Nutrients from Foods Instead of Supplements – Naturopathic and Naturopathic Specialists Portal

Nutrients for strong bones and joints

If you want to keep your bones and joints as strong and healthy as possible, you need to provide your body with certain nutrients. An expert explains why it is better to get these substances from food and not from food supplements.

If you want to strengthen your bones and joints, it is best to get the nutrients you need from the right foods such as vegetables and not from supplements. (Image: igishevamaria /

Although there are more and more dietary supplements on the market which the manufacturers claim can provide you with important vitamins and minerals, such preparations (supplements) which contain the nutrients in isolated concentrated form should not be used. as a food substitute.

Essential nutrients for bone health

“I urge my patients to get their nutrients from food, that is, to consume lots of vegetables and fruits of different colors, healthy proteins, whole grain products, legumes, healthy fats and fruits. low-fat dairy products or milk substitutes ”, explains nutritionist Mira Ilic in a contribution from the famous Cleveland Clinic (USA).

A combination of several nutrients is necessary for optimal bone health, including calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K, and magnesium.

Cover Your Calcium Needs With Diet

The recommended calcium intake depends on age. According to the German Nutrition Society (DGE), adolescents aged 13 to 18 need calcium the most at 1,200 mg per day due to their rapid growth, followed by children aged 10 to 12 to 1 100 mg per day. The recommended calcium intake for adults is 1000 mg per day.

“If you can’t get that much from your food, try to get at least half of it,” Ilic says.

“If you get calcium from food, you also get other nutrients,” says the expert. In addition to calcium, milk and other dairy products also contain protein, magnesium, potassium, vitamins A, B, and other nutrients.

Other sources of calcium like spinach or broccoli are also full of other healthy ingredients. The intake of the important mineral must take place during the day, because the body cannot absorb too much of it at once.

People who are unable to meet their needs may consider supplementation, according to Ilic. However, this should only be done after consulting a doctor.

Vitamin D and K as well as magnesium

You can get vitamin D mainly from sun exposure. But diet also plays an important role. Food sources for this are dairy products and cold water fish (such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines). You only need a supplement if you are vitamin D deficient. This can be determined by a blood test.

Vitamin K is abundant in green leafy vegetables like kale. However, people who take blood thinning medications such as Marcurmar should be careful here. Kale contains high amounts of vitamin K, which helps the blood to clot and thus neutralizes drugs.

Magnesium is found in lentils, chickpeas, whole grains, and nuts.

Nutrients for healthy joints

When it comes to relieving joint pain, it is best to eat a variety of foods with anti-inflammatory properties. These include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and foods containing omega-3 fatty acids.

Cold water fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. While you can take a fish oil supplement, it’s best to eat fish, which also contains protein, vitamin D, and other nutrients.

Protein is essential for building muscle. You need strong muscles for healthy bones and joint support.

Medical advice before taking nutritional supplements

“If you eat a healthy, balanced diet, you should be able to get all of your nutrients from food,” Ilic explains.

However, there are groups of people who do not get enough of certain nutrients and supplements should be considered. These include people with absorption problems, pregnant women, and people with poor diet.

If you want to take a supplement, talk to your doctor first to make sure you choose the preparations you really need that don’t interact with the medication you’re taking, the expert warns. (a d)

Author and source information

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This text conforms to the requirements of specialized medical literature, medical directives and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.


Cleveland Clinic: Want strong bones and joints? Get Your Nutrients From Food, Not Supplements, (accessed October 6, 2020), Cleveland Clinic German Nutrition Society: Selected questions and answers about calcium, (accessed October 6, 2020), German Nutrition Society

Important note:
This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. It cannot replace a visit to the doctor.