Essential vitamins and minerals for your bones

Published May 9, 2014

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There are many vitamins and minerals required to form and maintain healthy bones. They each have an individual role to play but all help keep our bones standing strong for life.

  • Calcium – Undoubtedly the most well‐known, adequate calcium is essential for bone structure, attaining peak bone mass and reducing bone loss. To meet your daily calcium needs include calcium rich foods such as milk, cheese and yoghurt, canned salmon and sardines with soft edible bones, green leafy vegetables and almonds or brazil nuts in your diet.1
  • Vitamin D – The “sunshine vitamin” is essential for the absorption and use of calcium and phosphorus and therefore vital for building and maintaining strong healthy bones. Adequate vitamin D can be obtained through moderate sunlight exposure and supplements.
  • Magnesium – Like calcium, magnesium is an integral part of the structure of bones and maintaining adequate dietary magnesium is important for bone health. Magnesium can be found in foods such as brown rice, oats, almonds, hazelnuts and spinach.2
  • Zinc – Zinc promotes collagen formation to support bone strength and flexibility. Zinc can be found in foods such as oysters, crab, turkey, baked beans, cashews and almonds.3
  • Boron – Boron plays a role in calcium, magnesium and vitamin D metabolism and therefore influences bone health and strength. Boron needs can be met by consuming dark leafy vegetables, dried fruit, nuts and cooked dried beans and peas.4
  • Vitamin K – Vitamin K is required for proper bone formation by helping the body transport calcium. It can be found in eggs and green leafy vegetables such as cabbage and spinach.
  • Manganese – Manganese is essential for normal bone structure and can help maintain bone density. To obtain adequate manganese consume manganese‐rich foods such as pineapple, pecans, beans, brown rice, oats and spinach.5
  • Silica – Silica is required for the proper functioning of the enzyme prolyhydroxylase, which functions in the formation of collagen in bone tissue. Foods containing silica include potato, oats, millet, barley and whole wheat. The herb “horsetail” is also a naturally rich source of silica.

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