Bone health

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Healthy lifestyle choices can help us to look after our bones.

It's not just about what we eat! So, how can vegans follow guidelines about protecting bone health?

How to look after your bones

It’s not all about calcium! Although this mineral plays an important role in keeping your bones strong, many factors are involved. Eating a well-planned vegan diet will help you to meet your requirements for other nutrients needed for bone health, including vitamin K and protein. Staying active will also help you to look after your bones.

If you are aged 65 or over, it is recommended that you get a bit more protein from your diet, as well as enjoying a variety of daily activities. You can find out more by taking a look at our tips for older vegans.

Compare your diet to the healthy eating guidelines available in our nutrition overview.

Calcium and vitamin D

These nutrients work together to keep your bones strong.

Vitamin D helps your body to absorb calcium from your diet. In the UK, supplementation is recommended from October to March as a minimum.

If your diet is low in calcium, your body will remove it from your bones and use it to maintain the level of calcium in your blood.

Calcium-fortified foods like milk and yoghurt alternatives play an important role in helping vegans to consume plenty of calcium with good absorbability.

Keep active

Do you know how your level of activity compares to official recommendations? Regular weight-bearing activity with impact is thought to be important for bone health, such as star jumps, jogging, skipping or dancing. Muscle strengthening activity is also thought to be beneficial, such as yoga and exercises that involve using weights, resistance bands or your own body weight.

Keep your bones strong by including weight-bearing activities with impact and muscle strengthening in your routine.

Know your body mass index

Generally, you are more likely to break a bone if your body mass index (BMI) is low. This is because there is less cushioning around your hips and you are more likely to have less bone tissue. Use this calculator to work out your BMI.

Maintaining or working towards a healthy weight will help you to look after your bones.

Further information

  • Vegan and Thriving recipes, including options tagged with ‘Contains rich calcium source’.
  • If you are an athletic vegan, check out our tips about fuelling an active lifestyle.
  • Check out our meal planning tips. These are not just for people transitioning to a vegan diet. If you are a seasoned vegan, they can help you to ensure that your nutrition is on track.

These are general guidelines about nutrition. If you have concerns about your diet, please talk to your doctor about seeing a dietitian.

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