Ask the Nurse

What are some food choices that can help strengthen my bones?

To maintain strong, healthy bones, you have to consume a diet rich in calcium throughout your life. Your need for calcium becomes even greater as you age.

The U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of calcium is 1,000 milligrams per day. Postmenopausal women who are not taking estrogen should get 1,500 milligrams per day. One cup of skim or 1 percent fat milk contains 300 milligrams of calcium. Besides dairy products, other good sources of calcium are:

  • salmon with bones
  • sardines
  • kale
  • broccoli
  • calcium-fortified juices and breads
  • dried figs

If you can’t get the proper amount of calcium through your daily diet, supplements are an accessible, relatively safe choice. Remember to always consult with your physician before beginning a supplement routine. In addition, adults need at least 1,000 to 2,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D daily in order to absorb calcium. Vitamin D deficiency is very common, particularly in northern latitudes such as Northeast Ohio. Women in this part of the country are advised to take at least 1,000 IU of vitamin D daily. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can reduce the degree of bone loss. Make sure you are eating right for your bones – starting today!

All My Best,
Speaking of Women's Health Nurse

April 22, 2014 at 3:08pm