Diets

The Delicious Diet That Strengthens Bones

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Think milk is the key to stronger bones? Not so! Other delicious foods are now proven to be especially effective for boosting bone density and reducing your risk of fractures. These are the foods you need to try to get stronger bones.

Extra virgin olive oil: Women who consume at least two teaspoons of the ultra-healthy oil each day are a whopping 51% less likely to suffer from osteoporosis-related bone fractures, a new Spanish study shows. The oil is rich in phenols, plant compounds that help block bone loss and many even increase the formation of new bone!

Cheese: Studies done at Oxford University, Harvard Medical School and elsewhere show that cheese—especially hard cheese like Parmesan or fermented cheese like Swiss or Jarlsberg—is better than milk at keeping bones strong! “Cheese is rich in vitamin K2, a nutrient that allows calcium and other important minerals to be converted into bone,” explains Al Sears, M.D., author of Healing Herbs of Paradise.

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Green vegetables: Fitting in at least three servings of vegetables each day is better for your bones than eating dairy, U.K. studies reveal. “Leafy greens like collards, kale, and spinach are high in calcium and vitamin K, making them doubly crucial for bone health,” says Dr. Sears.

Beer: Really! Women who drink about one beer a day have stronger, thicker bones than non-drinkers, latest research finds. Beer’s bone-building powers come from dietary silicon, a trace mineral that helps grow bones and connective tissue!

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You can start building healthier bones right now by making these bone-strengthening swaps in your diet:

Trade cola for clear beverages: The more diet or regular cola women drink, the lower their bone density, shows Tufts research.

Trade calcium supplements for vitamin D: “D is research-proven to build and maintain bone mass—but calcium supplements may actually weaken bones,” says Dr. Sears. With your doctor’s okay, take 1,000 IUs of vitamin D a day.

Trade salt for fresh herbs: Sodium saps your bones’ store of calcium, while herbs add flavor without harming your bones!

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