Bone Health: Foods to Eat For Stronger Bones
Include these foods in your diet to make your bones stronger.
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Bones are often the most ignored part of the body though they are its base and form the structure of it. Diet and exercise together can make the bones stronger but the right foods can help them maintain their strength.
Bones help you move and stay upright, besides protecting your delicate internal organs. According to NIH, bones are responsible for supplying minerals like calcium and phosphorus to the body in times of need.
Around the age of 40, bone structures begin to lose mass as the body stops replacing old bone (American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons). The gradual loss of bone mass can affect your ability to move and increases your risk of developing osteoporosis.
Therefore, here is a list of foods that will help build and protect healthy bones.
Dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese are utterly important when it comes to bone health. According to US NIH, dairy products are rich in calcium, the main nutrient responsible for bone strength and structure.
You can enjoy a cup of fat-free milk or plain non-fat yogurt for beneficial effects. These options of low fat are best for people who are trying to lose weight and it is a personal choice.
Fat-containing products help maintain the levels of fat-soluble nutrients like vitamin A and vitamin D.
Nuts are another source of strong bones due to the presence of calcium, but two other nutrients: magnesium and phosphorus are equally important for bone health.
According to PubMed, magnesium helps absorb and retain calcium in the bones while phosphorus is a key component of bones. 85 percent of the phosphorus content in your body is found in your bones and teeth.
The various options among nuts include walnuts, peanuts, and pecans but research proves that almonds are the best option.
Like nuts, seeds are also rich in calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, seeds contain fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid. It helps lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation and helps brain and nervous system run smoothly.
The seeds with maximum benefits include chia seeds, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds. Sesame seeds are an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus (USDA).
Maintaining strong bone health is another reason to eat your greens. Cruciferous and leafy green vegetables contain several nutrients like vitamin K and calcium to support bone health.
Vitamin K works with calcium to assist the body in building healthy bones. Moreover, a lack of vitamin K has been associated with osteoporosis and fractures. Cruciferous veggies that you can include in your diet are spinach, turnip greens, kale, cabbage, and broccoli.
You can consume these leafy green vegetables in soups, salads, etc. They are also a good source of bone-friendly vitamin A.
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that can help the body absorb vitamin D. Though diet alone can't provide enough vitamin D, fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and rainbow trout can make a huge difference.
Vitamin D, also known as "sunshine vitamin" is a fat-soluble nutrient that is essential for bone growth and remodeling (PubMed). It also helps the gut absorb calcium.
Research proves that some sun exposure triggers vitamin D production but limits the exposure to the sun depending on the weather and location since it can increase your risk of skin cancer.
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