She broke her hip, ended up in a nursing home, and never came out again.

It’s a devastating story we’ve all heard before. But once you reach a certain age, it can quickly go from a sad tale to a frightening one. Because when you enter your golden years you start to fear that it could one day be your own story.

Let’s face it; there are few things as frightening as the prospect of losing your independence. And while I don’t want to scare you even more, I must admit that the fear is justified. In the US alone, over 300,000 of us a year will fall victim to that bane of graceful aging, a hip fracture.

But “break-proofing” your bones is probably much easier than you think. And while there aren’t, of course, any guarantees that you’ll never suffer from a painful and debilitating hip fracture, a few common supplements could go a long way towards making it highly unlikely.

Now if I were to ask you what vitamins you should take for bone health, I bet you would respond with “calcium.” And you would be absolutely right. There’s no question that bone-friendly calcium should be in your “break-proofing” kit. But there are a couple of other nutrients that are essential for bone-health that you might not be aware of.

To give your bones everything they need, you should make sure you’re getting enough of these four key nutrients…

  1. Calcium
  2. Vitamin D
  3. Vitamin K
  4. Magnesium

Raising your levels of these nutrients by choosing the right foods is an excellent first step. Then, rounding them out with supplements can complete the picture.

You can up your calcium intake by eating more canned sardines and salmon, both of which have soft calcium rich bones. And dairy products are another good choice.

Fish is also a great food to turn to when you want to raise you vitamin D levels. Both the flesh and oil of fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and swordfish are naturally rich in D. Egg yolks, and beef will also provide some D. And don’t forget to spend a little time out in the sunshine every day for another natural boost of this vital vitamin.

Vitamin K is often overlooked when it comes to bone health, but it’s an important player in keeping your bones healthy.  K can be found in leafy greens like kale and spinach, broccoli, asparagus, avocados, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, olive oil, meat, egg yolk, yogurt and green tea.

We already knew that the final nutrient in that “break-proofing” kit of yours, magnesium, was a bone-health hero. But a new study out of Norway drives the point home.

Norway has MORE than their fair share of hip fractures every year, and researchers wanted to know why. It turns out that the water in certain regions of Norway is super low in magnesium, and in those areas hip fractures tend to sky-rocket.

To raise your own magnesium levels, eat more pumpkin seeds, spinach, Swiss chard, sesame seeds, black beans, quinoa, cashews, and sunflower seeds.