Posted on 26 May 2023

You are what you eat – How to eat better for stronger bones

To build stronger bones, you have to put the right stuff into your body! We’re talking about better food, more exercise, and (yes) daily supplements to provide the vitamins and minerals you need.

In this blog, we explain why eating well, exercising, and adding supplements to your daily regime are critical to building stronger bones.

Interested in bone health? Eat properly!

The saying “you are what you eat” is more relevant than ever for people who are serious about improving their bone health.

Why bother bout bone health? Stronger bones provide structure, protect our organs, keep our muscles anchored, and store calcium. Having stronger bones also provides natural protection and prevention from developing osteoporosis. While you can’t stop the ageing process, we can all do things to improve our bone health and prevent osteoporosis.

Eating the right foods – and boosting with supplements when required – is the best way to build stronger bones.

But what should you eat? Here are some of the essential vitamins and minerals you need for stronger bones.

Calcium: The building block of stronger bones

When we think about nutrients for bone health, calcium is the first one we all think of. (And we’d be right!).

Calcium is a vital nutrient that helps to build strong, dense bones. It starts when we’re young and continues as we age. It’s not just kids who need to get calcium; it’s adults too.

Calcium is easy to get and super-tasty too. Dairy products, fortified foods, leafy green vegetables, and certain types of fish are excellent sources of calcium.

Here are some great sources calcium for improving bone health:

  • Dairy products (milk, yoghurt, cheese)
  • Fortified plant-based milk alternatives (soy milk, almond milk)
  • Leafy greens (kale, collard greens, bok choy)
  • Tofu
  • Sardines
  • Salmon
  • Almonds

As we get older, we need more calcium to keep our bones strong. The solution? Taking a daily calcium supplement.

Calcium supplements are often required for those who simply can’t eat enough calcium-rich foods. It may be because of age, the availability of certain foods, or because you’re a vegan or vegetarian. Whatever the reason, you can find a range of high-quality calcium supplements that can help you.

The sunshine power of vitamin D

Vitamin D is as essential for bone health as calcium, although it doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves. Thankfully, the world is increasingly aware of the massive benefits of vitamin D.

Vitamin D helps bodies to absorb calcium more effectively. Without enough Vitamin D, our bodies can’t absorb calcium, regardless of how much calcium we’re eating.

Sunlight is, of course, a fantastic source of Vitamin D, but it’s not the only place!

Here are some great dietary sources of vitamin D:

  • Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines)
  • Cod liver oil
  • Egg yolks
  • Fortified dairy products (milk, yoghurt, cheese)
  • Fortified plant-based milk alternatives (soy milk, almond milk)
  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • Mushrooms (exposed to sunlight)

Many people choose to pop a vitamin D supplement, especially during the autumn, winter, and spring. Why? Because sunlight is hard to find in the UK! In fact, the NHS recommends that we all take a daily vitamin D supplement to help our bodies and bones.

Those people worried about their bone health think about taking a  vitamin D supplement throughout the year to ensure they’re always getting a daily dose of this bone booster.

Vital but ignored: vitamin K

Did you know that vitamin K plays a crucial role in promoting better bone health? It’s true – but not many people know about it!

Vitamin K is vital for maintaining healthy bones and ensuring they stay strong throughout your life.

Vitamin K works helps to regulate the calcium balance in your body. It activates a special protein called osteocalcin, which ensures that calcium in your body makes it to your bones. Low levels of vitamin K are associated with an increased risk of fractures and weakened bones.

Serious about your bones? Getting enough calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin K in your diet, and you’ll help to build stronger and denser bones that are less prone to fractures and osteoporosis.

Here are some essential foods for boosting vitamin K in your diet:

  • Leafy greens (kale, spinach, collard greens)
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Parsley
  • Green beans
  • Fermented soy products (natto)

By making sure you have enough vitamin K, either through a balanced diet or supplements, you can significantly improve your bone mineral density.

While we should all get enough vitamin K in our diets, it’s especially important for postmenopausal women. It’s because they’re at greatest risk of developing osteoporosis.

Magnesium and Phosphorus: the unsung heroes

Magnesium and phosphorus might not be the stars of the bone-building show, but they certainly deserve some attention. Both are essential for improving bone health.

Why? Well, magnesium help bone formation by influencing the parathyroid hormone and vitamin D levels. Both of these are crucial for better bone health. Phosphorus may sound like something you’d find in a science class, but it helps to harden your bones and teeth.

If you’re serious about building stronger bones, be sure to include these essentials in your plans.

Here are some natural sources of magnesium and phosphorous:

  • Nuts and seeds (almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds)
  • Legumes (black beans, chickpeas, lentils)
  • Whole grains (oats, brown rice, quinoa)
  • Leafy greens (spinach, Swiss chard)
  • Avocado
  • Dark chocolate
  • Bananas

Thinking about adding a magnesium supplement to your diet? Many people find that boosting magnesium can have a positive impact on overall well-being, reducing feelings of tiredness and fatigue. It’s also helping to build stronger bones at the same time. It’s a vitamin win-win!

Protein: More than a muscle builder

It’s understood that protein is essential for building muscle, but it’s also important for building healthier and stronger bones.  

How? High protetin intake can support bone health, especially in older adults.

Tasty sources of protein include:

  • lean meats
  • fish
  • dairy
  • plant-based proteins like beans and lentils

The role of regular exercise

You can just eat your way to stronger bones! Regular exercise is a vital part of bone health. Weight-bearing and resistance exercises provide the best boost for your bones, helping them to become stronger.

Want to know more about exercises for stronger bones? Check out our guide to the best (and worst) bone health exercises.

Building stronger bones

A balanced diet, rich in essential nutrients, combined with regular exercise, is key to maintaining bone health.

We hope this guide has provided some simple ways to improve your health and well-being, as well as boost your bone health. Building stronger bones starts the day we’re born and should continue until the day we die.

At Stronger Bones, we’re on a mission to boost Britain’s bone health. Check out our shop for the best prices on essential bone health supplements, and enjoy free shipping when you spend over £25.

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