The Best Foods to Build Strong Bones (and Prevent Osteoporosis)

With age, the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures increases. Good news: a diet rich in calcium, magnesium and vitamins D and K helps strengthen our bone health.

Bones are not static tissues: they are in constant innovation throughout life and they can become vulnerable with age or due to mineral and vitamin deficiencies. And broken or less dense bones are more susceptible to bone diseases such asosteoporosis value bone fragility fractures. Bone strength largely depends on what we eat. even more so among seniorsso to have good bone health, some minerals are essential. Here are the preferred foods.

bone mass diagram
Bone mass curve throughout life © Osteoporosis Foundation


A pleasure food, but not only that: cheeses are excellent sources of calcium, a mineral essential for bone health, especially the one with hard dough as the Parmesan cheese (1.2 g per 100 g, or 0.4 g per serving), theEmmentaler (0.3 g per serving), the district (0.3 g per serving), the to me and the mimolet (0.25 g per serving). Morbier, Cantal and Beaufort are also well equipped. they also have good content in vitamin D, zinc and potassium, trace elements that are important for bone strength. “Food intake of calcium and vitamin D are important factors in maximizing peak bone mass. They also help with maintenance bone quality throughout life“, assures Inserm.


Fatty fish with many benefitssardines (in oil) are excellent sources of phosphorus (490 mg per 100 g), potassium (397 mg per 100 g) of calcium (382 mg per 100 g), vitamin D (2.33 µg per 100 g) and vitamin K (2.6 µg per 100 g). Its composition makes it an essential food for maintaining good bone health. “Vitamin K has benefits for bone health and contributes to better bone calcification and therefore one reduction of fracture risk and this thanks to the activation of a key protein in bone calcification: osteocalcin”, Dr. Corinne Chicheportiche-Ayache, nutritionist, told us.

Wild meat

Protein-rich foods such as offal and game meat (pheasant, partridge, pigeon) are well supplied with phosphorus, an essential mineral element for bones. With calcium, it is one of the most important components of bones and teeth. However, you should not eat too much game: health authorities recommend eating as much as possible one serving (150 g) per week and ANSES advises against it for women of childbearing age and children to consume wild game meat, to reduce the risk of lead poisoning.

Sesame seeds

Sesame seeds have a very interesting mineral profile: they are rich in calcium (140 mg for a 15 g serving, i.e 4 teaspoons) And in magnesium (50 mg for one serving), two minerals that actively participate in the mineralization and strength of bones. Sesame seeds are eaten sprinkled on salads or soups, or as an ingredient for bread, crackers, quiches or as tahini in hummus.


Watercress is a leafy vegetable that is very rich in vitamin K (that is believed that it contains the most: 250 µg/100 g), which contributes to good bone health. Moreover, the wealth of calcium (120 mg per 100 g) effectively contributes to strengthening bones. It is eaten raw in, for example, a winter salad, as a garnish on a sandwich or chopped in a vinaigrette. But also cooked, in a soup or puree mixed with potatoes.


Milk and vegetable drinks are good sources of calcium. To be the best sheep’s milk (475 mg for 250 ml, or one cup) and the soy drink (enriched with calcium) with 300 ml for 250 ml. As for cow’s milk, yes skim milk which contains the most calcium (305 mg per cup).

After a bone fracture due to osteoporosisthe body needs more protein than normal to rebuild yourself, warns the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF), which recommends that older people consume between 1.0 and 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. This represents 25 to 50% more protein compared to the needs of adults aged 18 to 65. Food sources of protein are meat, fish, dairy products, eggs, soy products and certain vegetarian meat substitutes, legumes, nutswhole grains and, to some extent, vegetables.

Different types of diets or foods can be unfavorable for bone health and should be avoided, for example: the unbalanced so-called “Western” diet, characterized by excessive consumption of red meat, refined foods, sugars and processed foods; vegan and, to a lesser extent, vegetarian diets are associated with an increased risk of fractures and decreased bone mineral density; Restrictive diets intended for weight loss should also be avoided in individuals who are not overweight or obese

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