- by Manipal Hospitals
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- Feb 09 2017
Healthy Foods to Keep Your Bones Strong
Bones play a major role in protecting the internal organs, giving you the structure, and anchoring the muscles. They also serve as the stores for calcium. So, don’t you think they need to be strong enough to handle these wide varieties of responsibilities? And is it not your responsibility to build their strength?
Your bones undergo a continuous cycle of the breakdown of the old bone and the makeup of the new bone in place. They need bone mass reserves to keep this cycle uninterrupted and prevent the formation of osteoporosis. Certain foods can increase the bone mass you have in the bank, keeping them stronger every time the breakdown has occurred. This blog typically focuses on which foods can improve your bones strength. So, let’s take a look!
Calcium rich foods
A calcium deficit in your diet can diminish your bone density making them weaker and increasing the risk for fractures. A minimum of 1000 milligrams of calcium is required per day for adults below the age of 50, while in adults above the age of 50; the daily allowance is 1200 milligrams. So, include calcium in sufficient amounts in your diet. Below is the list of foods rich in calcium:
- Dairy products – Milk (adults benefit from drinking at least 2 glasses per day, while children more than 2 glasses); Cheese (a regular consumption of cheese even in small quantities will support your bones)
- Cereals such as ragi and jowar
- Pulses including soya, rajma, moong, chana and their sprouts.
Vitamin D and Magnesium
Taking calcium alone will not serve the purpose of calcium deficits in your body. True! Calcium needs Vitamin D and magnesium to carry it from blood to the sites of storage or action and retain calcium to build stronger bones.
Although our body can synthesize the vitamin D by itself, few people can still be deficient in this vital nutrient. If you think you are not getting exposed to the sun for at least 15 minutes each day, then you may have to rely on the alternate sources for adequate vitamin D.
Consuming the foods rich in vitamin D and magnesium can be one form of overcoming the deficit. The delicious foods for these nutrients are listed below:
- Fish – Salmon is the best fish to have for those who wish for stronger bones. It contains proteins called bioactive peptides and calcitonin, these are believed to increase collagen synthesis in human osteoarthritic cartilage. It’s a great food for improving your bone density and strength. So, include it in your weekly diet to improve your bone density
- Cheese – A good source of calcium, vitamin D and magnesium along with many other vital nutrients
- Fortified milk – Milk fortified with vitamin D is available for people deficient in the vitamin. Usually, each 8-ounce glass of this milk contains around 100 IUs of vitamin D
- Eggs are considered as one of the healthiest foods, it is heavily loaded with nutrients, and you can consume it in your breakfast or as a snack. Cereals are also on the top list for better bones.
- Dark leafy vegetables: Dark leafy greens have loads of calcium in them. So, it would be great if you make them one in your plate. You can choose your favorite greeny. Spinach, mustard greens, kale, broccoli, collard greens, etc.
- Soy: if you are allergic to dairy products you can have dairy-free products that are rich in calcium. A cup of soybeans contains 261 milligrams of calcium and 108 milligrams of magnesium.
- Almonds: These are the delicious nuts that contain 80 milligrams of calcium and 80 milligrams of magnesium per serving. So, you can add this nut into your food list for stronger bones.
In addition to the above, nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin K, potassium, phosphorous, riboflavin, and proteins are important for bone strength. Consuming foods such as spinach, tuna, yogurt, and sesame seeds, on a regular basis serves this purpose.
You must also know about the things that can affect your bone health, be cautious on these:
- Alcohol: Ok, it is not that you must quit it completely, but it is best for your bones to limit the intake of alcohol to not more than 2 drinks per day, if you are habituated.
- Tea or coffee: I know it is a good refresher but taking more than 3 cups of tea every day interferes with calcium absorptions and leads to bone loss.
- Soft drinks: Not all soft drinks but colas are associated with bone loss. This happens not because of the carbonation but it is due to the caffeine and phosphorous present in cola.
- Salt: we all know how important is salt to enhance the taste of any food we prepare. But at the same time you must not over use it. Eating too much of it can cause calcium loss and bone break breakdown. So, you must reduce processed food, fast foods, and any other food stuffs that are high in sodium. You can also try using herbs or spices to enhance the taste of food instead of adding more salt.
It is also equally important to know about the foods that degrade the bone health, because you would improve you bone health by consuming the recommended foods but at the same time you must also maintain the bone health. So, keep in mind not to eat or drink the foods that shows negative impact on the positive buildup.
It’s glad that you have taken an initiation to read through this blog. You have in fact made a great move in making your bones stronger than before. Be persistent; make the healthy foods a part of your regular diet and see the results yourself. The stronger your bones, the more you can enjoy running, jogging, twisting, stretching and so on…just like a child! So, be choosy in grabbing the stuff that enhances your bone strength.
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