5 Natural Remedies to Strengthen Bones and Joints

Today we'll bring you 5 natural remedies that will allow you to strengthen bones and joints through a varied diet. Keep reading!
5 Natural Remedies to Strengthen Bones and Joints

Written by Daniela Andarcia

Last update: 19 April, 2023

As peak bone mass is reached at age 30, care must be taken to ensure that the bones receive the necessary minerals during childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. Fortunately, there are a number of natural remedies that allow you to strengthen bones and joints.

When you don’t take care of your diet or have good habits, the chances of developing weak and brittle bones increase at the ages when bone loss occurs naturally. We’ll show you what you should eat and do to have healthy and strong bones.

There are many foods that serve as natural remedies to strengthen bones and joints. In general, it’s important to eat vegetables, proteins, and foods rich in calcium, among others.

1. Vegetables

It has been shown that eating vegetables can benefit bone health. This is because they’re a source of vitamin C, a nutrient known to stimulate the production of bone-forming cells. A study published in The Journal of Bone and Mineral Research showed that the antioxidant effects of this vitamin also protect bone cells.

In addition, vitamin C stimulates the production of collagen, a protein present in cartilage, tendons, and ligaments that holds joints together and has a cushioning effect.

Similarly, vegetables are linked to an increase in bone mineral density, a measure of the amount of calcium and other minerals present in the bones. Its deficiency causes diseases such as osteopenia and osteoporosis.

According to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating a large amount of green and yellow vegetables provides increased bone mineralization during childhood, which helps maintain bone mass in young adults.

Likewise, a high intake of vegetables can help older women. A study in women over 50 years of age published in Menopause found that those who ate onions more frequently had a 20% lower risk of developing osteoporosis, in contrast to those who rarely included them in their diet.

The increase in bone turnover experienced by older adults is one of the main causes of osteoporosis. A three-month study found that women who ate more than nine servings of broccoli, cabbage, parsley, and other vegetables with bone-protecting antioxidants experienced decreased bone turnover.

Fruits in a bowl to prevent osteoporosis.
Fruits and vegetables are a source of important nutrients for bone health, including vitamin C.

2. Proteins

As bones are made up of 50% protein, it’s important that they’re never lacking in the diet. According to a study published in The Journal of Nutrition, consuming little protein decreases calcium absorption, which affects bone formation.

Concern has now been raised that high-protein diets can draw calcium from the bones to decrease increased acidity in the blood. However, another study published in The Journal of Nutrition showed that this only occurs when more than 100 grams are consumed per day without varying the diet with vegetables and foods rich in calcium.

One year of research found that women who ate 86 grams of protein per day on a low-calorie diet lost less bone mass in the arms, spine, hips, and legs than those who ate 60 grams per day.

3. Calcium

As the main bone mineral, it’s not surprising that calcium is essential for bone health. Consuming calcium daily protects the structure and strength of one from constant cellular breakdown and replacement.

The recommended daily intake (RDA) is 1,000 milligrams per day, but for adolescents and older women, it’s 1,300 milligrams and 1,200 milligrams, respectively.

However, the amount of calcium that the body absorbs can vary. For example, when you eat a food with more than 500 milligrams of calcium, you can absorb much less than if you eat less.

4. Foods rich in vitamins D and K

Vitamins D and K have crucial roles in strengthening bones. On the one hand, vitamin D facilitates the absorption of calcium and levels should reach at least 30 ng/ml to prevent bone diseases such as osteopenia and osteoporosis.

According to a study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, children and adults with low levels of vitamin D tend to have lower bone density, which increases the risk of bone loss compared to those who’ve consumed enough.

On the other hand, vitamin K is known to modify osteocalcin, a protein involved in bone formation. By modifying it, the vitamin manages to bind the minerals and prevent the loss of calcium.

Research published by The British Journal of Nutrition found that vitamin K2 supplementation, one of the two forms of this nutrient, not only modifies osteocalcin, but also increases bone density in children and menopausal women.

Some source foods of vitamin D are oily fish, mushrooms, broccoli, cheese, and milk. In the case of foods rich in vitamin K, we can mention green leafy vegetables, vegetable oils, blueberries, figs, meat, eggs, and soybeans.

5. Foods rich in zinc and magnesium

Magnesium and zinc are other minerals that benefit bone health. For starters, magnesium converts vitamin D into the active form that promotes calcium absorption.

An observational study with more than 73,000 women found that those who ingested 400 milligrams of magnesium daily had between 2 and 3% more bone density than those who consumed 200 milligrams. The mineral is found in small amounts in many foods and in good proportion in spinach, sunflower seeds, almonds, dark chocolate, and walnuts.

For its part, zinc contributes by promoting the development of cells that form bones and preventing bone degradation. Studies show that trace element supplements stimulate bone growth in children and maintain bone density in older adults. Some foods that provide it are beef, shrimp, spinach, flax seeds, oysters, and pumpkin seeds.

Red meats rich in zinc and magnesium.
Beef meats have a considerable content of zinc and vitamin K.

Habits to strengthen bones and joints

Finally, in addition to including these natural remedies in your diet, you can also add a series of habits that help strengthen your bones and joints:

  • Maintain a healthy weight: This will prevent knee and ankle overload.
  • Do strength exercises: Also weight-bearing.
  • Take collagen supplements: Some of these supplements provide the essential raw material for the joints, which is this protein.
  • Consume foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids: Oily fish, shellfish, green leafy vegetables, vegetable oils, and nuts such as almonds and walnuts.

These habits, together with the foods described above, guarantee the health of your bones in the long term. You can prevent conditions like osteoporosis if you take action at the right time and combine the advice.

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