Non-Dairy Foods for Healthy Bones

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Many people fear that if they are unable to eat dairy products, they will not be able to get enough calcium in their diet. Rest assured that you can get plenty of bone-building nutrients from a wide variety of non-dairy foods. Bones need a myriad of nutrients beyond calcium, such as vitamin D, phosphorus, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, protein, magnesium, healthy fats, zinc, manganese, and boron. Here are some examples of bone-nourishing foods:

1) Vegetables (provide calcium, vitamin K, vitamin C)

  • Leafy green vegetables: kale, collards, mustard greens, arugula, bok choy, parsley, watercress, mesclun, spinach, Swiss chard, turnip greens, dandelion greens, beet greens
  • Broccoli, cabbage, carrots, zucchini, acorn or butternut squash, celery, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts

2) Protein (supports collagen)

  • Beans, free-range chicken, fresh ocean fish, sardines, anchovies, oysters, organic eggs, grass-fed meat

3) Whole Grains (provide magnesium and manganese)

  • Brown rice, whole wheat, barley, oats, rye, millet, cornmeal, amaranth, quinoa, teff, buckwheat

4) Healthy Fats (provide vitamin K and vitamin D)

  • Extra virgin olive oil, sesame and sunflower oils, flaxseed oil, coconut oil, butter, nuts, seeds, eggs, flaxseeds, avocadoes

5) Trace Mineral-Rich Foods (provide trace minerals such as boron, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium)

  • Seaweeds, nuts, seeds

If you are looking to supplement your diet with a bone-supportive product, I encourage individuals to take a comprehensive formula that includes many of the nutrients mentioned above. For example, Pathway makes a great formula called Bone Guardian and a vegetarian version called Cal/Mag Plus. These supplements contain highly absorbable forms of calcium in addition to synergistic nutrients and cofactors.

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February 2023