Foods to Include in Your Diet for Stronger Bones

Posted on May 25, 2018

vitamin d

It's well understood how important a role your diet plays in giving you strong bones. But, there's more to having good bone health than drinking milk all day. Furthermore, different people have different dietary demands, so what works for one person won't necessarily be as effective for another. Before you seek out orthopedic surgeons in Suffolk County, NY, here are some tips for having the best diet for strong bones.

Calcium and Vitamin D

These are the big two when it comes to bone health. Humans need calcium to strengthen the bones and vitamin D to absorb the calcium. Lacking either one of these can lead to serious conditions like osteoporosis or rickets. While Vitamin D and calcium are readily available via supplements, you should be able to fulfill your recommended dosage simply by maintaining a healthy diet.

Calcium-Rich Foods

The average person requires 700mg per day of calcium. The best sources of calcium are milk and other dairy foods, leafy green vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage, tofu, soy beans, nuts, and any bread with fortified flour. Unfortunately, spinach does not count as a leafy vegetable here because it contains oxalic acid: a chemical which actually fights calcium absorption.

Vitamin D-Rich Foods

The best source of vitamin D is actually not found in food, but derives from exposure to the sun. In the northern hemisphere, just walking for short periods outside from March through September is usually all anyone needs to meet their vitamin D requirement. Otherwise, the best sources for vitamin D are eggs, fortified breakfast cereals, and oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines. While it's preferable to attain your vitamin D and calcium through food, if you suffer from osteoporosis, your doctor may recommend you take supplements.



Daily supplements of calcium and vitamin D are particularly effective for people who have a hard time getting the nutrition they need with diet or sun exposure alone. At-risk groups who may require supplements include infants under 1 year of age, children from 1 to 4, the frail or housebound, people who are vulnerable to skin cancer and therefore must bundle up when they go outdoors, and people with dark skin such as those with African or South Asian ancestry. Also, women after menopause lose bone more rapidly than they did before and benefit from a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D.


While vegetarians can satisfy their dietary needs with dairy products, vegans have no such opportunity. Their best sources of calcium are soy beans, sesame seeds, tahini, and dried fruit such as prunes, raisins, and figs. For vitamin D they may have to turn to supplements, or make an extra effort to spend time outdoors.

As you can see there are many options for maintaining a healthy lifestyle that encourages healthy bones. If you have any concerns, don't hesitate to seek advice from an orthopedic care specialist in Suffolk County, NY.