17 Foods That Support Bone Health

Your bones require specific nutrients to stay strong and healthy. Calcium and vitamin D are the two big ones most people recognize. However, calcium, protein, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin D, potassium, and fluoride all play a role in bone formation. Omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, copper, boron, iron, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, and the B vitamins play a role in metabolic processes related to the bone.

Oranges And Orange Juice

Oranges are rich in vitamin C, which is needed for collagen formation and contributes to bone health. An orange is also an excellent source of vitamin A, which is essential for normal skeletal growth and cell differentiation. Choose an orange juice that’s been fortified with calcium, which is also vital for healthy bones.

Milk

Milk is an excellent source of calcium, which helps keeps your bones strong. In fact, one cup of milk gives you almost one-third of your daily requirement. Milk is also fortified with vitamin D, to make sure your body absorbs calcium, along with vitamin A, vitamin K, protein, phosphorus, and potassium. Choose low or non-fat milk if you’re looking to cut back on calories. Milk is one of the easiest ways to feed your bones. Three glasses a day will meet most people’s needs for calcium and vitamin D, and you’ll get a big boost of protein and many other vitamins and minerals too.

Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is just incredibly nutritious. It’s high in many minerals, including calcium and magnesium, and it’s also high in vitamins A and C, which are all good for your bones. Swiss chard is also high in fiber and low in calories, so it’s perfect for just about every diet. Sauté your Swiss chard in a little heart-healthy olive oil and a dash of white wine vinegar. Top with a little salt, pepper, and nutmeg—super easy.

Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan cheese is packed with calcium—one tablespoon of shredded Parmesan cheese has 63 milligrams, which is a lot of calcium in a small amount of food. Parmesan cheese is also an excellent source of protein, and it has a bit of vitamin A. The calories aren’t bad either—that one tablespoon has only 21 calories.

Rhubarb

Rhubarb is high in calcium—one cup of cooked rhubarb has about 350 milligrams of calcium. It’s also a good source of vitamins A and C. Rhubarb is low in calories, but it usually has to be cooked with sugar that adds extra calories. Cook your rhubarb first and add sugar later—you won’t need as much sugar that way.

Figs

Figs contain minerals and vitamins that are essential for bone health. One cup of stewed figs has about 180 milligrams of calcium, plus some vitamins C and vitamin K. Raw figs are low in calories and high in fiber, so they’re good for your diet—a couple of raw figs can give you about 24 milligrams of calcium.

Spinach

Spinach is an excellent source of just about every nutrient that a plant can offer. Spinach is good for your bones because it’s high in calcium and vitamins A, C and K. It’s also delicious, versatile and low in calories so it really should be a part of everyone’s diet.

Cashews

Cashews have a little bit of calcium and vitamin K, but what makes them so good for your bones is the magnesium and other minerals they offer, plus some healthy plant-based protein.

Kiwi Fruit

Kiwi fruit is good for your bones because it’s very high in vitamin C, and rich in magnesium. Kiwi fruit also adds some calcium and vitamins A and K to your daily intake. It’s also deliciously sweet without being high in calories.

Salmon

Salmon is rich in vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids that your bones need to stay strong and healthy, and it’s also an excellent source of protein. Although it’s rich in healthy fats, salmon isn’t high in calories either. Keep canned salmon on hand for quick and easy sandwiches and salads. You can eat salmon with bones because it ups your calcium intake.

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds contain some calcium and protein, but they’re an excellent source of magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids. They’re also high in fiber, so they make a nice snack or addition to salads.

Tomato Juice

Tomato juice is high in several vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. It also has some calcium and a little vitamin K. Fresh tomatoes are good too, of course, but tomato juice concentrates all that nutrition.

Sweet Peppers

Red sweet peppers are good for your bones because they’re high in vitamins C and A. They also have some vitamin K. They’re good for most any diet because they’re low in calories and a good source of B vitamins and fiber.

Kale

Kale is a cruciferous vegetable that’s related to cauliflower and broccoli. It’s another one of those foods that are rich in just about every vitamin and mineral you can name. Kale is good for your bones because it’s high in calcium, and vitamins A, C, and K.

Collards

Like most greens, collards are rich in vitamins and minerals. Collards are particularly high in calcium, plus they contain a good amount of magnesium. They’re also super-rich in vitamins K and A, and they offer a fair amount of vitamin C.

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts aren’t appreciated as much as they should be, which is a shame because they’re so nutritious. Brussels sprouts are rich in calcium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, and K. Shred raw Brussels sprouts and use them in place of cabbage in salad and slaw. Roast your Brussels sprouts for a quick and tasty side.

Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts are an excellent source of calcium and protein, but they’re an even better source of magnesium. They’re also high in other minerals that might be good for your bones as well. They’re a little high in calories—one serving of six nuts has close to 200 calories.