It’s a fact of growing older: Your bones simply aren’t as strong as they used to be.
And for many, that means reckoning with osteoporosis, the bone-thinning disease where your bones become as brittle and fragile as a china set.
After age 50, 1 in 3 women — and 1 in 5 men — breaks a bone because of osteoporosis.
And aside from laying you up for weeks, a fracture (especially a major one, like your hip) can even rob you of your independence… and send you into an early grave.
Now, I’ve shared with you before that beefing up your intake of calcium can increase your bone mineral density (BMD), a measure of your bone strength — and that can certainly help.
But according to the latest research, getting plenty of calcium is necessary, but it’s not enough on its own — you also need to take in plenty of PROTEIN!
In a new meta-analysis published in Osteoporosis International, researchers analyzed multiple studies on the relationship between protein intake and bone health.
They found that as people ate MORE protein, they experienced LESS bone loss and fracture risk — especially in their hip bones.
That is, as long as they also got enough calcium.
In fact, protein and calcium proved to be a dynamic duo that can up the bone-building hormones in your body.
Now, you may have heard some rumors swirling around that protein is actually harmful for your bones — the theory being that protein can raise “acid levels” in your blood that dissolve your bone tissue.
But in the study, the researchers found NO evidence that eating protein would do anything of the sort.
In fact, if you’re on the older side, chances are good that you’re eating too LITTLE protein… not too much!
So, to beef up your bones, try adding a little more meat to your diet.
Beef, chicken, fish, and pork are PACKED with protein that also holds your blood sugar steady.
And that’s important, too — because we know that those with diabetes are more prone to fractures that those without it.
Dairy is also an excellent choice, since yogurt, cheese, and other milk products are rich in both protein AND calcium.
Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or carnivore, you can also boost your protein intake by eating nuts and beans — because in the study, these plant-based protein sources proved equally as beneficial as animal sources.
And nuts like almonds — as well as green veggies like broccoli and leafy greens — are rich in the calcium you need, too.
The Paleo (a.k.a. “caveman”) diet is a delicious way to boost your intake of these bone-healthy foods — because you’ll be eating nutrient-dense meats, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, and seeds, along with fresh fruits and vegetables, rather than loading up on empty sugars.