Foods for Osteoporosis Prevention

How California Prunes should be the snack of choice.

Osteoporosis Month might be coming to an end but thinking about our bone health doesn’t haven’t to stop! 2 million Canadians are affected by Osteoporosis, and 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will suffer a fracture related to Osteoporosis in their lifetime. These are some pretty significant stats. Luckily, our diet and lifestyle choices can help reduce our risk. Read on to find out which nutrients and foods you can eat for better bone health! #AD

DISCLAIMER: This post was developed in partnership with California Prunes, however all opinions are my own.

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a bone disease characterized by low bone mass and the deterioration of bone which can lead to an increased risk of fractures and injuries as we age.

Osteoporosis actually translates to “porous bone”, because under a microscope, osteoporotic bone appears to have more holes and spaces compared to a healthy bone – which resembles a honeycomb.

Who is affected by Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is known as a paediatric disease with geriatric consequences. Meaning that we reach our peak bone mass in our late teens and early twenties, and after the age of 30, our bone mass starts to decline. The older we get, the higher the risk for developing osteoporosis. Women are also at a higher risk, as estrogen levels become lower during and after menopause.

It is important that we proactively build up strong bones from childhood, and do what we can to protect them once our peak mass is reached.

How can we reduce our risk for Osteoporosis?

Through both diet and lifestyle, we can maintain strong, healthy bones throughout the life cycle and reduce our risk for osteoporosis.

Foods for Osteoporosis Prevention

Vitamin K-Rich Foods:

Vitamin K is an essential nutrient for bone health, although it is often overlooked. It is important because it activates proteins involved in bone formation and mineralization (a process that strengthens bones).

California Prunes are a great source of vitamin K, with 4-5 (40 grams) prunes providing 20% of our daily value. Prunes also contain potassium and polyphenols (antioxidant-rich micronutrients) which work together with the vitamin K to protect the bone. Not only are California Prunes good for our bones, they are also beneficial for digestive health with 3 grams of dietary fibre per serving.

Other food sources of Vitamin K include green leafy vegetables, cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower, soybeans, tuna and liver.

Calcium-Rich Foods:

When we’re not getting enough calcium through diet, the body actually draws on calcium from the bones to use. Thus, if we are consistently not meeting our calcium requirements, our bones become depleted and our risk for osteoporosis will increase.

You can meet your needs by eating calcium-rich foods like dairy products (such as milk, yogurt and cheese), broccoli, calcium-set tofu (tofu packaged in a calcium salt solution), fortified non-dairy alternatives, and white beans.

Vitamin D-Rich Foods:

Vitamin D and calcium work together as a team because vitamin D helps our bodies absorb the calcium that we eat. We can get vitamin D from sun exposure, foods and supplements. While food sources of vitamin D are limited, they include salmon and egg yolks as well as vitamin D fortified foods like milk, orange juice and non-dairy milk alternatives.

For more information about vitamin D, check out this full blog post here.

Protein-Rich Foods:

50% of our bone mass is made up of protein, so this is one reason why it’s important to meet our protein needs each day. Protein-rich foods include animal proteins like meat and poultry, fish and seafood, and dairy products like milk, yogurt and cheese. As we know, we can also get protein from plants – from beans, legumes, nuts and seeds to soy products like tofu and edamame.

To meet your daily protein needs, I recommend on average aiming for 15-20 grams of protein per meal and approximately 5-10 grams of protein per snack.

Exercise for Bone Health

Exercise plays an important role in bone health as it helps to protect your spine, slow the rate of bone loss and build muscle strength (which can help prevent falls).

Nutrition and exercise go hand-in-hand when it comes to bone health. So in addition to eating the bone-healthy foods mentioned above, it’s important to regularly participate in weight-bearing exercise.

Weight bearing exercise forces us to work against gravity, and some examples include walking, running, dancing, hiking, and strength training.

Bone-Healthy Recipes:

Check out this bone-healthy recipe for Trail Mix Cookies, featuring California Prunes! Not only are the premium quality California Prunes good for our bone and digestive health, they’re a tasty, healthy snack for all ages! Each 40g serving (4-5 prunes) contains 26 grams of natural carbohydrates to help fuel your day and support your energy needs. Enjoy them on their own, or in a delicious, energizing recipe like these Trail Mix Cookies.

Check out CaliforniaPrunes.ca for more delicious recipes. For additional nutrition, training and overall wellness tips, you can check out the ‘TEAM UP’ tab on the website. California Prunes teamed up with professional Canadian athletes to share tons of resources for audiences of all ages and genders.

Print Pin
5 from 1 vote

Trail Mix Cookies with California Prunes

These chewy vegan Trail Mix Cookies feature the goodness of California Prunes with chopped nuts, pumpkin seeds and chocolate chips. They're a healthy snack or dessert that's good for our bones.
Course Baked Goods, Baking, Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword Breakfast Cookies, California prunes, Healthy baking, healthy cookies, Trail Mix Cookies, vegan
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 10 cookies
Author hannahmageerd

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 cup large flake rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon chai spice can sub cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup natural unsalted peanut butter can sub almond butter
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Add-ins:

  • 1/4 cup chopped California Prunes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped nuts like pecans, walnuts or almonds
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate chips dairy-free if vegan
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, mix together all dry ingredients until combined.
  • In a separate medium bowl, whisk together wet ingredients until combined.
  • Pour the wet ingredient mixture into the dry ingredient mixture and stir and fold together until well-mixed.
  • Fold in the add-in ingredients.
  • Using a small or medium cookie scoop, scoop and drop cookie dough onto prepared baking sheet. Use the back of a fork to flatten cookies to desired thickness. If the cookie edges crumble after flattening, use your fingers to press the edges back together.
  • Bake for 11-15 minutes until golden brown. Place baking sheet on a cooling rack, allowing cookies to cool on the sheet for 10 minutes. Then, transfer cookies directly to cooling rack and cool for another 30 minutes.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 10 days or in the freezer up to 2 months.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Beaming Baker Chocolate Chip Trail Mix Cookies.

Connect with Hannah Magee, RD!

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DISCLAIMER: This post was developed in partnership with California Prunes, however all opinions are my own.

2 Comments

  1. Eleanor Albanese

    5 stars
    Thank you for the information and recipe.

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