Building Stronger Bones in Women

It’s International Women’s Day, and we’re celebrating our strong, fierce women around the world! As part of International Women’s Day, we’re highlighting bone health, a common women's health issue.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, osteoporosis and low bone mass affect about 54 million Americans. Approximately 1 in 2 women will break a bone due to osteoporosis at some point in their lives. Seventy-one percent of hip fractures are in women and can considerably affect the quality of life. These statistics make bone health a priority to keeping women strong and healthy.

Many factors contribute to bone health, things like age and gender we don’t control. What we do have control over is diet and exercise, which impacts over 25% of bone’s health.

In this blog, Designer Wellness is diving deep into what you can do through diet and exercise to build stronger, healthier bones at any age.

The top seven recommendations to build and maintain bone mass are the following.
  1. Engage in regular weight-bearing exercises.
Exercises such as walking, jogging, and strength training cause muscles and tendons to pull on bones triggering the bone cells to start building more bone Some doctors recommend jumping up-and-down 50 times a day to maximize weight-bearing exercises’ benefits on bone. Time to get out the jump rope!
  1. Get in the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of calcium at 1,200 mg a day. Foods loaded with calcium include sardines, cheese, yogurt, fortified non-dairy milk, dairy milk, and soybeans. At Designer Wellness, our Designer Plant  (135% RDA), Designer Whey (20% RDA), Designer Meal Replacement (40% RDA), Designer Soy (25% RDA), and Aria (30% RDA) are all packed with calcium.
  2. Boost your vitamin D intake.
As a dietitian, I recommend getting your labs done. Many people who think they’re getting adequate vitamin D from sun exposure are surprised when they show critically low vitamin D levels in their labs. It’s good to know where you are at, so you can either focus on the RDA of 600-800 IU/day or aim for 2,000 IU+ if low.
Vitamin D helps your body
absorb calcium and phosphorus, essential minerals for bone health. Foods packed with vitamin D include salmon, trout, eggs, and UV-treated mushrooms. At Designer Wellness, you can easily meet your vitamin D needs by enjoying  Designer Whey (50% RDA), Designer Plant (20% RDA), Designer Soy (50% RDA), Designer Meal Replacement (30% RDA), or Aria (30% RDA) in your daily diet.
  1. Pack in the protein at every meal and snack.
Protein composes about 50% of bone’s volume and approximately one-third of its mass. Researchers believe protein’s benefit is from its ability to increase intestinal calcium absorption, helping you utilize more nutrients in your diet. High protein foods include any Designer Wellness powder and smoothie, plain Greek or skyr yogurt, beans, lentils, tofu, edamame, tempeh, eggs, cottage cheese, fish, and meats.
  1. Enjoy magnesium-rich foods daily.
Both too high and too low magnesium intake can harm bones. Magnesium is a mineral that is crucial to help lay down bone, contributing to increased bone density and helping prevent the onset of osteoporosis. Excellent sources include Designer Plant (20% RDA), Designer Whey Meal Replacement (30% RDA), pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, dark, leafy greens, almonds, spinach, cashews, peanuts, black beans, dark chocolate, and edamame.
  1. Get in both vitamin K1 and K2 every day.
Vitamin K triggers proteins involved in bone formation and mineralization to turn on. Vitamin K2 has been shown to have a more protective effect on bone health than K1; however, both K1 and K2 deficiencies are associated with low bone density. Adequate intake of vitamin K1 is 120 mcg in men and 90 mcg in women. There is no established recommended intake for K2, and research shows 180 mcg of Vitamin K2 a day is highly beneficial for bone health.
You can easily meet your needs by including Vitamin K1 and K2 foods in your diet. Vitamin K1 is in Designer Whey Meal Replacement (20% RDA), Designer Plant (20% RDA), spinach, kale, swiss chard, romaine lettuce, salad broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and mustard greens. Vitamin K2 can be found in Gouda cheese, Swiss cheese, blue cheese, eggs, and Natto (Japanese fermented soybeans).
  1. Eat selenium-rich food at least once a day. Selenium contains antioxidant selenoproteins that have been shown to have an antioxidant protection effect that helps maintain bone health. The RDA for selenium is 55 mcg/day, and excellent sources of selenium include Brazil nuts and fish.
No matter what age you are or where you are in the world, it’s time to focus on bone health. Try the tips above to get what you need to build and maintain strong bones.
Check out Designer Wellness’s bone health superstars listed below that are loaded with multiple bone-healthy nutrients. As a BONUS, included below is a one-day bone health meal plan.
  • Designer Plant
    • 135% Calcium RDA, 20% Vitamin D RDA, 20% Magnesium RDA, 20% Vitamin K RDA, 220% Phosphorus RDA, 22g of Protein
  • Designer Whey
    • 20% Calcium RDA, 25% Magnesium RDA, 20% Phosphorus RDA, 20g of Protein
  • Designer Meal Replacement powder
    • 45% Calcium RDA, 30% Vitamin D RDA, 20% Magnesium RDA, 30% Vitamin K RDA, 30% Phosphorus RDA, 25g of Protein
  • Aria
    • 30% Calcium RDA, 30% Vitamin D RDA, 50% Phosphorus RDA, 15g of Protein
  • Designer Soy
    • 25% Calcium RDA, 50% Vitamin D RDA, 20g of Protein
One Day Bone Health Meal Plan

Breakfast: Smoothie- 2 scoops Designer Plant, 1 cup leafy greens, 5 Brazil nuts, 1 banana, 1 cup blueberries, and 1 cup fortified non-dairy milk or dairy milk

AM Snack: Gouda cheese with whole-grain crackers

Lunch: spinach salad with black beans, hardboiled egg, chicken, blue cheese, and almond slices with a dressing of choice.

PM Snack: Designer Protein Smoothie

Dinner: Salmon with broccoli and roasted potatoes

Night Time Snack: cashews and dark chocolate

Sources:
Cleveland Clinic: August 20, 2019 / Rheumatology & Immunology
Do You Need Vitamin K Supplements for Your Bone Health?
Medical News Today :Osteoporosis: Could selenium reduce risk?
WebMD Bones Need Both Calcium and Phosphorus
Today’s Dietitian: February 2013 IssueVol. 15 No. 2 P. 44: Bone Health and Diet. By Sharon Palmer, RD

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Ginger C. Cochran, MS, RDN, CDCES, ACSM-CEP
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
IG: @nutritious_ginger