Eat Drink Better

Published on November 17th, 2010 | by Heather Green


Preventing Osteoporosis: Food and Drink to Build Bone Density

A bowl of kale chips

Osteoporosis is becoming an increasingly dangerous public health concern that requires us to address it on several different levels. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, over 44 million Americans are threatened by osteoporosis, and 55% of individuals over the age of 50 are likely to be affected by the disease. One in six women will experience a hip fracture at some point in their lives, as compared to one in nine who will develop breast cancer.

Of the factors at work behind the prevalence of osteoporosis, poor nutrition is one of the worst culprits. In addition to consistent weight-bearing exercise and supplements as needed, eating well to build bone density can help prevent osteoporosis. While most bone density is built before age 20, it’s still important to keep consuming key vitamins to prevent your body from leaching nutrients from your bones. To help prevent osteoporosis and to address the widespread issue of low bone density, you can incorporate foods and beverages rich in calcium and vitamins D and K into your diet.


You need to consume 1,200 milligrams of calcium every day in order to keep your bones strong and dense enough to prevent fractures and breaks. You can do this by consuming calcium-fortified products, such as dry cereals, orange juice and soy milk; or you can eat foods that are naturally rich in calcium. Some examples include yogurt, cheddar cheese, sardines or salmon with bones, tofu made with calcium sulfate, milk, frozen yogurt, and more. By eating one or more of these items at each meal, you can easily obtain your recommended daily value of calcium. For example, you could have calcium-fortified cereal with yogurt for breakfast, a salmon Caesar salad for lunch, and pizza topped with tofu and sardines for dinner. You can check out the NIH Calcium Factsheet for even more calcium-rich foods.

Vitamin D

According to the NIH Vitamin D Factsheet, you should consume 400-600 IUs of vitamin D each day, a commitment that can be upheld by taking a good multivitamin and by eating foods rich in vitamin D. Cod liver oil, salmon and many other types of fish, liver, milk, yogurt, Swiss cheese, eggs, and many other foods are great sources of vitamin D. Note that many of the same foods are rich in calcium, so it’s even easier than you thought to help prevent osteoporosis by altering your diet. Just by eating a three-ounce serving of salmon, you’ll be getting nearly 200% of your daily recommended vitamin D plus about 18% of your calcium.

Vitamin K

Consuming 70 to 80 micrograms of vitamin K each day can also help you to build bone density. Vitamin K assists in your body’s absorption of calcium, and three vitamin K-dependent proteins have been isolated in bone. It’s easy to keep your vitamin K levels up with these foods, each of which provides over 200% of your recommended daily value: kale, spinach, turnip greens, collard greens, Swiss chard, parsley, and mustard greens. These items are especially rich in vitamin K, but essentially, any type of leafy green will help you get your daily percentage and stop osteoporosis before it affects you. Making a simple spinach and parsley salad or boiling some Swiss chard with freshly squeezed orange juice could be all your body needs to maintain bone health, so don’t miss your daily opportunities to prevent the loss of bone density.

Heather is a freelance writer and the resident blogger for, an informational website offering tips about online nursing sites.

Creative Commons photo by joyosity

Keep up with the latest sustainable food news by signing up for our free newsletter. CLICK HERE to sign up!

Tags: , , , ,

About the Author

I am a professional model, new mom and cook who loves trying new things!

2 Responses to Preventing Osteoporosis: Food and Drink to Build Bone Density

  1. Pingback: The Vegan Food Pyramid – Eat Drink Better

  2. Pingback: Is Vitamin D from Sunshine Enough? – Eat Drink Better

Back to Top ↑
  • Support our Site!

  • Let’s Connect!

  • Popular Posts & Pages

    Whether you are looking to completely give up animal products or just want to try eating vegan some of the time, we want to support you! Below, you’ll find articles answering some common questions about vegan cooking and nutrition. If you don’t see your question answered below, please get in touch with us! We are happy to investigate for you!

    Find out what's in season now, plus get plenty of recipe inspiration to help you make the most of every season's beautiful, local fare.

    I love infographics. When I came across this one about what, how, and when to plant vegetables, I thought I’d share. Keep reading after the pic for a few of my own lessons learned.

    Top Sustainable Food Jobs of the Week.

    Looking for an all vegan grocery store? Even if you’re not lucky enough to have one in your town, there are lots of online options for vegan grocery shopping.

  • Search the IM Network

  • The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by, and do not necessarily represent the views of Sustainable Enterprises Media, Inc., its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.