Food for healthy bones

Sources of protein
recognition :
A healthy balanced diet will help you build healthy bones from an early age and maintain them throughout your life. You need sufficient calcium to keep your bones healthy and vitamin D to help your body steep calcium. Poor bone health can cause conditions such as rickets and osteoporosis and increase the risk of breaking a cram from a descend late in life.

You should be able to get all the nutrients you need for healthy bones by eating a balance diet. A good diet is only one of the build blocks for healthy bones, which besides includes exercise and avoiding certain risk factors for osteoporosis .


Adults need 700mg of calcium a day. You should be able to get all the calcium you need by eating a varied and balance diet. good sources of calcium include :

  • milk, cheese and other dairy foods
  • green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage and okra, but not spinach
  • soya beans
  • tofu
  • plant-based drinks (such as soya drink) with added calcium
  • nuts
  • bread and anything made with fortified flour
  • fish where you eat the bones, such as sardines and pilchards

Although spinach contains a distribute of calcium, it besides contains oxalate, which reduces calcium preoccupation, and it is consequently not a good source of calcium .

Vitamin D

Adults need 10 micrograms ( 400 International Units or IU ) of vitamin D a day. It ‘s unmanageable to get all the vitamin D we need from our diet and we get most of our vitamin D from the action of the sunday on our skin. From former March/April to the end of September, you can make vitamin D from sunlight by having short daily periods of sunday exposure without sunscreen. however, everyone should consider taking a daily vitamin D supplement during the fall and winter when we can not make vitamin D from sunlight. For babies and children, see vitamins for children .

At-risk groups

Some groups of the population are at greater risk of not getting enough vitamin D, and the Department of Health and Social Care recommends that these people should take a day by day 10 microgram ( 400IU ) vitamin D accessory all class round. These groups are :

  • people who are not often outdoors, for example if they are frail, housebound or living in a care home
  • people who usually wear clothes that cover up most of their skin when outdoors
  • people with dark skin such as those of African, African-Caribbean or south Asian origin

good sources of vitamin D :

  • oily fish, such as salmon, sardines and mackerel
  • egg yolks
  • fortified foods, such as some fat spreads and breakfast cereals

If you ‘ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis, your doctor may prescribe calcium and vitamin D supplements vitamin a well as osteoporosis drug treatments if they have concerns that your calcium inhalation may be abject.

Find out more about treating osteoporosis .


Women lose bone more quickly for a number of years after the menopause when their ovaries about stop producing estrogen, which has a protective impression on bones. There are no particular calcium or vitamin D recommendations for the menopause, however a goodly balanced diet, including calcium, summer sunlight and vitamin D supplements, will help slow down the rate of cram passing .


Non-vegans get most of their calcium from dairy foods ( milk, tall mallow and yogurt ), but vegans will need to get it from other foods. estimable sources of calcium for vegans include :

  • fortified soya, rice and oat drinks
  • soya beans
  • calcium-set tofu
  • sesame seeds and tahini
  • pulses
  • brown and white bread (in the UK calcium is added to white and brown flour by law)
  • dried fruit such as raisins, prunes, figs and dried apricots

The vegan diet contains little, if any, vitamin D without fortified foods or supplements but, for everyone, sunlight on the skin in leap and summer is the main source of vitamin D. Remember to cover up or protect your clamber before it starts to turn loss or burn ( see how to make vitamin D from sunlight ). early vegan sources of vitamin D are :

  • fortified fat spreads, breakfast cereals and plant-based drinks such as soya drink (with vitamin D added)
  • vitamin D supplements

Read more about sources of calcium and vitamin D in the vegan diet. During pregnancy and when breastfeed, women who follow a vegan diet indigence to make certain they get adequate vitamins and minerals for their child to develop healthily. Read about being vegetarian or vegan and meaning for more information. If you ‘re bringing up your baby or child on a vegan diet, you need to ensure they get a wide variety of foods to provide the energy and nutrients they need for growth. Read pamper and toddler meal ideas for more information.

Too much vitamin A

Some research has suggested a connection between besides much vitamin A and an increased gamble of cram fractures. As a precaution, people who regularly eat liver ( a deep reference of vitamin A ) are advised not to eat liver more than once a week, or take supplements containing vitamin a1 ( a form of vitamin A normally found in foods that come from animals ). People at risk of osteoporosis, such as postmenopausal women and older people, are advised to limit their retinol intake to no more than 1.5mg ( 1,500 micrograms ) a day by eating less liver and liver products and avoiding supplements containing vitamin a1 ( including those containing pisces liver petroleum ) .
page last reviewed : 8 April 2021
Next review due : 8 April 2024

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