Bone health is important when discussing osteoarthritis (OA) and its adverse effects. When bones become weaker and more brittle, they are at a higher risk of injury and fracture. This is especially dangerous for those already experiencing inflammation near the joints and their surrounding tissue due to OA. The conjunction of reduced bone density and osteoarthritis further limits mobility and increases pain, making it more and more difficult to recover.
CAUSES OF POOR BONE DENSITY
Bone health can be affected by a variety of different variables. These include, but are not limited to:
- Low levels of calcium and vitamin D
- Decreasing muscle mass
- Lack of physical activity
- High inflammation
- Increasing age
HOW TO IMPROVE BONE HEALTH
Diet can have a significant improvement on bone density. Nutrient-rich superfoods with high levels of calcium and vitamin D are the best treatment options for maintaining strong bones and a healthy weight.
Your recommended calcium intake fluctuates as you age. Consult the chart below to learn the prescribed calcium levels for your age and gender:
Recommended Calcium Intake Per Day*
|14-18 years||1,300 mg||1,300 mg|
|19-50 years||1,000 mg||1,000 mg|
|51-70 years||1,000 mg||1,200 mg|
|71+ years||1,200 mg||1,200 mg|
TOP 3 SUPERFOODS TO PROMOTE BONE DENSITY
- PRUNES Dried plums are loaded with nutrients to protect bones and improve overall health. Revered as a superfood that promotes healthy aging, digestion, and blood pressure, prunes are also helpful for preventing constipation and hemorrhoids. High in fiber, potassium, iron, niacin, and vitamin A, K, and B6, prunes come with a long list of beneficial minerals. They even promote robust gut health, contributing to weight loss and keeping you full in between meals to prevent overeating.
- LEAFY GREENS Jam-packed with calcium and vitamin K, dark leafy greens like bok choy, kale, turnip greens, and more are excellent vegetables to incorporate into your diet. They are frequently hailed for their ability to promote bone health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Spinach and collard greens are also high in magnesium and potassium while broccoli and green pepper are stock full of vitamin C.
- DAIRY PRODUCTS Products like milk, cheeses, yogurt, and cottage cheese are filled with probiotics promoting many benefits. From gut health to increased levels of calcium, dairy products are highly recommended to improve bone density. In fact, consuming dairy products on a regular basis can lower your risk of injury, substantially decreasing the rate of bone loss.
BOTTOM 3 FOODS THAT REDUCE BONE DENSITY
- SALTY FOODS Snacks high in sodium can cause significant calcium loss and gradually weaken bones over time. In fact, it’s generally recommended that no more than a teaspoon of salt should be consumed in a single day. These salty foods to avoid include fast foods like pizza, tacos, burgers, and hotdogs, as well as processed deli meats, frozen meals, and canned goods.
- SOFT DRINKS Carbonated beverages often contain harmful phosphoric acids and generally lack any nutritional value whatsoever. They are also absent of calcium and considerably lower bone mineral density. Rather than reaching for cola soft drinks like Sprite, Diet Coke, or Mountain Dew, replace that high soda intake with fat-free milk, orange juice, seltzers, and fruit smoothies.
- CAFFEINE Caffeine options like coffee, sodas, and energy drinks dehydrate your body and drain calcium from your bones. This is especially dangerous for individuals barely meeting their recommended daily calcium intake. If cutting coffee from your diet is too difficult, consider switching to decaf or tea options. While tea also contains caffeine, researchers have not found it to be harmful. In fact, many plant compounds found in various teas actually promote bone health, making it a great alternative to coffee.
THE BOTTOM LINE
At Arthritis Knee Pain Centers®, we understand knee osteoarthritis and offer non-surgical advanced therapy. Contact us today to schedule your FREE, no-obligation knee pain screening!
*Institute of Medicine