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Osteoporosis Diet For Women: Foods To Eat & Foods To Avoid

According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, it is estimated that osteoporosis affects about 200 million women worldwide. In comparison to men, women are much more likely to be affected by osteoporosis. The condition is commonly found in women because they start losing bone mass quickly with age, due to low bone density.

An average woman aged between 20 and 80 years loses one-third of her hip bone density compared to men. The condition is known to develop especially after menopause because it is when the bones begin to lose density and turns weak. Studies have revealed that white and Asian women are at a higher risk of developing the condition.

In the early stages of the condition, there are no particular signs. The symptoms only begin to show once the bones have become too weak and fragile. If the condition is not severe, the treatment method will not include any medications but will be comprised of measures to manage and avoid the risk factors.

Upon understanding the root cause of the condition, a suitable treatment method will be adopted. There are some measures you can adopt to manage and control the onset of osteoporosis and having a well-balanced diet with foods that are rich in calcium and vitamin D are central.

In the current article, we will take a look at a suitable osteoporosis diet for women - what foods to eat and what to avoid.

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1. Yoghurt

Foods like yoghurt are fortified with vitamin D. One cup of yoghurt gives you a good amount of calcium as well. A fat-free plain yoghurt gives you about 30 per cent of your calcium and 20 per cent of your vitamin D for the day. This is one of the best foods for maintaining healthy bones and joints.

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2. Cheese

Rich in calcium, consuming cheese is proven to be beneficial for women with osteoporosis. It also help prevent the onset of it. However, just because cheese is full of calcium, you don't have to eat in excess. 40g of cheddar cheese contains more than 30 per cent of your daily value of calcium.

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3. Sardines

Extremely beneficial for a woman with osteoporosis, sardines are a rich source of calcium and vitamin D. The fishes also have bone-boosting minerals like phosphorus and zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids that help dampen down joint inflammation.

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4. Salmon

Calcitonin salmon is used to treat osteoporosis in women who are at least 5 years past menopause. A 3-ounce piece of salmon contains more than 100 per cent of your daily vitamin D value, making it an optimal part of your osteoporosis diet.

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5. Beef Liver

Beef liver is known for containing a high concentration of vitamin A. Each slice provides over 400 per cent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A for an adult. Beef liver is also a rich source of a variety of essential minerals, including copper, phosphorus, selenium, zinc and iron, which help support the health of bones.

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6. Eggs

Egg yolks are high in vitamin D, which is essential for one's bone health as the vitamin is responsible for the amount of calcium absorption by your body, by stimulating the production of the calcium-binding protein.

You can eat up to three eggs per day.

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7. Spinach

If you prefer vegetarian foods, spinach is the right answer for you. One cup of cooked spinach contains almost 25 per cent of your daily calcium requirement. This is one of the best bone-strengthening foods to opt for.

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8. Nuts

Nuts and seeds can bolster bone health in several ways. Walnuts and flax-seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids. Peanuts and almonds contain potassium, which protects against the loss of calcium through urine. Some ideal nuts for osteoporosis prevention include almonds, sunflower seeds and pistachios. Eat a handful each day as a snack to promote bone health.

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9. Fortified Juices

Juices of apple, orange, pear, banana, lemon, spinach, ginger root are very good foods for osteoporosis. Keep varying your juices day by day.

Apart from the aforementioned, cereals and bread with added calcium are also good to be included in an osteoporosis diet for women. Green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, kale, collard greens, dried figs, turnip greens, and mustard greens and dairy products are also beneficial.

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Foods To Limit/Avoid For Osteoporosis In Women

1. Alcohol

Although a moderate amount of alcohol is considered safe for those with osteoporosis, excess of it can lead to bone loss. As per studies, one should limit their consumption to 2 drinks per day.

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2. High-salt foods

Excess salt consumption can cause your body to release calcium through your urine, leading to bone loss. Limit or avoid salt consumption whenever possible.

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3. Caffeine

Drinks such as coffee, tea, sodas, and energy drinks contain caffeine, which can decrease calcium absorption and contribute to bone loss. Therefore, be vary of the drinks you consume and always drink these beverages in moderation.

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4. Wheat Bran

Wheat bran is a rich source of fibre, which also contain high levels of phytates that can hinder the process of calcium absorption.

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Beans/Legumes – Are They Good For Women With Osteoporosis?

A topic of contradictory opinions, while beans contain calcium, magnesium, fibre and other nutrients, they are also high in substances called phytates - which interfere with your body's ability to absorb the calcium that is contained in beans.

While beans have some healthy attributes for women with osteoporosis, it can also adversely affect one's bone health. Therefore, one must reduce the phytate content in beans before consumption. First, soak them in water for two to three hours before cooking, and then drain the beans and add fresh water for cooking to reduce the phytate content.

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A Sample Osteoporosis Diet For Women

Breakfast: 1 glass orange juice with 1 cup whole-grain cereal in 1 glass milk.

Lunch: Boiled fish with stir-fried vegetables and some left green vegetables (add limited salt).

Snack: 1 banana/apple.

Dinner: ½ portion rice, boiled vegetables/fish with plain yoghurt.

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