How to Build Nutrition Plans That Support Bone Health

The five key nutrients essential for bone health.

Written by
Ashley Sauvé Ashley Sauvé
Published on

Osteoporosis is the most common bone disease in humans(1) so chances are you will encounter it in your practice. Whether your clients are concerned about prevention or understanding a new diagnosis, the nutritional strategies for healthy bones are well established. A mineral-rich diet combined with weight-bearing exercise(2) and vitamin D supplementation(3) are the most important factors for healthy bones.

Our Bone Health Support Program and Plant-Based Bone Health Support Program include a 7-day meal plan, itemized grocery list, recipes, and a prep guide. These programs are a great starting point for clients as they focus on five key nutrients essential for bone health.

1. Calcium

We probably don’t need to tell you that calcium builds healthy bones.(4) Calcium from food is safer than calcium supplements, which may increase the risk of heart disease.(5)

Calcium is best spread out over the day, so help your clients get the most out of their calcium intake by including high calcium foods with every meal and snack rather than trying to get it all in at once.

Using That Clean Life you can search for recipes high in calcium or recipes that use specific high-calcium foods you have recommended to your clients.

To achieve a calcium intake of at least 1,200 mg per day, our Bone Health Support Programs use ingredients like:

  • Fortified almond milk
  • Almond butter
  • Greek yogurt
  • Feta cheese
  • Sardines
  • Broccolini
  • Bok choy
  • Kale
  • Sesame seeds

2. Magnesium

Magnesium is responsible for over 300 enzymatic processes in the body(6) and one of the important roles it plays is in calcium absorption.

Calcium and vitamin D alone will not support bone health. Magnesium is needed to ensure that vitamin D is converted into it’s active form so calcium ends up in the right place.(7)

Research suggests that getting at least 400 mg magnesium per day is associated with higher bone density.(8) While magnesium supplements are popular, this amount can easily be consumed through diet alone. Educate your clients on foods high in magnesium and empower them to choose food first.

Our Bone Health Support Programs contain over 500 mg per day from food sources like chocolate, almonds, and leafy greens.

3. Phosphorus

Phosphorus works with calcium to keep bones healthy(9) but it’s a Goldilocks type of relationship because too little or too much in the body can actually worsen bone health.

Phosphates are added to highly processed foods like meats, soft drinks, baked goods, fast food, and pre-made frozen processed foods. These phosphates are highly absorbable(10) and can quickly add up causing bone loss as the body works to deal with the excess phosphorus.(11)

Helping your client reduce their intake of processed foods will help protect their bones. Adequate levels of phosphorus are easily attained through diets that include foods like:

  • Legumes
  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Whole grains
  • Meat
  • Dairy

4. Potassium

Potassium plays an important role in preventing calcium loss through urine.(12) Research has found that higher intake of potassium through diet is associated with better bone mass(13) and lower rates of fractures.(14)

Our Bone Health Support Programs contain at least 3,400 mg potassium from whole foods including:

  • Avocado
  • Spinach
  • Banana
  • Kale
  • Beans
  • Mushrooms

5. Vitamin A

Healthy bones are a balancing act and, like phosphorus, vitamin A can be both a friend and a foe. Pre-formed vitamin A from animal sources and high dose supplements are actually associated with a higher risk of bone issues, while plant-based carotenoids are associated with lower risk.(15)

The body knows when to stop converting carotenoids into active vitamin A, so both of our Bone Health Support Programs rely on mostly plant-based sources like dark leafy greens, squash, and bell peppers.

Want to learn about how you can support your clients with bone health concerns? Join us for a free training on July 15th at 2 PM EDT and we will show you how to use That Clean Life to save time and create awesome meal plans, plus tips for growing your business in the bone health niche. Register here.