Strengthen your bones — no milk mustache needed.
By Maryann Hammers
A woman has more than a one-in-three chance of an osteoporosis-associated bone break in her life. One in ten women have osteoporosis by the time they turn 60. The risk doubles by age 70.
That’s why you should take steps now to keep your bones strong.
Calcium is essential, of course, but it’s not the only nutrient you need — and dairy isn’t the only way to get it. In fact, a new study found that the women who drank three or more glasses of milk were actually more likely to sustain hip and other bone fractures.
A varied, plant-based diet is the key to a strong skeleton, experts say. “A bone-protective diet is rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, says registered dietitian Sharon Palmer, author of the books The Plant-Powered Diet and Plant-Powered for Life.
“Calcium is available in green vegetables, dried beans, black strap molasses, sesame seeds, and almonds,” Palmer notes. “And other nutrients are important for bone health, such as vitamin D, magnesium, vitamin B12, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Antioxidants, such as lycopene are also linked with bone protection.”
So if you’re not a dairy fan, wipe off the milk mustache. We asked nutrition experts to name their favorite bone-strengthening foods. Here’s what they said.
 Facts and Statistics. International Osteoporosis Foundation website. Available at www.iofbonehealth.org/facts-statistics. Accessed December 19, 2014.
 Michaëlsson K, Wolk A, Langenskiöld S, et al. Milk intake and risk of mortality and fractures in women and men: cohort studies. The BMJ (formerly British Medical Journal) 2014; 349:g6015
 Sharon Palmer, RDN. Available at www.sharonpalmer.com/book.php. Accessed December 19, 2014.
 Vitamin K. University of Maryland Medical Center website. Available at umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/vitamin-k. Accessed November 12, 2014.
 Beasley J1, Larson J2, LaCroix A2, et al. Associations Between Biomarker-Calibrated Protein Intake and Bone Health in the Women’s Health Initiative. The FASEB Journal. April 2013; 27 (Meeting Abstract Supplement) 249.2
 Unjunk Your Diet. Desiree Neilsen, RD website. Accessed December 19, 2014.
 Redlich K1, Smolen J1. Inflammatory bone loss: pathogenesis and therapeutic intervention. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery 11, 234-250 (March 2012) | doi:10.1038/nrd3669
 Cashman, K. Diet, Nutrition, and Bone Health. The Journal of Nutrition. November 2007; vol. 137, no. 11, 2507S-2512S
 Boston University Medical Center. (2013, April 22). Mushrooms can provide as much vitamin D as supplements. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 5, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130422132801.htm
 Hooshmand S, Chai S, Saadat R, Payton M, Brummel-Smith K, Arjmandi B. Comparative effects of dried plum and dried apple on bone in postmenopausal women. British Journal of Nutrition. Volume 106; Issue 06, September 2011, pp 923-930. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S000711451100119X. Published online: 31 May 2011
 Hooshmand S1, Arjmandi BH. Viewpoint: dried plum, an emerging functional food that may effectively improve bone health. Ageing Research Reviews. 2009 Apr;8(2):122-7.
Tags: Nutritional Know-How