TODAY

TODAY   |  April 08, 2013

6 foods that help prevent osteoporosis

Heidi Skolnik, who sits on the Board for the National Osteoporosis Foundation, reveals some surprising foods that can help prevent the onset of the disease, including citrus fruits, fish, and even beer and red wine.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> this morning on "be well, be healthy" surprising foods that help prevent osteoporosis. heidi, good morning.

>> good morning.

>> we're going to show you the great foods you should be incorporating into your diet. you don't necessarily need the dairy, which a lot of people can't really tolerate the dairy as much, right?

>> calcium and vitamin d are important but it's a complex thing. you break down bone and build bone back. it's not a static thing. it's dynamic. weigh want to be sure we're getting in enough of the nutrients to build the strong architecture of our bone and that goes beyond calcium and vitamin d .

>> we look at some of the foods and citrus being first here, why is citrus so good for your bones?

>> there seems to be a phytonutrient that is in citrus that can help in terms of a cascade of events that result in less bone broeakdown. they looked at grapefruit and found it in there. many people can't take especially over the age of 50 grapefruit juice because it interferes with medications. orange juice is fantastic and you can get it with calcium so if you can't take in dairy there's that option, wonderful opportunity and it may also be that it's the vitamin c and may also be there's that anti-inflammatory effect as well that plays a role.

>> here is a surprising food but prunes are good for you as well when it comes to helping increase bone density .

>> right, sometimes it's a throwback. we have the citrus fruits and other fruits as well and there's a fair number of studies specifically on prunes that seem to again play a role in bone turnover, and in slowing down that bone turnover that results in positive bone mass or good healthy strong bones.

>> plus it's good for other things as well as we know.

>> exactly.

>> okay, now certain oils as well as we hear about the monounsad rated fats, good for you and helping your bones.

>> this goes along with the mediterranean style diet, we've heard so much about, helps heart health and may also help with bone health and so one of the studies looked at specifically olive oil and again found that the circulating osteoclass, these are technical terms but it was a marker of bone health and a higher amount in the blood. more research needs to be done but it looks positive for including olive oil in your diet, along with the omega 3s or specific type of fatty acids and other nuts rich in mag me see y magnesium.

>> add to that the fatty fishes.

>> you are so on it.

>> i eat like this, i try to anyway.

>> sardines, one can of sardines has as much calcium as a glass of milk and double the amount of vitamin d , i don't think we think about that alternatives to dairy and additionally vitamin d and think of it in other cultures they eat small fish with bones which gives us the calcium or leafy greens from the sea.

>> are you saying alcohol helps increase our bone density , too?

>> studies out of the uk no surprise, silicon which is a nutrient in beer, it's also in grains but since we eat so many processed grains, this is a good way to get it in.

>> i'm working on my bone density right now. cheers. heidi skolnick thank you so much.