As children we are concerned with growing up tall and with strong bones. As adults we no longer are concerned with the growing of bones, rather we become concerned with maintaining the health of our bones. The structural integrity of your skeleton involves protein, minerals, trace mineral, adequate calorie intake, vitamins, hormones, age, genetics and weight bearing activities. Bones reach the peak bone density at about age 30, after that as we age bone mass is lost. (1)
Some things related to bone health are outside of our control; we have yet to find the fountain of youth and we cannot exchange the DNA we were born with. However by avoiding cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol, caffeine and soda intake you can reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis. A lifestyle that includes weight bearing physical activity and a healthful diet adequate in calories from protein, fat and carbohydrate should provide enough of the right nutrient needs.
The nutrients that are of the greatest concern are vitamin D and calcium. Calcium is continuously utilized and if it is not available in the diet then the body will pull out of storage in the bones. In order to absorb calcium we need vitamin D.
Many people are deficient in vitamin D due to poor sun exposure and because it is not widely available in our diet. The Recommended Dietary Allowance for all adults 18-70 years old is 600IU of vitamin D per day. Salmon is a great source of vitamin D but you would have to eat one 4 ounce serving every day. (2)
The Recommended Dietary Allowance for all adults 18-70 years old is 1000 milligrams of calcium per day. In a typical diet this could look like: (2)
1 slice of toasted cracked wheat bread (11mg)
1 ounce cheddar cheese (199mg)
1 banana (6mg)
8 ounce glass of 1% milk (290mg)
8 ounce container of yogurt (296mg)
1 cup blueberries (9mg)
1 cup cooked kale (180mg)
½ cup brown rice (3mg)
3 ounces chicken breast (4mg)
¼ cup almonds (77mg)
½ cup small curd cottage cheese (94mg)
- Mahan, L. K., & Raymond, J. L. (2017). Krauses food & the nutrition care process. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.
- Welcome to the USDA Food Composition Databases. (n.d.). Retrieved June 08, 2017, from https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/