According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 54 million people in the United States are affected by osteoporosis, a condition that weakens bones, making them break more easily. Fractures related to osteoporosis most often occur in the hip, spine, or wrist. Family caregivers to people with osteoporosis need to look after the bone health of their older adult family member. One way to do so is to serve foods that can help improve bone health. Here are some good food choices for people with osteoporosis.
Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens contain lots of bone-strengthening calcium. They are also versatile since they can be served fresh in a salad or sautéed as a side. Spinach is also an ingredient in many casseroles, soups, and dips.
Studies have shown that grapefruit may enhance bone health by increasing bone density and improving mineral deposits. The pulp in red grapefruit might also help slow the progression of osteoporosis. However, before adding grapefruit to an older adult’s diet, talk to their doctor or pharmacist first to see if it will interact with any medications they are on.
Sweet potatoes contain both potassium and magnesium. When the body does not have enough magnesium, it can throw off the balance of vitamin D, which is important to bone health. Potassium is important because it stops acids in the body from taking calcium out of the bones. One medium-sized sweet potato has 31 mg of magnesium and 542 mg of potassium.
Figs are loaded with calcium. A serving of five fresh figs of medium size provides 90 mg of calcium. They also contain magnesium and potassium. Fresh figs may only be available seasonally, but you can find dried figs in the supermarket year-round. A half cup of dried figs has 120 mg of calcium.
Fatty fish, like salmon, contain vitamin D, which helps the body to absorb and use calcium. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish are also believed to improve bone health. Although fresh salmon is certainly a healthy choice, canned salmon actually provides even more calcium since the canning process leaves small bits of bone (which are harmless!) in the meat.
Family caregivers can create menus around foods that improve bone health by keeping a list of foods that are helpful. When caregivers find a food that the older adult really likes, place a star next to it so that you can include it more often. Cross off the foods they don’t like. If family caregivers are having trouble keeping up with the needs of the osteoporosis sufferer, hiring a professional in-home caregiver can help. Professional caregivers can help with all sorts of things, including meal preparation and clean up.
If you or an aging senior are considering hiring in-home caregivers in The Colony, TX, please contact the caring staff at Ray of Sunshine today! (940) 442-5374.