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From Sharp Health News, a publication of Sharp HealthCare

By 2040, osteoporosis is predicted to cause 3.2 million fractures in the U.S. each year, up from 1.9 million in 2018. That’s a 68% increase. To avoid being a part of that statistic, consider making a few changes to your diet.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), osteoporosis develops when bone mineral density and bone mass decrease, leading to loss of bone strength. This can result in fractures and broken bones. However, staying physically active, avoiding alcohol and tobacco misuse, taking medications as prescribed and eating a balanced diet can help you improve and maintain your bone health.

A well-balanced diet should include plenty of fruits and vegetables; an appropriate amount of calories for your age, height, weight and activity level; and foods and drinks that include calcium, vitamin D and protein.

Sources of calcium include:

  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Dark green leafy vegetables
  • Broccoli
  • Sardines and salmon
  • Calcium-fortified foods, such as soymilk, tofu, orange juice, cereals and breads

Vitamin D can be processed in the skin through sun exposure, and can be added to your diet by consuming:

  • Fatty fish
  • Fish oils
  • Egg yolks
  • Liver
  • Vitamin D-fortified foods, such as milk and cereals

An average adult needs about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram — or per 2.2 pounds — of body weight per day. Additionally, there are several other minerals and vitamins needed to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. These include magnesium, zinc, boron, vitamin K, vitamin C and some of the B vitamins, all of which work together to create healthy bones.

Talk with your doctor or a registered dietician nutritionist to determine if you are meeting the recommended daily allowance of each nutrient, when bone-density screening is appropriate for you, and which lifestyle changes can help improve your bone health.

The VEBA Resource Center offers many Cooking & Nutrition Classes. Join us to learn how to blend the art of food and cooking with the science of medicine to optimize your overall health and wellness – all while having fun! Check out our calendar to sign up for an upcoming class.