Fall Foods for Healthy Bones

Welcome to Autumn, with all its intense delight! Temperatures drop, it’s cooling off, getting crisp and clear and dry. This is the time of year that people become aware of their achy bones and joint pains.  Autumn is a great time of year to take your cues from nature.  As the natural world becomes colorful and spicy, make your diet rich and bright too! Turn to in season foods that support your bone health.

Check with your orthopedic doctor to become more aware of the interplay of nutrition and activity that result in good bone health.  It’s not any one factor–a combination of things will lead to a strong bodily frame; one that supports your chosen lifestyle.

Importantly, avoid looking for some kind of magic element.  You might think that calcium alone is the answer to bone health; a calcium supplement will ensure bone strength.  Not true!  Your bones are storehouses of many minerals–magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium–all of which are essential not only to strong bones, but to blood pressure regulation and nerve transmission.

Remember, supplements are meant to augment your nutrition, not provide it!  The way to healthy bones and joints is with rich, colorful whole foods that provide vitamins and minerals plus phytochemicals and antioxidants, which can slow down the aging process of the body and mind.

Nature’s products are abundant in the fall–take advantage of harvest time bounty.  Create your plate with foods the color of the season.  Combine flavor and texture to deliver all the elements together.

Here are delicious, densely nutritious food choices that are full of dietary fiber and low in saturated fat.  Mix and match these seasonal foods for healthy bones:

Dense root vegetables; beets, carrots, turnips, and parsnips.

Autumn squashes; acorn and butternut squashes give you lots of vitamin C, thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin A, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium, manganese, and magnesium.

Eat pumpkins: They provide vitamin E and B6, thiamin, niacin, folate, iron, magnesium and phosphorus, vitamin A and C, riboflavin, potassium, copper and manganese

Dark leafy greens such as kale and collards contain high amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron.  Beet greens have calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.

Spice it up with sage, thyme, garlic, ginger, cayenne, turmeric.

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