Our bones need to develop as children and remain strong into adulthood. As we reach our 30s, we need to take care to keep our bones healthy as they slowly begin to decrease in density. In women, this process speeds up after menopause, but there are ways to slow it down.
One of the best lines of defense is your diet: Eating the right foods can give you maximum bone strength and density at any age.
Essential nutrients for healthy bones
The two main nutrients when it comes to healthy bones are calcium and vitamin D. Calcium supports the structure of bones and teeth, while vitamin D improves calcium absorption and bone growth.
- Yogurt: This is probably the only time we recommend regular yogurt over Greek yogurt, because it contains more calcium and vitamin D: 30% of the recommended daily value for calcium and 40% of the daily recommended value for vitamin D.
- Milk: adults up to age 50 need 1,000 milligrams a day. Starting at age 51, women need 1,200 milligrams every day, and by the time men reach 71, they should hit that mark as well. The pop star of calcium sources is, without a doubt, milk. A single 8-ounce glass of milk, whether skim, low-fat or whole, has 300 milligrams of calcium.
- Sardines: These little fish, often sold in cans, have surprisingly high levels of vitamin D and calcium. Eating 3 ounces of canned sardines provides slightly more calcium than a glass of milk. They are great in salads!
- Salmon: Salmon is rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, but a 3-ounce piece of this pink-fleshed fish contains more than 100% of your vitamin D. So, include it in your diet to keep your heart healthy. and healthy bones. . Fish oil supplements have also been shown to reduce bone loss in women and may help prevent osteoporosis.
- Cheese: This one should be enjoyed in moderation… Just because cheese is high in calcium doesn’t mean you should overeat it (gaining weight won’t help your joints!). Just 1.5 ounces (think data) of cheddar cheese contains over 30% of your daily value for calcium.
- Spinach: This vegetable is a great option if you don’t consume dairy products, because a cup of cooked spinach contains almost 25% of your daily calcium, as well as fiber, iron and vitamin A.
- Tuna: this fatty fish is a good source of vitamin D. Three ounces of canned tuna contains 154 IU, or about 39% of your daily allowance of the sunshine vitamin.
- Tofu: half glass tofu Fortified calcium contains over 400 milligrams of calcium. Soy milk is typically fortified with 300 milligrams of calcium per cup. Soy also has other bone-building benefits. New research suggests that plant-based chemicals called isoflavones strengthen bones.
- Dry fruits: Peanuts and almonds contain potassium, which protects against the loss of calcium in the urine. Nuts also contain protein and other nutrients that play a supportive role in building strong bones.