Nutrition is also one of the key steps to preventing stress fractures. The stronger your bones are, the less likely they are to develop stress fractures: “Adequate nutrient intake has been found to significantly affect the integrity of the fracture repair.” (2) There are plenty of foods out there (some you probably already enjoy) that can help build strong bones and prevent fractures. When it comes to eating foods that build strong bones, the two main components are Calcium and Vitamin D. Calcium is a major building block for our bones, so it may seem obvious that providing our body with a healthy supply of it will lead to stronger bones. As we get older, our body’s ability to absorb calcium begins to decline, which is why we need to replenish it with foods that contain high quantities of calcium.
- Milk and dairy products, such as yogurt, cheese, or butter, are the number one sources of calcium. They are not only widely available in markets everywhere but can also be prepared in an endless variety of dishes.
- However, if you are lactose intolerant, have no fear. There are a variety of vegetables that contain ample amounts of calcium including:
- collard greens
Vitamin D is also a key ingredient when it comes to renewing the strength in your bones and the “mineralization” of bone tissue. (3) Vitamin D also helps create a healthy immune system for your body. Vitamin D can be found in a few foods, like tuna, sardines, salmon, egg yolks, and liver, or by taking a dietary supplement. Also, make sure to watch out for things you may be consuming that are known to deplete the body of bone-building minerals: “Caffeine and salt can increase calcium loss from the body and should not be taken in excessive amounts. Alcohol should also be taken in moderation as it detracts from bone health and is associated with falls and fractures.” (4)