Weak bones can increase our risk of fracture, so we need to look after our bones throughout life by following a bone-friendly diet and lifestyle.
Key Factors Influencing Bone Health
A balanced diet which provides adequate nutrients is essential for our bone health. About 99% of the body’s calcium is found in our bones and teeth; Milk, yogurt and cheese are among the best dietary sources of calcium as it is easily absorbed and used by the body. Calcium is needed for the normal growth and development of bone in children and the maintenance of our bones and teeth. This food group also provides protein and phosphorus which are also important for bone health.
Vitamin D contributes to the normal absorption and utilisation of calcium. Although vitamin D is commonly referred to as the ‘sunshine vitamin’, dietary sources of vitamin D are still important, and include oily fish, eggs and fortified milk.
Regular participation in weight-bearing activities (any activity which puts the full weight of your body on your feet and legs) is also important for bone health. Examples of such activities include brisk walking, running, dancing and most team sports.
Other lifestyle tips that favour the development of strong, healthy bones are to achieve/maintain a healthy body weight, avoid excessive alcohol intake and avoid smoking.
Remember, if concerned about your bone health; speak to your GP who can give you specific advice tailored to your individual needs.