Written by Erika Martin BSc Nutrition Candidate
Reviewed by Andrea Miller MHSc, RD
This month, we are looking at the importance of maintaining bone health to reduce the risks of osteoporosis, falls and fractures. As mentioned in our previous post, two key nutrients in maintaining healthy, strong bones are Calcium and Vitamin D. While these are often the nutrients we think of, when it comes to healthy bones, there are other nutrients that are also worth considering, to ensure we maintain healthy bones, throughout our lifespan. Magnesium, potassium and Vitamin K are all important for bone health.
Magnesium is an important nutrient to consider when it comes to bone health, as it affects bone growth and fragility, and can affect how calcium is taken in and used by the body. Increasing your intake improve bone density, which lowers the risk of bone fractures.
Magnesium Requirements and Sources:
For those aged 19-30 years old, it is recommended to take in between 310-400 mg/day, and this increases to 320-420 mg/day for those over the age of 30. Food sources of magnesium include nuts such as almonds and cashews; avocados, dried beans such as lentils and chick peas, and whole grains.
Potassium is a mineral that helps to preserve calcium in the bones. It can lead to higher bone density which helps to prevent osteoporosis.
Potassium Requirements and Sources:
|Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)|
|1-3 years old||2000 mg/day|
|4-8 years old||2300mg/day|
|9-18 years old||2300-2500 mg/day|
|19 and older||2300-3400 mg/day|
There are plenty of food sources of potassium. It is found in fruit such as bananas, cantaloupe, honeydew, oranges, apricots and grapefruit; it is also found in cooked spinach, cooked broccoli, potatoes (both regular and sweet potatoes) and mushrooms.
Vitamin K deficiency is known to decrease bone density and can lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis and higher rate of bone fractures. It is important to eat foods rich in Vitamin K to maintain bone structure.
Vitamin K Requirements and Sources:
The recommendation for Vitamin K intake for healthy women is 90mcg/day, and 120 mcg/day for men. The best sources for Vitamin K, include green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, romaine lettuce and collard greens, as well as broccoli, and cabbage.
The Bottom Line…
Maintaining bone health is extremely important in reducing the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures. Fortunately, these nutrients can be found in a wide variety of food sources.
For more information on bone health, visit Osteoporosis Canada
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