Food For Healthy Bones: 5 Nuts For Stronger Bones
- Poor nutrition and lack of exercise can compromise bone health.
- Our bones need certain nutrients - vitamins, minerals, and microelements to develop and maintain bone mass.
- Regular consumption of nuts maintains bone health.
- The most important mineral for bones, calcium is found in most of the nuts like almonds, cashews, and peanuts.
Our bones support us and help us move from one place to another. You can walk, run, jump, skip, and play all your favorite sports, thanks to your bones and joints (a connecting point between two bones).
However, a number of factors such as an insufficient diet, lack of exercise, high-intensity activities like jumping and running, and bone diseases can compromise your bone and joint health.
Diet and physical activity can play a crucial role in keeping our bones healthy. If you fail to eat a healthy and balanced diet and are not used to regular exercise, you may not have adequate bone health and may be prone to bone fractures which are painful.
In this article, we will explore the importance of nuts for stronger bones in detail.
What should you eat for healthy bones?
Our bones need certain nutrients - vitamins, minerals, and microelements to develop and maintain bone mass and prevent diseases like osteoporosis.
These nutrients offer different benefits to the bones and can be obtained from a variety of foods:
- It is one of the most important bone-forming minerals, and adults need 700 milligrams of calcium per day.
- Good sources of calcium include milk, dairy products, soybeans, tofu, green leafy vegetables like cabbage, okra, and nuts.
2. Vitamin D
- It helps your body to absorb calcium and adults need 10 micrograms or 400 international units of vitamin D per day.
- It can be obtained from oily fishes like salmon and sardine, and egg yolks apart from the sunlight.
- Vitamin D supplements can also be taken by vegans.
- About 60% of all the body’s calcium is found in the bones. It is a structural component of the bones along with calcium and phosphorus.
- Intake of magnesium is positively associated with bone density and its deficiency can lead to osteoporosis.
- You can get magnesium from almonds, cashews, peanuts, potato skin, brown rice, kidney beans, and lentils.
- It is a cofactor in numerous metalloenzymes and the skeleton contains a large amount of the total body burden of zinc.
- It plays a vital role in the regulation of bone homeostasis and also regulates the functioning of the bone cells.
- Zinc is found in red meat, lamb, shellfish, nuts, poultry, and beans.
- It acts as a cofactor in the formation of bone cartilage, bone collagen, as well as in bone mineralization.
- People with osteoporosis often have low serum manganese levels.
- Manganese is found in cereals, nuts, pineapples, beans, dark chocolate, and cinnamon.
Certain other micronutrients like copper, boron, iron, potassium, and selenium also play a role in maintaining bone health. So give your bones strong food to make them strong in return.
If you read the above points carefully, you will notice that nuts are a source of almost every important nutrient that is essential for maintaining bone and joint health. Do nuts really benefit us apart from satiating us for a while?
Going nuts for good health
Nuts which include tree nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, and cashews, and peanuts, are nutrient-dense foods that are rich in many beneficial nutrients.
Tree nuts are dry fruits with one seed. Since these nuts are packed with numerous nutrients, they are responsible for various positive health outcomes. Research has demonstrated their ability to reduce the incidence of coronary heart disease, gallstones, and diabetes.
- One serving of nuts a day is associated with a 30% lower risk of heart disease. They have also been found to give beneficial effects in hypertension, cancer, and inflammation.
- In general, tree nuts and peanuts are filled with healthy monounsaturated (MUFA) and polyunsaturated (PUFA) fatty acids, protein; soluble and insoluble fibers; vitamins E and K; folate; thiamine; minerals such as magnesium, copper, potassium, and selenium, antioxidants, and phytosterols.
- Regular consumption of nuts has also been shown to benefit health conditions like obesity, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and reduce the mediators of chronic diseases like oxidative stress, inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, and metabolic syndrome.
Nuts for stronger bones
- Nuts are rich in many nutrients that benefit our health. Compared to other common foods, nuts have an optimal nutritional density with respect to healthy minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
- Similar to most vegetables, the sodium content of raw or roasted and otherwise unprocessed nuts is extremely low, and can range from being undetectable in hazelnuts to 18 mg/100 g in peanuts.
- A high intake of calcium, magnesium and potassium, which is normally found in nuts, together with low sodium intake, is associated with protection against bone demineralization, and thus consuming nuts, helps to protect against loss of bone mass.
- The most important mineral for bones, calcium is found in most of the nuts like almonds, cashews, and peanuts. Other nutrients that benefit the bones such as magnesium, zinc, and manganese are also present in the nuts.
5 nuts to keep your bones strong
These crunchy nuts are not only a treat for your taste buds but, they also bring along health benefits, especially for your bones and joints.
Almonds are rich in nutrients like calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, and zinc, all of which are important contributors of bone health.
2. Cashew nuts
Cashew seeds or cashew nuts are commonly consumed as dry fruits alone, are found in chocolates and desserts, or are even used to make different curries.
Cashew nuts are high in copper which helps to maintain bone density and prevents osteoporosis.
The magnesium present in cashew nuts also helps in formation of bones.
Pistachios are the green delight that are used in many desserts, as well as to garnish various soups and salads.
They are rich in nutrients like calcium, vitamin K, and phosphorus, all of which play a part in maintaining bone density.
These nuts are commonly considered beneficial for the brain since they physically resemble the appearance of our brain due to their folds.
Apart from being beneficial to the brain, walnuts are loaded with benefits for bone and joint health.
They are rich in antioxidants that help to fight inflammation and thus protect against bone diseases like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
They also contain polyunsaturated fatty acids like omega-3-fatty acids which help in bone mineralization.
Most commonly found in cakes, cookies, and chocolates, hazelnuts are a tasty and a healthy encounter.
These yummy nutty things are rich sources of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and manganese, all of which improve bone health.
So, the next time you come across nuts in any food, remember that you are doing your tongue and bones a favor.
How to eat nuts
- You can start including these nuts in your daily diet.
- Add them to salads, add them to soups.
- Also try munching on them when you are hungry in between meals.
- Just keep a watch on the quantity consumed, and ensure it is no more than a fistful in a day.
A diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, one of the two most important bone-building nutrients can help you to achieve bone health throughout your life.
Nuts such as almonds, cashew nuts, peanuts, and walnuts are common ingredients in numerous recipes like desserts, salads, soups, and curries.
Nuts have been useful to our bodies since long. They contain different nutrients which help to fight inflammation and oxidative stress in our body, apart from keeping us full for long.
Nuts are particularly rich in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, manganese, boron, copper, and selenium, all of which help in the formation of bones and maintain bone health. So, go on grab those nuts for stronger bones and say goodbye to bone health issues.
Did you like our Article?
- Bone Health for Life: Health Information Basics for You and Your Family
- Food for healthy bones
- Della Pepa G, et al. Clinical Cases in Mineral and Bone Metabolism. 2016 Sep;13(3):181.
- De Souza RG, et al. Nutrients. 2017 Dec 2;9(12):1311.
- Ros E. Nutrients. 2010 Jul;2(7):652-82.
Our team of experts frequently monitors developments in the health and wellness field, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.
Aug, 01 2023
Fact checked By
Dr. Pulyk Nataliya Omelanivna