Protein Intake for Healthy Bones | Fragile Bones

Nutritional Advice


Protein is important for maintaining muscles and strength, reducing the risk of falls and fractures. Happily, just two servings of protein-rich foods will meet the daily requirements of most adults.1 But how big is a portion?
Various protein rich food items

Protein serving sizes:1,2

½ cup of beans or pulses, 2 eggs, 2 tbsp nut butter, 1 cup yoghurt, 49 pistachios, 85 pumpkin seeds, 7 whole walnuts, 23 whole almonds, ½ cup quinoa, 1 chicken fillet, 1 salmon cutlet, 2 small pork chops (fat removed), 1 piece of steak (size of your palm)

The following are good sources of bone boosting nutrients:1,3

Image of green vegetables rich in Vitamin K

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is essential for the body to utilise the calcium stored in bones and teeth. It can be found naturally in leafy green vegetables, like spinach, cabbage and kale, as well as in liver and dried fruit.

Beans and green vegetables that are rich in magnesium


Magnesium helps to activate vitamin D which helps your body to fully absorb calcium. Green vegetables, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds and fish all contain magnesium.

Red meat and poultry items rich in Zinc


Zinc is crucial for helping vitamin D build bones. It can be found naturally in lean red meat, poultry, whole grain cereals, peas, beans and lentils.

Image of vegetables and carrots rich in Vitamin A

Vitamin A

Vitamin A plays a vital role in the development of osteoblasts, the bone-building cells that lay down new bone. Many vegetables, including in leafy green vegetables, carrots and red peppers, contain vitamin A.

In more detail

Protein makes up a third of your bone mass, making it the most abundant structural macronutrient (calcium is the most abundant micronutrient). Studies show that protein, and plant protein in particular, can have a positive impact on bone health by increasing muscle mass and increasing calcium absorption. This means it is almost as important as calcium for a healthy and bone-friendly diet.4 Plant protein-rich foods, such as peas, beans and lentils are also good for your overall health. They contain a lot of fibre, which is useful for your digestive system, and they are good for your heart.1