Nutrition provides the building blocks of all the cells in our body. Our health, on every level, depends upon vitamins and minerals to function — and to function well.

When it comes to bone health, your diet is one of the simplest, most powerful tools you have for protecting and strengthening your bones. And yet many women who follow a “healthy” diet get osteoporosis anyway. So what kind of potential does your diet have for protecting your bones, and how do you make the most of it?

Your diet may not be as nutritious as you think

Your skeleton is the most altruistic of your organs (yes, the skeleton is an organ, just like your heart, skin, or spleen). When nutrition is in short supply, the bones allow other organs to meet their needs first. Like many of women, their own needs come after the needs of those around them.

Unfortunately, most women’s diets leave their bones shortchanged. The American diet tends to be low in vegetables and fruit and high in fat, sugar, refined grains and processed food. This means our food just doesn’t supply us with all the nutrients we need. On top of that, too many of the foods we do eat are acid-forming, and can actually increase our bodies’ need for nutrients, like calcium, to help buffer those excess acids.

And even when we try to make healthy food choices we are at a disadvantage. Modern food production has depleted our soils of minerals, causing food grown in those soils to have fewer nutrients. Vegetables and fruit are usually harvested when unripe and allowed to ripen while being shipped over long distances, meaning those foods have less time to draw nutrients from the sun and soil as they are growing. As a result, insufficient nutrition is the norm, and our bone health suffers.

What about calcium?

Ironically, one nutrient that Americans get more of than most other countries is calcium, and yet bone fractures are more common in American women than women in other cultures.

Our over-reliance on calcium to support bone health disguises the fact that bones require a range of nutrients — at least 20 that research has identified — for optimal health. Some of these nutrients, like vitamins D and K, work by helping the body use calcium, and others work independently of calcium.

Nutritional supplements help fill the gaps

Consuming nutritious, alkalizing foods will go a long way toward providing your bones with the nutrients they need, but even the best diet usually falls short of the level of nutrition needed for optimal bone health. High-quality nutritional supplements can help fill those gaps.

Take care when choosing your bone health supplement. Few supplements provide the right range and ratios of all the bone-building nutrients you need in sufficient amounts to optimize bone health. Choose supplements that are bioavailable and made to the highest manufacturing standards. We recommend supplements that are designed specifically for bone health, with balanced, therapeutic levels of bone-building nutrients.

Healthy nutrition for healthy bones

Sufficient, balanced nutrition really is a cornerstone of bone health. And happily, nutritional support is one of the easiest components of our Better Bones Program to incorporate into their lives. Simple dietary changes like those outlined in our Diet and Lifestyle eGuide will improve the level of nutrition available to your bones, and medical-grade nutritional supplements can fill any gaps.

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