Osteoporosis in women: Foods women must eat


Lord of Penmai
Jul 5, 2011
Osteoporosis in women: Foods women must eat

Osteoporosis is an ailment closely related to elderly women. What prevents osteoporosis is exercise and diet that one follows in their hay days. Is calcium the only way to prevent osteoporosis? Why does osteoporosis affect women?
Osteoporosis: What is osteoporosis?

Before we get started, let's understand what is osteoporosis.
, "Osteoporosis is a condition that leads to fragile bones. If you have osteoporosis, you have an increased risk for fractured bones (broken bones). Normal bone is composed of protein, collagen, and calcium, all of which give bone its strength. Bones that are affected by osteoporosis can break (fracture) with relatively minor injury that normally would not cause a bone to fracture."

Osteoporosis: Misconceptions about osteoporosis

The most common misconception among women, the dietician says, is to do with the age of the sufferers. "Osteoporosis has often been thought to be a condition that frail elderly women develop. The osteoporosis condition can be present without any symptoms for decades. Therefore, patients may not be aware of their osteoporosis."

Osteoporosis: Truth about osteoporosis

, "Osteoporosis is most common amongst post-menopausal women. Osteoporosis is on the rise in India, also impacting men. Osteoporosis known as the silent killer occurs due to porous bones, which in turn is caused by a lack of calcium and vitamin D intake."

If you thought frail bones is a woman's problem, then you have to re-think your health care program.

Osteoporosis: What is bone density?

Osteoporosis is closely linked to bone density, , "Bone mass (bone density) is the amount of bone present in the skeletal structure. Generally, the higher the bone density, the stronger the bones. Bone density is greatly influenced by genetic factors and can be affected by environmental factors and medications."

Osteoporosis: Estrogen and osteoporosis

"Estrogen is important in maintaining bone density in women."
"When estrogen levels drop after menopause, bone loss accelerates. Post - menopausal women have risk factors for osteoporosis also all women aged 65 and older."

The situation further deteriorates with age, "Women affected with one of the many medical conditions associated with osteoporosis in the first five to 10 years after menopause, can suffer up to 2%-4% loss of bone density per year! This can result in the loss of up to 25%-30% of their bone density during that time period.

"The damage from osteoporosis begins much earlier in life. Because peak bone density is reached at approximately 25 years of age, it is important to build strong bones by that age, so that the bones will remain strong later in life. Certain medications can cause osteoporosis such as long-term use of heparin (a blood thinner), antiseizure medications phenytoin (Dilantin) and phenobarbital, and long-term use of oral corticosteroids."

Osteoporosis: Truth about supplements

There are some truths about supplements, "Most calcium supplements, including calcium carbonate are best absorbed when taken with food, but calcium citrate and calcium citrate malate are also well-absorbed on an empty stomach. The recommended daily amount of calcium is 1000mg for the average adult. You can usually meet your needs by having a diet balanced with high-calcium foods."

Osteoporosis: Dietary sources of calcium

Dairy products: milk, yogurt. Amita Grover reiterates the importance of diary, especially milk in your diet, "Building strong & healthy bones requires an adequate dietary intake of calcium. Milk is one of the best sources of calcium. Milk plays an important role in protecting bone health and has immense qualities to make your bones grow stronger."

Osteoporosis: These are the other sources of calcium:

1. Green leafy vegetables:spinach,methi,mustard leaves, turnip greens.

2. Fish with the bones.

3. Almonds, sesame (till seeds), ragi (nachni), rajgeera.

4. Flax seeds ,Not only high in calcium (256mg per 100g serving), flax seeds are also rich in omega-3 fats.

5. Quinoa (now available in India) A light and healthy whole grain, one cup of cooked quinoa offers approximately 60-100 mg of calcium.

Osteoporosis: Agents with a vengeance

watch out for foods that can stall the absorption of calcium in your body. "There are things in your diet that can interfere with how much calcium your body can absorb:

Phytic acid: This is found in unleavened bread, raw beans, seeds, and grains.

Oxalic acid: This is found in spinach.

Sodium: High levels of sodium will interfere with calcium retention; the higher your sodium intake the more calcium your body needs to meet its daily requirements, so it's best to keep your sodium intake down."

Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis and Vitamin D

Besides calcium, you need other vitamins too. "Although the importance of calcium to bone health is well-recognized, adequate calcium intake alone is not enough to prevent bone loss that could lead to osteoporosis and osteoporotic fracture."

Here's how vitamin D helps in the improvement of osteoporosis, "Without sufficient vitamin D, calcium absorption is not efficient enough to satisfy the body's needs, even when calcium intake is adequate. Vitamin D is synthesized in the skin when exposed to ultraviolet-B (UVB) radiation from sunlight and can be obtained from the diet."

The scary revelation is "Vitamin D deficiency is common and increases the risk of osteoporosis. Sun exposure for 5-10 minutes on bare skin, such as the arms and legs, 2- 3 times weekly improves vitamin D status with minimal risk of skin damage. Sunscreen, skin colour, season, geographic latitude, time of day, clouds, and smog affect UV ray exposure and vitamin D synthesis" says nutritionist Eileen.

You can source vitamin D from different food products, "Vitamin D containing foods are egg yolks, liver, saltwater fish, salmon, mackerel, and tuna."

Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis and protein

Protein: Collagen is an important component of bone. Maintain a balance of high biological value protein foods in your diet. These foods include meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, cheese, beans, and dairy.

Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis and phosphorus

Phosphorus: This supports building bone and other tissue during growth. There is a wide availability of this in foods, so it is not difficult to get adequate amounts in. Sources of phosphorus are Dairy foods: milk, cheese, and yogurt.

Osteoporosis: How can I prevent osteoporosis?

Expert's advice:

"Fruits and vegetables are rich in several nutrients that appear to play important role in bone health; including potassium, magnesium, and vitamin K. Eat a minimum of 5 servings of a variety of different colored fruits or vegetables daily. Teenage and adult women should aim for at least 7 servings.

Higher salt intakes appear to increase urinary calcium loss, although this effect can be modified by other dietary factors.

Physically active people generally have higher BMD(Bone Mass Density) at all ages than people who are sedentary. Weight-bearing exercise and strength training are most effective at increasing or maintaining bone mass."


Ruler's of Penmai
Registered User
Jul 26, 2012
Thank you viji for your nice write up on Osteoporosis. My mother lived up 93 years of age. She was not having a problem of this kind. because on those days they were consuming very healthy food. Nowadays the food is available but we are not sure whether it is healthy or not. Thanks for bringing the details about Osteoporosis and its effect on elderly women.


Friends's of Penmai
Dec 6, 2012
Dubai, UAE
Excellent Viji, quite a lot of info about calcium and vitamin D. Pls continue the good job.

One more info, ladies who are taking Metformin, Glucophage for PCOS or weigh loss are in a high risk of vitamin D deficiency, so discuss with the doctor and take vitamin D suppliments.

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