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Top 10 Bone-Building Super Foods (Plus: Worst 5 Foods for the Bones)

Updated on September 29, 2012
Almonds | Source
Yogurt with Fruits
Yogurt with Fruits | Source

Foods that we eat can either build up or break down our bones, the 206 hard yet lightweight parts of the body that help us move around, protect our internal organs, and give support and structure to our otherwise formless tissues.

That is right. Foods are not created equal. Some of them can do our bones good while others can do harm.

So we have to be smart and make our diet one that is friendly to our hardworking bones.

Calcium and Healthy Lifestyle – Good for Bones and Teeth

Basically, our body needs the mineral calcium to stay healthy and function properly.

Our bones and teeth, which make up our body’s skeletal system, also need calcium to do their jobs.

In fact, they even store calcium in their teeny compartments to make sure they get their needed dose.

When the body lacks calcium, however, it steals calcium from bones and teeth and make them weak and spotty.

Calcium, however, is not the only thing our bones and teeth want from us.

They would also want for us to exercise and avoid calcium-leaching foods like sodas, oils, and too much protein.

Top 10 Bone-Building Foods

1. Yogurt

Smooth, slightly sweet, and sometimes tangy, yogurt is our bones’ best friend.

This super food has more calcium than milk and has over 2,000 years of history in helping people build strong bones.

One serving of eight ounces of yogurt bears over 40% of our daily calcium requirement.


Actually, there are plenty of reasons to eat yogurt.

Other than its bone-building abilities, yogurt also helps us strengthen our immune system, reduce bad cholesterol, shed unwanted weight, clean up the intestines, and even fight cancer.

Yogurt alone, however, does not have Vitamin D that can help our bodies absorb calcium well.

But that should not be a problem so long as we eat fruits and vegetables and get adequate sunshine.

A warning though, we want to eat yogurt that is not loaded with sugar.

Such yogurts can make us fat.

2. Soy Milk

If we are lactose intolerant or refuse to drink animal-derived milk, then there is good news for us.

We can still get our calcium from milk – soy milk, a plant-based kind that has even more calcium than ordinary milk.

They also have isoflavones that may up our bone density.


There is a host of good reasons for drinking soy milk other than for sourcing our bone-building requirements.

Soy milk and other soy-based products like tofu and miso are packed with antioxidants that fight free radicals, which damage our bodies in so many ways and hasten our aging process.

They can also keep our bad cholesterol levels in check and nip blood clotting in the bud.

3. Sardines

Sardines are fishes with both calcium and Vitamin D, and we have to say, really substantial amounts of both.

We can add these fishes to our brown rice, pasta, or even bread.

We can also pour in olive oil to these sea wonders to make them more flavorful.


Sardines do not only have calcium and Vitamin D.

They also carry other nutritional punches – protein, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and potassium.

The canned varieties also have relatively low levels of sodium compared with other canned foods.

4. Tuna

Eaten in moderate amounts, tuna can give us just enough Vitamin D.

Per three ounces, it has about 200 IU of Vitamin D, which is good enough to reach the daily requirement for each age bracket.


We do not only get Vitamin D from our tuna.

We can also get omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and potassium.

5. Salmon

Wild-caught salmon is arguably the most excellent source of Vitamin D, giving us a whopping 265% of our daily requirement per four ounces of serving.

Since a serving of salmon is more than enough for one day, it is advised to eat wild salmon moderately.


Canned salmon with their bones packed can give us calcium as well.

It is advised to have at least two servings of salmon each week.

6. Seeds

Our bones need the mineral magnesium to work properly.

In fact, they store about 50% of the total magnesium in our bodies.

To keep our bones working well, it is wise to load up on foods rich in magnesium.

Seeds are good sources of magnesium.

Some of the recommended ones are flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, watermelon seeds, and sesame seeds.


It is easy to fold in seeds to our diet.

We can enjoy them as healthy snacks, mix them with our rice, or cook them with our casseroles.

7. Nuts

Nuts are also high in magnesium and other nutrients that keep the bones in tip-top shape.

Some of the good ones are almonds, peanuts and walnuts.

Other nuts that are high in magnesium are pine nuts, Brazil nuts, and even the regular mixed nuts.


Nuts also carry potassium that stop the loss of calcium from the body.

They also have omega-3 fatty acids that assist in bone formation.

8. Cereals

Many cereals are fortified with calcium and therefore make for a first-rate breakfast.


We can enjoy cereals with milk and fruits each morning to give our bones a complete meal for the day.

9. Cheese

About two ounces of cheese can give us about 30% of our calcium needs.

Many types of cheese also have traces of Vitamin D.


Cheese is scrumptious and makes for a yummy addition to dishes and breads.

Moderation, however, is a basic as many cheeses have high calories and fats.

10. Egg

Yolks in eggs have high amounts of Vitamin D.

They also have high amounts of protein.


Eat eggs in moderation so you can go easy on your cholesterol levels.

Worst 5 Bone-Breaking Foods

1. Alcohol

Alcohol blocks our bodies from getting calcium by getting in the way of osteoblasts, cells that help our bones form and grow.

How to Still Enjoy this Food without Breaking Your Bones:

Have a serving of red wine or beer once a day, and not more than that.

2. Caffeine

Caffeine steals calcium from our bones.

A 100-milligram coffee, for instance, robs us of about six milligrams of calcium.

How to Still Enjoy this Food without Breaking Your Bones:

Add calcium-packed milk to coffee and limit coffee intake to only one cup a day.

3. Hydrogenated Oils

Hydrogenation destroys Vitamin K in oils and our bones need Vitamin K.

How to Still Enjoy this Food without Breaking Your Bones:

Skip hydrogenated oils and products that may contain them like donuts and muffins.

Also, up your Vitamin K intake by eating broccoli, cabbage or spinach.

4. Salt

Salt leaches calcium from the bones through its high sodium contents.

How to Still Enjoy this Food without Breaking Your Bones:

Cut down on foods high in salt – chips, pizzas, fast foods, and canned foods.

5. Soda

Sodas are carbonated drinks that have phosphoric acid that flushes out calcium in our urine.

How to Still Enjoy this Food without Breaking Your Bones:

Skip the soda and just drink water. If it cannot be helped, drink soda sparingly and drink calcium-packed liquids like soy milk.

Copyright © 2012 Kerlyn Bautista

All Rights Reserved

Foods for the Bones - Vegan Sources


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    • profile image


      2 years ago

      When you say D, you really need to say it's D3 we need for our bones.

      We only get D3 from the sun, or from a vitamin.

      It would be great if we could all walk in the sun everyday with our arms exposed to the sun, and Not wear sun glasses.

      But only be exposed for about 20 to 25 mins everyday.

      That said , it's just about impossible for most of us.

      When you get a blood test ask your Dr. To include a D3 test to check your D3 levals.

      I live in sunny So Cal and I take 5000 iu D3 aday. I'm over 5o.

      Don't take what I take, get your D3 checked.

    • acaetnna profile image


      7 years ago from Guildford

      An extremely thoughtful and informative hub. I learned a great deal about this important topic. Thank you.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      7 years ago

      Great hub topic. I eat a handful of almonds daily and try to eat fish often. The benefits of these food items is tremendous. Your 5 bone breaking mentions are interesting and useful. Voted up!

    • Caitlin Pyle profile image

      Caitlin Pyle 

      7 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Good stuff. It was easy to read and informative.

    • joanveronica profile image

      Joan Veronica Robertson 

      7 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi, lovely Hub! I have osteoporosis, so you can imagine I read it with care! Voted Up and everything else except funny. Really well written. Congratulations on your use of English.

    • My Nurse Says profile image

      My Nurse Says 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      A very informative Hub... thanks for posting. Voted up!

    • jhunpaler profile image


      7 years ago from Philippines

      very informative hub :) time to eat some of those on the list :)


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