Get your fill of lean protein. Our bones are constructed of a flexible protein framework that is filled in with hard minerals. I imagine it like a chain-link fence (protein) with baseballs stuck in every opening (minerals). If we don’t get enough protein in the diet, that chain-link fence could start to deteriorate! A good rule of thumb for minimum protein intake is to consume 1 gram of protein for every kilogram of your body weight. I weight 65 kilograms, so I need to consume a minimum of 65 grams of protein every single day. For more specific protein recommendations, see your local friendly nutritionist.
Get some mineral-rich foods in every meal. Calcium is definitely necessary for healthy bones, but it’s not the only mineral we need. Iron, zinc, phosphorus, and copper are also necessary for maintaining bone density. Dark leafy greens, beans, and seeds are great sources of all the minerals we need for strong bones.
Get moving! Daily exercise is an integral part of joint and bone health. Resistance training directly increases bone density at any age. This includes weightlifting, resistance band training, or swimming.
Get outdoors. Vitamin D is a necessary nutrient for bone health. In addition to eating foods with vitamin D, our skin produces this vitamin naturally when exposed to sunlight. The time for adequate exposure varies based on where you live, but 15-20 minutes outside will give you a nice dose of D in most locations. Dairy products, eggs, salmon, and shiitake mushrooms are good food sources of vitamin D.
Adding alkaline foods to your diet can also support healthy bones, read more about a basic diet here.