Nutrition for Healthy Bones


Striving for the nutrients listed below will help in achieving strong, healthy bones.  At the same time avoiding certainnutrients below will help keep your bones strong.  


Strive for 1200 mg of calcium per day if you are over the age of 50,  or 1000 mg if under 50.  Obtain at least 750 mg of the calcium from food and no more than 500 mg per day from supplements


Good food sources for calcium are:


1 cup calcium fortified orange juice 300 mg

1 cup calcium fortified Non-dairy milks (ie soy, almond, rice) 350-400 mg 

½ cup firm tofu (calcium set) 150-320 mg 

1 cup cooked bok choy 175 mg 

1 cup raw chopped kale 100 mg 

1 cup milk 300 mg 

1 oz cheese 200 mg 

1 cup raw broccoli 40 mg 



Vitamin D:

Take 2000 IU per day of Vitamin D daily.  (If you take more than 2000 IU per day or if you have kidney disease, have your level checked before taking additional vitamin D)


Vitamin K:

If you are on a blood thinner such as warfarin (coumadin) please consult with your provider before changing your vitamin K intake or using any type of supplement with vitamin K


The recommended range is 250-300 mg per day.  Some calcium supplements now contain vitamin K.  It is best to use vitamin K2 for bone health.  You can also obtain Vitamin K2 from foods. This includes egg yolk, hard cheese, sauerkraut, chicken, beef, pork 






A recommended amount is 300-400 mg per day.  

Some calcium supplements may contain magnesium which is also important for bone.  You can also obtain magnesium from foods such as dark greens(also high in calcium), nuts, mushrooms and cooked dried beans.   




Protein is also important for bone health, although not in excess.  A good amount of protein to have is  20-30 g with each meal. 



3 oz meat, fish poultry 21 g 

1 egg 7 g

1 cup milk 8 g

1 oz cheese 8 g

1 cup yogurt  8-10 g

¼ cup almonds 8 g

4 oz tofu 10-12 g 

Edamame ½ cup 12 g

Soymilk 8 g 

Dried cooked beans 1 cup – 12-15 g 






A high sodium diet increases urinary calcium, increasing bone loss. Remember 80% of our sodium comes from processed foods, not the salt shaker. Limiting processed and convenience foods will a great deal in lower your sodium intake.



 Phosphorus and calcium are known as the duo ions in bone health.  When these two minerals are eaten in balance, such as in dairy products,  they work together to promote bone health.  But when there is an excess of phosphate in the diet, there is an alteration in calcium regulating hormones contributing to bone loss.  Processed food are the biggest culprit for excess phosphates, know as inorganic phosphates.  Such foods and beverages as dark colas, several sweetened drinks, packaged pastries, desserts and  cereals are all sources of this additive.   



Keep caffeine to an equivalent of 3 cups of coffee(~ 300-400 mg caffeine) or less per day.  



The optimal plan for a bone healthy diet is to consume a high plant-based eating style, free of additives and excess sodium.  In addition, choosing a variety of calcium rich sources which not only contain calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K but also other trace nutrients important for bone health.  






1/2 cup calcium fortified orange juice, 1 cup kale, ½ cup broccoli

1 scoop whey protein powder.   Approximately 285 g calcium and 25 g protein 


Bean Burrito

With 1 cup beans, 1-2 oz. cheese, lettuce tomato, rice 

Approximately 300-500 mg calcium and 25 g protein  


Salmon Dinner

3 oz salmon, ½ cup Brown rice, 2 cups stir fried kale or bok coy with garlic and onions  

Approximately 300-500 mg calcium and 25-30 g protein