Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and impacts the lives of millions of people across the world every day.
The human body is made up of 206 bones, which are essential to give the body shape and to aid in movement. Eating a balanced diet, full of calcium and vitamin D can help you maintain healthy and strong bones, and slow down the effects of osteoarthritis.
Adding certain foods to your diet can help significantly improve bone health and slow down the effects of osteoarthritis. But what are the best foods to eat to improve bone health?
Best foods for better bone health:
Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yoghurt are excellent sources of calcium, which is a mineral that is vital for bone strength. Calcium is a key component of bone structure and helps maintain bone density. Additionally, dairy products offer an abundance of vitamin D, which aids in calcium absorption.
Leafy Green Vegetables
Dark, leafy green vegetables such as kale and spinach are rich in calcium and other essential bone-building nutrients. These vegetables are also packed with magnesium, vitamin K, and folate, which contribute to bone health. These vegetables are delicious in salads, stir-fries, or even smoothies.
Fatty fish like salmon and sardines are not only excellent sources of protein, but they also provide omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s have been associated with reducing inflammation and improving bone health. They also enhance calcium absorption and support the production of bone-forming cells.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds, including almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds, are packed with essential nutrients for bone health. They contain calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and protein, which are all integral to maintaining strong bones. Additionally, they provide healthy fats and antioxidants that support overall bone and joint health.
Certain foods are fortified with bone-strengthening nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D. These include fortified plant-based milk, orange juice, and breakfast cereals. Check the labels to ensure you're choosing products with adequate amounts of these nutrients. Fortified foods are especially beneficial for individuals with dietary restrictions or lactose intolerance.
Beans and Legumes
Beans and legumes, such as chickpeas, lentils, and black beans, offer an array of nutrients that contribute to bone health. They are rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and protein, making them an excellent alternative protein source for individuals following a plant-based diet. Incorporate beans and legumes into soups, stews, or salads for a nutrient boost.
Whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, and whole wheat products provide a range of nutrients, including magnesium, phosphorus, and fibre. Replace refined grains with whole grains to maximise the bone-nourishing benefits of your diet.