Your bones support your every move, and yet it’s easy to take them for granted. Your skeleton is a living tissue in constant need of replenishment. As early as age 25, you can start to lose more bone than you build, leading to progressively thinner, weaker bones as you grow older and raising your risk for osteoporosis, a disease characterized by brittle and breaking bones.
When it comes to building strong bones, there are two key nutrients: calcium and vitamin D. Calcium supports your bones and teeth structure, while vitamin D improves calcium absorption and bone growth.
Here are some foods you should make sure to include in your diet in order to keep your bones healthy.
Mushrooms have the ability to naturally produce Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. The amazing thing about mushrooms is that they can be cooked, baked or pan fried and turned into a wide variety of tasty and healthy dishes. You can find some great recipes online on various food blogs. If you include mushrooms in your meals 2-3 times a week, you can see your Vitamin D levels shoot up right away. Shitake mushrooms are considered the best source of Vitamin D among all mushrooms. In order to reap more benefits you can also sun dry the mushrooms before consumption.
There is a reason why your mother told you to drink a glass of milk every day when you were a child. Milk is a vital source of calcium as well as trace amounts of vitamin D. Research suggests that other dairy products like cheese and ice cream are also good alternatives but while they contain calcium, most do not have some vitamin D. If you are counting calories, you can choose a non-fat variety and still get 30% of your daily dose of calcium from one glass of milk.
Good news for breakfast lovers! Eggs are a quick and easy source of vitamin D, though you have to make sure you eat the eggs with the yolk (the yellow centre). Vitamin D is found in the yolk only, so if you tend to eat egg white omelets, make the switch for your bones.
4. Green Leafy Vegetables
While daily products are known as a popular way to strengthen bones, we rarely think of fruits and vegetables as being linked to bone health. Eating a diet high in fruits and green leafy vegetables (saag) such as kale, collard greens, spinach, mustard greens (sarson), turnip greens and brussel sprouts contributes to stronger bones. They are a great source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which can help fortify bones and maintain the muscles that support them.
5. Nuts and Seeds
Bones are made of far more than calcium; there are other minerals like potassium, magnesium and phosphorus, and a protein matrix that helps hold everything together. A deficiency of these three minerals in the diet has shown to induce osteoporosis. Nuts and seeds like walnuts, almonds, oats, and sunflower seeds, are a good source of essential minerals that help keep your bones healthy. A handful of nuts also makes for a delicious, healthy snack for those mid-morning pangs of hunger.
Still struggling with eating a well-balanced diet? Try taking a supplement such as Nutriplus Bonehealth. While it is recommend that you get your nutrients from foods, if you lack the time or talent to prepare wholesome meals, supplements may help fill the gap. And don’t forget to get out and get plenty of sunshine!