Bone health is essential to our lives. Regardless if we are young or old, male or female, at average weight or overweight, bone health matters. While there are medications you can take if your doctor identifies or suspects bone density issues, there are better options available for many. Natural remedies, including vitamins, minerals, and certain foods, can help protect bone health for years to come. Below are the best options for improving bone health that do not require a prescription.

Calcium

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This is the no-brainer for most of us. Calcium helps keep your bones and teeth strong and healthy. While this is contained in every multi-vitamin, not all contain 100% of your ideal daily value. Separate supplements may be necessary, and many foods contain calcium to give you an extra boost. Dairy products, okra, leafy greens, nuts, and anything made with fortified flour can help boost your calcium level.

Vitamin D

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The “Sunshine” vitamin comes not only from sunshine, but also in pill form. Like calcium, multi-vitamins contain Vitamin D, but not all have the full daily requirement so an additional supplement may be necessary. Vitamin D is also in many food, from fatty fish (such as tuna and salmon), to beets, and aged cheese and egg yolks.

Vitamin K2

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While not as widely known as Calcium and Vitamin D, Vitamin K2 is just as important. It helps regulate the absorption of calcium in your body, allowing it to travel to the proper places. Without this, no amount of Calcium can have its full effect. While multi-vitamins contain some K2, it usually does not contain the full daily amount, so an additional supplement is needed. Some foods are also high in K2, such as egg yolks, fermented foods, grass-fed meats, and high-fat dairy products.

Omega 3’s

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This is needed for a healthy body, but many multi-vitamins leave out this important oil. Usually obtained from fish or krill, Omega 3’s help keep your body lubricated and regulated. Without it, you risk brittle bones, dry skin and hair, and brittle teeth. If you are not a fan of fatty fish, you can take a supplement for your daily value. Under the name of “Fish Oil”, “Krill Oil”, and “Omega 3 Oil”, you can get your daily benefit. If you are sensitive to the fishy taste, look for a flavorless or flavored supplement. Some contain mint or lemon oils to mask the fishy taste.

Iron

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While we all known that iron is essential for a healthy blood stream and energy level, new studies are pointing to iron being essential to bone health. Iron is not needed by everyone – and sometimes can cause constipation in even those who need it the most – so be sure to consult your doctor before taking this supplement. Contained in multi-vitamins, but not in a 100% amount, it should be enough for most people to help maintain their bone density. Many foods also contain iron, to help you get an extra kick of the mineral. These foods include red meat, pork, poultry, beans, and iron-fortified starches and cereals.