Food can be a lot more than just downright delicious. It’s nourishing our bodies to give them exactly what they need. Your diet can play a massive role in how your hair and skin look, your energy levels, and your bones. Fractures are the leading cause of death and disability in the elderly population, with 80% of those fractures caused by osteoporosis.
Your bones are constantly building new bone, but when you reach the age of 30, this process slows down. Everyone gradually begins to lose bone mass – some more than others. You’re first diagnosed with osteopenia when it reaches a low level, which can progress to osteoporosis. By adjusting your diet to include calcium and vitamin D packed foods and drinks, you can help build and strengthen bones.
Read on for the top 10 foods and drinks that will support your bones and wellness.
10 Foods & Drinks That Can Build & Strengthen Bones
1. Dairy Products
Dairy products, especially those fortified with vitamin D, are a great option if you’re looking to strengthen bones. Vitamin D is calcium’s sidekick, helping your body absorb its nutrients to get the benefits. Some dairy products that will give your bones a boost include:
2. Green Tea
Green tea isn’t necessarily packed full of calcium, but it has other bone-supporting properties that can be used to build and strengthen bones. It has antioxidants and other nutrients that reduce stress, which has been linked to the prevention of age-related bone loss. Green tea often contains fluoride, which helps slow the progression of osteoporosis.
3. Fatty Fish
As we mentioned earlier, vitamin D is crucial for calcium absorption in your body to get the ultimate benefits for your bones. For Canadians, it can be a bit tough to rely on the sun all year round to soak up vitamin D. Fish like salmon or mackerel are great for vitamin D, whereas sardines and tuna are sources of calcium.
4. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are a big umbrella of calcium-packed nutrients that allows you to choose from a variety of options. Whether you’re putting spinach in your smoothie or enjoying a salad mixed with kale for lunch, there are plenty of ways to add it to your diet.
Not only are they filled with calcium, but they also contain magnesium to support your bone health. Some of the best cruciferous veggies and leafy greens that will help you strengthen bones are:
- Turnip greens
Nuts are a powerhouse that will strengthen bones and give you other nutritional benefits. They have calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Magnesium, similar to vitamin D, helps your body absorb and retain calcium. Phosphorus is another vital part of your bone structure, with 85% of it found in your bones and teeth. The best nuts for your bone health are almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and pecans, with plenty more out there to choose from too.
1-2 tablespoons of seeds provide you with calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, just like nuts. They also have some other bonus nutrients – fibre and omega-3 fatty acids. These not only strengthen bones but support your brain and nervous system. If you aren’t sure where to start, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, and ground flax seeds are great options.
7. Almond Butter
If nuts and seeds are excellent sources of calcium and vitamin D, nut butter is the perfect pairing with your morning toast. Almond butter is a superfood full of protein, monounsaturated fats that are good for you and don’t have any cholesterol. To get the most out of it, have 1-2 tablespoons on a slice of whole-grain bread or a banana.
8. Green Juices
If you can’t stand to eat spinach in your meal, you may want to turn to a smoothie or green juices to get in your leafy vegetables. Green juice is also packed with vitamin C, which helps form collagen to assist in strengthening bones. You can even juice romaine lettuce, kale, collard greens, and cilantro.
Eggs are an excellent source of vitamin D, but you won’t want to skip out on the yolks. That’s where the nutrient is found. Eggs are versatile between scrambled, omelettes, hard-boiled and more. It’s not hard to add in some more vitamin D with your variety of eggs to choose from, which help your bones absorb calcium and phosphate.
10. Orange Juice
Drinking OJ with your morning breakfast can be beneficial for strengthening your bones. Most brands add nutrients like calcium and vitamin D to give it a boost. Check your grocery store for orange juice fortified with these added vitamins and minerals.
It can disrupt your day-to-day living when a fracture happens, whether due to excessive force or osteoporosis. The healing process can be frustrating while you wait to get back to everyday living. Along with a healthy diet, you can experience the relief of faster fracture healing by investing in a low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) device. It activates cell reproduction, protein expression, and enhances cellular behaviour at the fracture site. Learn more about how LIPUS heals non-union fractures by 86%.
Do you know if you get enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet? Which calcium-packed foods or drinks would you like more of in your diet? Share your comments with our readers that want to build healthy bones.
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