NYS Certified Nutritionist

Anti-inflammatory Diet and Bone Density

Bone density declines in post-menopausal women.  It has long been known that diet and lifestyle have a significant influence on this change in bone health which can lead to fractures and deadly complications.  Many years ago, it was noticed that Chinese women in China, who traditionally eat no dairy products, have fewer bone breaks than Scandinavian women who consume plenty of dairy with its high calcium content.  Now researchers have concluded the Chinese women may have been protected by their dairy free diet.

Recently, the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research reported that over a 6 year period, older women with the least inflammatory diets lost less bone density than those with the most inflammatory diets.  Anti-inflammatory diets are abundant in vegetables and fruits, fish, and whole grains.  These diets rely on plant sources of nourishment, rather than animal products.   Nuts, seeds, soy products, seitan [wheat gluten], and legumes are rich sources of plant proteins and make good substitutes for eggs, dairy, meat, and poultry.  Fish with omega 3 fatty acids are acceptable for their anti-inflammatory qualities.

The Women’s Health Initiative was the source of the data that lead to the conclusion that, in addition to doing weight bearing exercise and getting enough Vitamin D,  emphasizing plant foods and de-emphasizing animal products could lead to denser bones and a better quality of life for aging women.