You know you need to get calcium from your diet to keep your bones healthy. Your doctor may already recommend you take it along with vitamin D3. But she’s forgetting to tell you about the other critical nutrients your bones crave… There’s a good chance you aren’t getting enough of them.
Here are five overlooked nutrients you need for stronger bones.
1. Protects Your Mind and Your Bones
Vitamin B12 deficiency doesn’t just lead to depression and memory problems…1 It’s also a risk factor for weak bones. In one Swedish study, men with the lowest B12 levels were 120% more likely to suffer a fracture in their lower back.
You can get this vitamin from grass-fed beef and organic turkey meat. But you’ll get even more from eating livers of any kind. If you’re vegan, you’ll need to find a good quality supplement. The recommended dose is about 2.4 mcg. But a blood test will let you know if you need a therapeutic dose ranging from 10-1,000 mcg.2
2. The Mineral That Does It All
Magnesium regulates blood sugar and blood pressure…and supports muscle and nerve function. It’s no wonder a deficiency could make you 85% more likely to die for any reason. But low levels also put your bones in danger. This mineral keeps your bones dense.
Snack on almonds and sunflower seeds to up your magnesium intake. Just a quarter of a cup of each contains over 100 mg.3 Women should aim for about 320 mg of magnesium a day. Men, you’ll want to get closer to 420 mg.4
3. Sticky Is Good
You need vitamin K for healthy blood clotting. It helps a scab form if you nick yourself shaving. But that’s not all it’s good for. It helps form a “glue” out of the protein osteocalcin. This sticky substance helps attach calcium to your bones.5
Men, you need about 120 mcg of vitamin K1 each day. Women need about 90 mcg.6 If your bones aren’t in good shape to begin with… You may need up to 1,000 mcg of K1 and 180 mcg of K2. It’s not hard to get high doses from food. Just one cup of kale contains 1,062 mcg of K1. While a cup of spinach has about 888 mcg.7
4. Support for More Than Sagging Skin
Vitamin C helps your body make collagen. It’s the structural protein that keeps your skin firm. This makes it a powerful anti-aging nutrient…and essential for bone health. That’s because your bones are 30% collagen. It gives them their support structure and resilience. Vitamin C also helps stimulate the cells that build bones.8
Eating an orange a day won’t cut it… You can get 60% more vitamin C from one serving of bell peppers.9 Try to get at least 1,000 mg a day for optimal bone health.10 You can take as much as your digestive system will tolerate. You’ll know if you’ve exceeded your limit if you experience diarrhea.
5. It’s Not Just for Muscle Cramps
Without potassium, your body can’t neutralize acids that remove calcium from your body. Older men and women who take potassium—along with vitamin D3 and calcium—have denser bones than people who don’t.
Bananas get a lot of praise for their high potassium content. But they aren’t the best choice. One cup of sliced avocado has over 700 mg of potassium in it.11 The same serving of banana only has 537 mg.12 The Better Bones Center recommends 4,000-6,000 mg a day for strong bones…13 So you may want to consider taking a supplement to reach the proper amount.
Your bones do a lot for you. Support them with the foods you eat, and they will help you stay active for years to come. What foods do you eat every day to build better bones?
In Good Health,
Publisher, INH Health Watch
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6Idem, pg. 4
8Idem, pg. 22
10Idem, pg. 23
13Idem, pg. 2