Superfoods to Promote Bone Density

Doctor points to bone

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.

When someone is dealing with both reduced bone density and osteoarthritis, it becomes even harder for them to move around and recover from their condition. This is where certain foods can come into play to improve bone density and overall bone health.

Implementing foods that are rich in calcium and vitamin D into your diet can greatly help improve bone density. Dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese are excellent sources of calcium. Additionally, green leafy vegetables like broccoli and kale, as well as fish with soft edible bones such as salmon and sardines, provide your body with important nutrients for bone health.

Sunlight is also a great source of vitamin D, but certain food products like fortified milk, orange juice, and eggs, and mushrooms can contribute to your vitamin D intake. If you aren’t getting enough vitamin D, consider taking a health supplement.

By incorporating these foods into your diet, you can give your bones the necessary nutrients they need to stay strong and resilient. This, in turn, can help protect against fractures and further damage caused by osteoarthritis.

It is important to note that while food plays a vital role in improving bone density, it is also essential to engage in weight-bearing exercises and maintain a healthy lifestyle to promote bone health. With a balanced diet and regular exercise, you can give your bones the best chance to stay healthy, even in the presence of osteoarthritis.


Proper bone health is essential for everyone, regardless of age or gender. Several factors can affect bone density, which is a measure of the strength and thickness of your bones. One crucial element is maintaining adequate levels of calcium and vitamin D in your body. These nutrients are essential for bone growth and repair, and low levels of calcium and vitamin D can weaken your bones. 

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
  • Obesity

Additionally, decreasing muscle mass can negatively impact bone health. Muscles play a crucial role in supporting and protecting your bones. When muscle mass decreases, it puts extra strain on your bones, making them more susceptible to fractures and injuries. Therefore, engaging in regular physical activity is crucial to maintain muscle mass and promote healthy bones.

Another factor that can affect bone density is high inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation can lead to bone loss and weaken bone structure. To reduce inflammation, it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and regular exercise.

As we age, our bones naturally become weaker. This is why it’s especially important to take preventive measures to maintain bone density and minimize the risk of fractures. Lastly, obesity can put extra stress on your bones, increasing the likelihood of bone-related issues. Therefore, it’s important to maintain a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise.

To improve bone density, incorporating specific foods into your diet can be beneficial. Including foods with omega-3 fatty acids, such as flaxseeds, walnuts, and fatty fish, can also promote bone health by reducing inflammation. Moreover, consuming enough protein from sources like lean meats, beans, and nuts is important for building and repairing bone tissue.

Maintaining bone health requires a multifaceted approach. Ensuring adequate calcium and vitamin D levels, engaging in regular exercise to preserve muscle mass, managing inflammation, being mindful of increasing age, and maintaining a healthy weight are all crucial for strong and healthy bones.

Including a variety of nutrient-rich foods, especially those high in calcium, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids, can further support bone density and overall bone health.


What you eat can actually make a big difference in the strength of your bones. There are certain foods that are packed with important nutrients like calcium and vitamin D, and these are the ones that can help improve your bone density.

Recommended Calcium Intake Per Day*

14-18 years1,300 mg1,300 mg
19-50 years1,000 mg1,000 mg
51-70 years1,000 mg1,200 mg
71+ years1,200 mg1,200 mg

Nutrient-rich superfoods are especially good for maintaining strong bones and a healthy weight. Calcium is an important mineral that helps build and strengthen bones, and vitamin D helps your body absorb and use calcium.

By making sure to include plenty of foods rich in these nutrients in your diet, you can give your bones the support they need to stay strong and healthy. Some examples of superfoods that are great for bone health include dairy products like milk and cheese, leafy green vegetables like broccoli and kale, and fatty fish like salmon and tuna.

Remember to also get enough exercise, as being active is important for keeping your bones strong. So, by eating the right foods and staying active, you can work towards improving your bone density and overall health.


    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.
    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.
    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.


    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.
    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 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.


Arthritis Knee Pain Centers® specializes in helping people with knee osteoarthritis. We provide advanced therapy options that do not require surgery. If you’re experiencing knee pain, you can schedule a no-charge, no-obligation screening with us to learn more about your options. Our focus is on finding treatments that can help improve your quality of life without any obligation to commit.

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*Institute of Medicine

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