Bone-Boosting Grocery List for Spine Health

Help prevent spinal fractures, osteoporosis, and other bone problems with these market staples.

Your spine is in a continuous state of change as your metabolism breaks down, replaces and rebuilds bone. And the nutritional needs of your bones are always changing, too, as your body “borrows” stored bone minerals it needs for other purposes and replaces them with a fresh supply from your diet. The best way to keep your bones strong—and, in turn, prevent spinal fractures and osteoporosis—is by eating a healthy diet rich in calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium. That means looking at and beyond the dairy aisle when searching for bone-boosting foods, to the wealth of healthy options sprinkled throughout the grocery store.
Shopping cart with various canned goods in the backgroundlook at and beyond the dairy aisle when searching for bone-boosting foods, to the wealth of healthy options sprinkled throughout the grocery store.While magnesium is found in a variety of foods—including green vegetables, oatmeal, nuts and seeds, meat, poultry, seafood and legumes—and deficiencies are rare, many people struggle to get enough calcium and vitamin D in their diets. Below, you’ll find a list of foods rich in calcium and vitamin D to consider adding to your grocery list.

Note: Nutrient content is approximate—always check nutrition labels. Fortified products, such as plant-based milks, cereals, and juices with added calcium and/or vitamin D, are not included below. However, they can be a great addition to your diet to ensure you’re reaching nutritional goals.

Produce and Plant-Based Protein
It’s hard to go wrong with fruits, veggies, and plant-based proteins, but some pack more bone nutrients than others.
Plant-Based foods with nutrient contentPlant-Based foods with nutrient content.Seafood
Few food sources contain vitamin D, but the fresh seafood case has a couple of great options.
Seafood items with nutrient contentSeafood items with nutrient content.Packaged Foods
Shelf-stable foods, like nuts, seeds, and canned goods, can be an economical and nutritious choice.
Shelf items with nutrient contentShelf items with nutrient content.Dairy
It’s a well-known fact: Dairy sources pack more calcium per serving than any other type of food. The foods below will help you reach your daily nutrient goals to keep your bones strong for years to come.
Dairy items with nutrient contentDairy items with nutrient content.Vitamins and Supplements
In most cases, eating a balanced diet will afford you all the nutrients your bones need. However, you may need a calcium supplement to fill in nutritional gaps. You can learn more about whether a supplement may be right for you in Calcium Is Essential for Strong Back and Neck Bones.

Keeping Your Spine Healthy with Food
Eating a healthy diet filled with a spectrum of colorful foods that are rich in multiple nutrients is great for your spinal bone health and total health. Continue learning about food and bone health by reading Eating for Spine Health: Dairy-Free Calcium Foods Slideshow and taking the Osteoporosis Food Quiz.

Updated on: 09/11/18
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Soy Foods May Build Better Bones in Early Menopause: True or False?

A diet rich in soy with isoflavones may provide beneficial effects on bone health in older women, according to results of a recent study.
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