Here's A Complete List Of Nutrients You Need For Healthy Bones And Joints
A healthy diet promotes bone and joint health. Here are some expert-recommended nutrients you should add to your diet for healthy bones.
Bone health: Add enough calcium, vitamin D, protein and vitamin B12 to your diet
- You should consume a healthy diet to maintain bone health
- Maintain a healthy weight for optimal bone health
- Strength training also helps ensure healthy bones
The food that you consume is broadly categorized into two categories - macronutrients and micronutrients. Under macronutrients, you get protein, fat, and carbohydrates, while micronutrients include vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Nutrient deficiency is often seen in terms of micronutrients. While you regularly get macronutrients in all the foods that you eat, it is the micronutrients that you need to focus on. Vitamins are necessary for energy production, immune function and blood clotting, while minerals play an important role in growth, bone health, and fluid balance.
Bone and joint health: Add these nutrients to your diet
Carbohydrates are the staple of diet. Any food containing sugar, starch, and fiber contains carbohydrates. For example, bread, cereal, rice, fruit, and vegetables contain carbohydrates. Carbohydrates fulfil 60 to 70 percent of daily calories requirements.
Fats are alternative energy sources to glucose. Good fats like cold-pressed coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil should be consumed. But processed food, refined vegetable oil, excessive animal protein, trans fats should be avoided.
There is a misconception that a vegetarian diet does not give sufficient protein. Foods like lentils, broccoli, avocado, tofu, soya, and paneer give you a good amount of protein.
4. B vitamins
Vitamin B3, B6, and B12 are essential for joint and bone health. These play a role in controlling the risk of arthritis. Milk, yogurt, cheese, whole grain, cereal, legumes, chickpeas, banana, spinach, potatoes are good source of vitamin B3, B6, and B12.
Vitamin B12 is important for bone health. If you are a vegetarian, you can get vitamin B 12 through almond and milk. Vegetarians can take supplements of vitamin B12 after consulting their healthcare expert.
5. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is important for the absorption of calcium from the stomach and you can get it from sunlight too.
Osteoarthritis and osteoporosis are diseases of growing age. Greater bone mass is associated with adequate vitamin D status. The optimal Vitamin D status for bone health is 50nmol/L. The best source of vitamin D is sunlight. Milk, cheese, butter, fortified milk, cereal, and fatty fish are food sources for vitamin D too. Vitamin B12 and D3 are important for your joint functioning.
Antioxidants prevent chemical disintegration of cartilage which is again important for healthy bones and joints. Carrot, garlic, lemon, tomatoes, walnuts, black grapes, berries, apple, onions, turmeric, etc. are sources for antioxidants.
7. Essential minerals
Mineral intake is often neglected. They are essential for maintaining bone health, muscle contraction, and hormone synthesis. Calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper are important minerals. Magnesium is one of the important minerals for bone health and joint pain. In case of deficiency, consult an expert.
Natural food sources for collagen are citrus fruits, berries, garlic, red onion, tomato, capsicum, almond, and leafy greens.
Maintain a healthy weight
There is a direct correlation between body weight and arthritis. Excessive weight adds a burden on the weight-bearing joints. Knee osteoarthritis is more in the obese population. Moderate exercise and diet-induced weight loss are effective for osteoarthritis. One should follow a healthy diet and choose and active lifestyle to lose weight.
(Dr Parag Sancheti is an Orthopaedic Surgeon and Chairman of Sancheti Institute of Orthodontics and Rehabilitation)
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