Maintaining strong bones is a must. You wouldn’t want to break a brittle bone later on in your life. Moreover, the risk of weak bones is not limited to this concern only. Unhealthy bones amp up the risk of other bone-related concerns including osteoporosis and rickets. The former is a serious health concern. Already 44 million women in the US are victims of low bone mass or osteoporosis.
One measure to cut down the risk of developing bone-related health concerns and promoting good bone health is maintaining a healthy diet. A nutritious meal plan from an early age can always save your future and keep your bones strong.
Critical nutrients for strong bones
Healthy diet helps improve bone mass and maintain strong bones. It is an effective measure for keeping brittle bones at bay. In this regard, you need to make sure that you include calcium and vitamin D in your diet.
Calcium is an all-important element for the strengthen of your bones. However, it is entirely useless if there is no vitamin D to accompany the intake of calcium. This is because the vitamin is crucial for the absorption of calcium in the bones. Without vitamin D, your body is unable to use calcium.
Some simple food sources of calcium include dairy foods like milk and cheese, green leafy vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, and okra. Other sources entail soya drinks, soya beans, tofu, nuts, and fish like sardines. Bread is also a potent source of calcium and anything that is made with fortified flour.
In the case of vegans, some essential food items for getting the needed amount of calcium are calcium-set tofu, pulses, white and brown bread, tahini and sesame seeds, and dried fruits such as prune, dried apricot, raisins, figs, and prunes. Additionally, fortified rice, soya, and oat drinks are also calcium-enriched sources.
On the other hand, you can get your supply of vitamin D via eggs, fortified fat spreads and breakfast cereals, oily fishes like sardines, mackerel, and salmon, and certain powdered milks. Over and above, exposure to the sunlight is also gives you a good amount of vitamin D. This is a useful vitamin D source for vegans in addition to vitamin D supplements.
In addition to this nutrient profile, you need to make sure that your intake of vitamin A is limited. Certain studies link osteoporosis with excess vitamin A. Therefore, people who eat liver regularly are advised to limit its use to once in a week. In the case of vitamins and minerals, it is always wise to ensure that there isn’t any insufficiency or excess as both the concerns can culminate in health problems.
Lastly, limit your intake of foods that are rich in sodium. Salty foods contain a lot of sodium that promotes the body to lose calcium. This leads to subsequent bone loss. Hence, it is wise to restrict your intake of canned foods and processed foods. Over and above that, limit the salt addition to your foods.
Foods that help you improve bone health
Here is a look at foods that help you enhance your bone health:
Nuts are a good means to improve bone health. You can try to include brazil nuts, walnuts, and other foods to your diet. Walnuts are substantial source of omega-3 fatty acids and alpha linolenic acid that bring down the rate of bone breakdown. Research also assists in maintain bone formation constant.
At the same time, brazil nuts are rich in magnesium. Other food items that boast a high content of alpha linolenic acid are ground flaxseeds, soybean oil, flaxseed oil, and canola oil. You can sprinkle a few of these on your snack. Keep your nuts intake limited as these are high calorie and high fat. So, maintain a daily serving of one ounce which is nearly a quarter cup.
Beans are packed with magnesium, calcium, and fiber that are all important for good bone health. These are also high in substances like phytates, which interfere with the body’s capability of absorbing calcium present in beans. You can combat that by soaking the beans in water, which will be help lessen the phytate marker. Just keep the beans soaked for numerous hours before cooking in fresh water.
- Leafy greens
Salads are rich in bone-building nutrients, specifically, magnesium, calcium, and vitamin K. Vitamin K is essential for making bone proteins. It is also useful for preventing loss of calcium in urine. Research indicates that decline amounts of this vitamin correlate with a multiplied risk of hip fractures.
You can simply have half a cup of cooked greens that provide the recommended consumption of 90 micrograms daily. Other ways to include leafy greens in your diet include adding lettuce to your burgers and sandwiches. Adding spinach leaves in homemade lasagna or having Swiss chard in dinner.
It is vital to add high protein foods including means to your diet for good bone health. People who do not have enough meat in their diet can risk unhealthy bones. It is, however, important to remember that multiple protein and meat servings with each meal can encourage the body to lose calcium.
Eggs are a quick and effective sources of vitamin D. They can provide 6% of daily vitamin D dose. The main treasure of vitamin D is the yolk though.
Your bones are largely made of calcium. However, other minerals such as magnesium play an essential role. Low levels of magnesium are associated with calcium loss and fragile bones. In this context, seeds are good sources of magnesium. You can try pumpkin seeds in this regard.
- Fortified cereal
Some breakfast cereals are more than just sugar and empty calories. These are loaded with whole grains that provide 25% of the daily vitamin D supply. Always read the food label to learn if the breakfast cereal contains nutrients that sport joint and bone health.
- Orange juice
Fresh orange juice does not contain vitamin D or calcium. But it is fortified to contain these elements. You will have to check food label to see if your juice is packed with these nutrients. Studies also highlight that ascorbic acid present in the orange juice helps with calcium absorption. Don’t overdo the intake of this juice though as it is high in calories. It also increases blood sugar promptly so keep monitor the consumption carefully.
- Sardines and tuna
Sardines are a rich source of omega-3s, calcium, vitamin D, and other nutrients that support good joint and bone health. You can get these cans. Cook to eat them directly or add to your salads or pastas.
Tuna is also an enriched with vitamin D. Three ounces of canned tuna are packed with 154 IU, which is about 39% of the RDA of vitamin D.
In addition to tuna and sardines, salmon is a good source of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. You can have it a couple of times in a week for optimal bone health. On a side note, omega-3s are good for boosting your brain health.
Dairy items such as cheese and milk are good sources of calcium that promotes good bone health. You can also strengthen your bones by adding beans, leafy green veggies, orange juice, fortified cereal, and fishes like tuna, salmon, and sardines to your diet