessert course.

Sources of Calcium That Aren’t Dairy