According to recent statistics, over 55% of people above the age of 50 have osteoporosis, and about 34 million people have osteopenia (low bone density) or a BMD between -1.0 and -2.5. To fulfill your body’s requirement, calcium is reabsorbed from the bones which makes them weak and increases the risk of osteoporosis.
Stats also reveal that 200 million women worldwide suffer from osteoporosis. One in three women over the age 50 will experience skeletal fragility and you just can’t underestimate the importance of a bone healthy diet. Similarly, eating the wrong food can drain the nutrients out of your bones. In fact, excess intake of salt can speed up bone deterioration.
Linda K. Massey, Ph.D., RD, a professor of human nutrition at Washington State University, Spokane, claimed that the increased salt content in the American diet is one reason calcium requirements are so high.
Strengthening bones is always a good idea, and this is why having a bone-friendly calcium-rich diet from the start is a good practice. The following are some bone building foods you must include in your diet.
We have been told all our lives that milk is a nutrient powerhouse and it is rich in calcium. The daily intake of calcium per day is about 1500 milligrams.
Morning is the best time to give your body a boost of calcium. Consuming milk in the breakfast is one of the best ways to get calcium in your body. You get 300 mg of calcium in a cup of 250 ml of milk. It has many other essential nutrients (such as protein, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin B12 and vitamin K) which provide potential health benefits to your bone.
If you don’t like to drink milk, try taking it with some other food through desserts or smoothies.
2. Sweet potato
Apart from calcium and vitamin D, two other nutrients that help in strengthening your bones are magnesium and potassium. Magnesium balances vitamin D in your body which helps in maintaining your bone health, while, potassium neutralizes acid in your body, that can drain calcium out of your bones. To give your body these two nutrients, eat a baked sweet potato with no salt (excess salt can weaken your bone density), which has 31 mg of magnesium and 542 mg of potassium.
3. Green vegetables containing vitamin K
Besides the favorable benefits of calcium and vitamin D on your skeletal health, vitamin K is also an essential nutrient that helps in the development of your bones.
According to a research, it has been found that Vitamin K helps in improving bone quality, which help can reduce the risk of fractures. It is also found that vitamin K might prevent osteoarthritis.
Dark green leafy vegetables are a good source of vitamin K. These include spinach, kale, broccoli, collard green, turnip greens, watercress, and asparagus.
Reminder: Don’t forget to fulfill the daily requirement (90 micrograms for women and 120 micrograms for men) of vitamin K.
4. Eat salmon and fatty fish
Make fatty fish you best friend. Well, salmon and other types of fatty fish are rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids and are beneficial for your skeletal health. They are also rich in vitamin D, which helps in the absorption of calcium in your body and other potent antioxidants which are beneficial for your body. A 4-ounce salmon contains around 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D, whereas, 3-ounces has 197 milligrams of calcium.
Almond contains plenty of minerals including potassium, proteins, calcium, magnesium, fiber, etc. All of these minerals boost your bone health. Almonds help in preventing the risk of osteoporosis, bone fracture, and thus play a vital role in building better bones.
You can add almond in your diet by many ways. Follow these ideas from dietitians to add almonds to your diet. Here is the list:
Put slivered almonds in oatmeal and yogurt.
Add slivered almonds to your salad for an extra boost of nutrients.
Use crushed almonds or herb infused almond flour for a gluten-free crust for lean meat.
6. Dried Plum
Do you know dried plum (also known as Prune) can strengthen your bones? Research has found that eating 5 to 6 medium-sized dried plums every day can help to stabilize your bones, prevent bone loss and amplify your bone density. It is rich in fiber, vitamin C, and alkaline properties.
Do you know fig is also a rich source of calcium, besides milk? Five medium figs contain 90 mg of calcium and other nutrients like fiber, magnesium, and potassium. These are good for skeletal health. You can eat them in fresh form or in dried form (dried fig contains 121 milligrams of calcium).