Foods Good for Your Bones

— Written By Lethia Lee and last updated by Patricia Burch

The food that we eat can affect our bones. Learning about the foods that are rich in calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients that are important for our bone health and overall health will help us make healthier food choices every day.

If we eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of dairy, fish, fruits and vegetables, we will get enough of the nutrients we need every day. But if we not eating the recommended amount from food alone, we may need to complement our diet by taking multivitamins or supplements.

Recent research has found that olive oil, soy beans, blueberries and foods rich in mega-3’s, like fish oil and flaxseed oil may also have bone boasting benefits. While additional research is needed before the link between these foods and bone health can definitively be made, the many overall health benefits of these foods make them excellent choices to add to your diet.

It is important to get enough, but not too much protein for bone health and overall health. Many older adults do not get enough protein in their diets and this may be harmful to the bones. However, special high protein diets that contain multiple servings of meat and protein with each meal can also cause the body to lose calcium. You can make up for this loss by getting enough calcium for your body’s needs. For example, dairy products, although high in protein, also contain calcium that is important for healthy bones.

Good for your bones foods include Dairy, Fish, Fruits and vegetables, beans (legumes). Salty Foods have a lot of salt (sodium) which causes your body to lose calcium and can lead to bone loses. Try to limit the amount of processed foods, canned foods and salt added to the foods you eat each day. To learn if a food is high in sodium, look at the Nutrition Facts Label. If it lists 20% or more of the Daily Value, it is high in sodium. Aim to get no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day.