Best Foods for a Parent With Osteoporosis
December 8, 2020
If you have recently learned that your senior parent has osteoporosis, you may be wondering what you can do at home to help your senior have stronger, more healthy bones. Osteoporosis means “porous bone,” and it is a disease that occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both. When this starts to happen, bones become weak and may easily break from a fall or even a simple bump into a hard corner. Osteoporosis affects women more than men and is fairly common in the elderly. Because there aren’t any immediate side affects of this disease, the first time many seniors and their caregivers discover they have it is when that senior parent breaks a bone.
The good news is that diet can help prevent a progression of this disease. Helping your parent purchase and consume foods that are rich in Calcium, Vitamin D and other nutrients can help her remain active and healthy even with this disease. So, before the next shopping trip, either you or your senior care provider, can help your parent create a shopping list of what to purchase at the grocery store. Here are some key items that should be on that list and consumed on a regular basis to help prevent the progression of osteoporosis:
Dairy products are usually high in calcium and some are fortified in Vitamin D. Eating and drinking milk, cheese and yogurt can all help your parent get her needed calcium. If possible, encourage the consumption of Greek yogurt, which often contains a higher amount of protein as well.
Canned fish with the bones (such as sardines or salmon) are very high in calcium and can make an easy snack on crackers. When choosing fish for dinner, help your parent choose fish that are more fatty such as mackerel or salmon so she’ll also receive the benefit of Vitamin D. Sometimes, finding the right types of foods can be hard in the grocery store. If your senior care provider is available, it might be helpful to have him help your parent shop for the right foods.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
The key word here is fresh! Helping your parent purchase and prepare fresh fruits and vegetables may be a bit more work that simply heating up a can of green beans or throwing a bag of frozen carrots in the microwave, but the benefits from the nutrients will really help with her osteoporosis. Looks for fruits and vegetables that are high in calcium (such as collard greens or broccoli),magnesium (such as sweet potatoes and spinach), potassium (such as tomatoes and bananas). Making sure your parent eats 9-10 servings a day will go a long way in better bone health. Since prep time can be overwhelming for your parent, either you or your home care provider can help by doing some prep after shopping so all your parent has to do when she is hungry is either create a quick salad or sauté up some vegetables with each meal. And having fruit as a snack is another great way for your parent to reach the daily servings goal.
Fortified Foods and Drinks
Look for drinks, cereal and snacks that are fortified with Vitamin D and Calcium to help increase the intake of these nutrients.
Helping your parent enjoy a balanced diet of fresh foods will be one step of helping her live with osteoporosis, and it will have other good health benefits as well. If this is a big change for your parent, it may take time to break old bad habits and pick up new good ones, but with continual encouragement and assistance from you and a caring senior care professional, your parent will be on the road to better health in no time.
If you or your loved one is looking for Senior Care in Los Gatos, CA, please call Familiar Surroundings Home Care.
Santa Clara County: (408) 979-9990
San Mateo County: (650) 353-9777
Santa Cruz County: (831) 480-3990