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Essential Nutrients for Building Strong Bones

Updated: Feb 17, 2023

Having strong healthy bones reduces your risk of osteoporosis and bone fracture in adult and elderly years.

There are many important nutrients and foods to feed strong healthy bones, and calcium is only one of them.

Other important factors include regularly committing to weight bearing exercise, sunshine, getting a variety of minerals into your diet and avoiding certain chemicals in packaged foods. 

Listed below is a variety of ways that support your bone health in a holistic manner. 

As always, for specific dosages, supplement guidance and personalised protocols speak to your trusted practitioner or book a consultation here.


Regular participation in high intensity and low intensity weight bearing exercises such as lifting weights, swimming, dancing and cycling have been shown to increase bone density not only in our younger years but also in osteoporotic clients. In order for these activities to be effective the exercises must be performed at greater intensity than common daily activity and put a load on the body. 

Vitamin Sunshine 

Also known as Vitamin D, this ‘vitamin’ is actually a hormone. 

It plays a supportive role in bone health by increasing calcium absorption in the intestinal tract as well as bone remineralisation, and supplementation has been shown to reduce the risk of fractures and imp-rove the quality and quantity of bone. 

Sources include: Regular sun exposure (this means until the skin goes slightly pink and tingly but not to the point where it burns. 

A high quality vitamin D supplement


Boron: Boron has shown to improve bone density, be preventative against osteoporosis and assist the absorption and utilisation of important bone nutrients magnesium, calcium and phosphorous.

Food Sources: beans, nuts, whole grains, avocados, berries, plums, oranges and grapes

Calcium: Almost 99% of the body’s calcium is found in bone and is essentially your body’s calcium ‘bank!’ It’s important to the formation and maintenance of bone, playing an integral role with the other key minerals mentioned here to form crystals that give structure and strength to bones.

Food Sources: Green leafy veg, broccoli, sardines, almonds, tahini, buckwheat, egg yolk, molasses, soybeans, turnips. Although dairy contains calcium, the absorption rate is low and the form of calcium in modern dairy can’t be easily accessed or used by the body. 

Magnesium: 60% of the body’s Magnesium is found in the bone. Deficiency of this mineral may lead to reduced bone formation, decreased bone strength and volume and impairs the body’s ability to resorb calcium. 

Food sources: raw cacao (chocolate), almonds, cashews, figs, kelp, green leafy’s, mineral water, parsnips, seeds

As important as it is to focus on nutrients and foods to include in your diet, you also want to focus on what to avoid.

Phosphoric Acid: is an ingredient in soda, cola and beverages like canned and bottled iced tea and coffee, and enhanced chicken and meat products.

Phosphoric acid can be in liquid or crystalline form and is erosive to metals as well as human tissue. Food and beverage manufacturers like it because of its low cost, and action as a preservative. It also adds acidity and tang to the product enhancing flavour and appeal. 

Common names of phosphoric acid include:

  • E338

  • Orthophosphoric acid

  • Phosphoric(V) acid

  • Pyrophosphoric acid

  • Triphosphoic acid

  • o-Phosphoric acid

  • Hydrogen phosphate

In the body Phosphoric acid is highly damaging to the bodies cells and tissues. It can mimic the natural and essential element ‘phosphorus’ in the body, and too much of this can reduce calcium levels in the body as well as impair the absorption and utilisation of minerals like iron, magnesium and zinc. 

So to build and maintain strong and healthy bones, focus on including a variety of the nutrients and foods listed above daily and particularly on avoiding phosphoric acid as much as you can! 

Happy Day!

Jenna Poole

Clinical Nutritionist


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