What to eat for healthy bones

Our Run Mummy Run Community Run Club in association with ASICS nutrition expert Kate Percy is back with a very topical post. These blogs are exclusive to RMR CRC members for a few months before being made public, so if you do want to get expert advice on your running, as well as a training sessions, expert Q&As, access to exclusive kit and much more, join the club today! Kate talks about how we can eat to keep our bones strong and healthy.

As a 57-year old coming out the other side of the menopause, this feels particularly relevant. Along with the decrease in oestrogen levels comes a myriad annoying, and sometimes debilitating, symptoms such as anxiety, hot flushes, night sweats, brain fog, fatigue, weight gain and excess hair growth in places you’d rather not have it… and yes, a decrease in bone density. However, whatever our age, bone health is hugely important for us all, especially if we want to keep on running into our old age!

Poor bone health can lead to osteoporosis in later life and increase the risk of breaking a bone from a fall. The good news is that a combination of eating the right types of foods and exercise, including running (😊) can make a real difference.

So, how can you keep those bones in as good health as possible?

Calcium is key, along with Vitamin D

You need sufficient calcium to help build healthy bones, along with vitamin D to help your body absorb the calcium, and magnesium which ensures optimum absorption of calcium and helps convert the vitamin D.

If your body doesn’t get enough calcium from the food you eat, it will take it from your bones.

Other important nutrients that help bone density include boron, phosphorous, vitamin K, zinc and manganese and potassium, all nutrients you will naturally get from a healthy, balanced diet.

Top tips to boost bone density

 Make sure you get enough calcium in your everyday diet

If you click on the links, they’ll take you to some relevant recipes to help you do this.

  • Dairy products such as milk, cheese, yoghurt and calcium enriched soya alternatives. If you struggle to drink milk, this tzatziki recipe is a great way to get your calcium
  • Tofu
  • Oily fish such as sardines (try this salad; it’s yum!) or salmon (the bones are also very nutritious!). These lunchtime protein salmon pots are also delicious and very ‘bone healthy’.
  • Some fruit, vegetables and pulses:
    • Green leafy veg such as broccoli and watercress
    • Green cabbage
    • Dried figs and apricots
    • Kidney beans, baked beans – try this 5 bean chilli
  • Some nuts and seeds
    • Tahini, sesame,
    • Almonds and
    • Brazil nuts

 Boost your vitamin D

  • Get outside in the sunshine as much as possible to increase levels of vitamin D; I don’t normally recommend supplements, but during the winter months you could also  consider take a vitamin D supplement (recommended by the NHS).
  • Wear a short-sleeved top when you run to maximise your exposure to the sunlight.
  • Eat foods that are source of, or enriched with, Vitamin D:
    • Fish, especially oily fish (salmon, mackerel, pilchards, anchovies)
    • Red meat
    • Vitamin D enriched mushrooms (exposed to sunlight)
    • Fortified products such as milk, tofu, yoghurt, orange juice, breakfast cereals
    • Eggs – see how to poach the perfect egg

Bone health for vegans

Those on a plant-based diet will need to get their calcium from fortified foods such as: fortified soya, rice and oat drinks, soya beans, calcium set tofu – (try in these Pad Thai noodles 😊), sesame seeds and tahini, pulses, brown and white bread, dried fruit such as raisins, prunes, figs, apricots (also Kate Percy’s Go Bites!)

Nice bone-friendly recipe!

Bone Health Muesli

Makes 2 good-sized portions

Prep time – 5 minutes

120g jumbo porridge oats

30g raisins

15g crystallised ginger, chopped

25g soft dried pitted apricots (about 3), chopped

10g soft dried pitted dates (about 2), chopped

10g toasted hazelnuts, chopped

15g Brazil nuts, chopped into chunks

small handful of sesame seeds

To serve:

I apple, grated

1 tbsp milled flaxseed

Dollop of tahini, loosened with a little water

Your choice of milk – dairy or fortified plant-based milk

  1. Mix the oats, fruit, ginger, nuts and seeds together.
  2. To serve, pour the required amount into a bowl. Top with grated apple, milk and a dollop of yoghurt.

About Kate

Hello everyone! It’s a great privilege to have been invited by Run Mummy Run to inspire you with all things food and nutrition! In everything I do, whether it’s my food products, cookbooks or educational resources, my mission is to help you discover what I call #enerjoy through what you eat; that’s great taste, good energy, vitality and happiness. I hope you enjoy my tips and recipes over the coming year. And I hope they bring you #enerjoy!

For more information on Kate Percy’s cookbooks, healthy food products and free nutrition resources, check out katepercys.com or join @katepercys on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. RMR CRC members get an exclusive club discount; check your membership pack for details or join the club today

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