Let’s focus on nutrition for your 206 bones. Below are four critical nutrients for bone health that will keep your bones strong. Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) are included, but talk to your physician first before starting any new supplements.
DRI: 1,000 mg per day
Calcium is a major building block of our bones, but about half of us don’t meet the daily requirements. Women over the age of 50 and men over the age of 70 need extra calcium (1,200 mg per day). Try to get your calcium through foods such as salmon, tofu, kale or collard greens.
DRI: 600 IU per day
It’s more of a challenge to get enough natural Vitamin D these days. A hormone that is normally produced by your body, vitamin D controls the calcium stored inside of your body. If you don’t get enough vitamin D, you absorb only about half of the calcium available in what you consume.
42% of the U.S. population is deficient in vitamin D. That figure rises to alarming rates among Hispanics (70%) and African Americans (82%), whose darker skin is less able to produce vitamin D from sunlight. Love mushrooms? Look for UV-treated mushrooms which have higher levels of vitamin D.
DRI: Women, 90 mcg per day; Men, 120 mcg per day
Vitamin K2 helps build and maintain strong bones. It also can help prevent and treat osteoporosis. While the studies in the U.S. are limited, studies outside of the U.S. show that K2 supplements are beneficial in preventing osteoporosis. K2 interacts with calcium which allows that mineral to work better in your body. It also helps prevent calcium from accumulating in the arteries around the heart and thus may reduce heart disease. K2 can also be enhanced by taking vitamin D. K2 can be found in pastured foods such as eggs and meat, along with fermented foods such as yogurt and sauerkraut.
DRI: Women, 310-320 mg per day; Men, 400-420 mg per day
Magnesium is a workhorse because it assists in more than 300 ways throughout your body, helping with heart rhythm, muscle contraction and much more. Your body stores more than 50% of magnesium in the skeleton. One cup of raw spinach contains 24 mg of Magnesium alone!