Diet to strengthen bones: what foods to add?
With age, the reserves of calcium in our body are depleted. Since this element is one of the main components of the structure of bone tissue, it is necessary to maintain a sufficient level of its consumption throughout the day. What foods are rich in calcium and how to strengthen bones, you will learn in this article.
It is important to get calcium and vitamin D early in life
According to current guidelines, adults under 50 should consume at least 1 g of calcium and 0.005 mg of vitamin D daily. Adults over 50 should consume more: 1.2 g of calcium and 0.01-0.015 mg of vitamin D daily. By the way, there is no particular need to take any special supplements. Your diet may well cover the daily requirement. Even if there is a need to take supplements, then you can include in your diet foods rich in these nutrients (which will be discussed below). This can significantly reduce the number of supplements you take, which is important because whole foods are always more valuable than supplements.
Everyone knows that calcium is an essential mineral for bone growth and strength. However, you should also know that vitamin D has the same value. He, as noted above, helps the absorption of calcium. Without the proper amount of vitamin D, the body will not properly absorb calcium. What does it mean? It's simple: even if you are consuming the amount of calcium you need for your age, without taking enough vitamin D, calcium will not be absorbed properly. This nuisance is very easy to eliminate: vitamin D is found in many foods, so its intake into the body should not become a problem.
Vitamin D is naturally absorbed by the skin through sunlight. Just 20 minutes of sun exposure each day will provide you with enough of this nutrient. Fortunately, most calcium-rich foods also contain vitamin D, which makes it easier to consume these elements.
It is very important to ensure the intake of these nutrients in the early years of life, since it is at this stage of development that they are best absorbed. It used to be thought that the inclusion of vitamin D and calcium later in life did not bring any beneficial effects. However, more recent research has shown that these elements improve bone health at any age. Older people with osteoporosis who consume adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D can slow the progression of the disease, thus preventing pain and bone fractures.
The first thing that comes to mind when mentioning calcium-rich foods is milk. It is one of the main sources of this element. 250 ml of milk can safely provide 300 mg of calcium.
Sardines contain even more calcium and vitamin D than dairy products. Just 90 grams of canned sardines will provide more than one glass of milk with calcium. Sardines are a very affordable product. For variety, you can add them to salads, pasta, or sauces.
Dark leafy greens are rich in calcium. They are easy to incorporate into your diet as they can be eaten raw or cooked. They can be a great addition to salads. Moreover, these vegetables contain significant amounts of fiber, iron and vitamin A. The richest in calcium are spinach, Chinese cabbage, cabbage and kale. One cup of cooked spinach will cover 1/4 of your daily calcium requirement.
Fortified foods are foods that are high in vitamin D and calcium. It is a good choice for people who do not meet their needs with a whole food intake. These foods may include fortified cereals, pasta, and dairy alternatives such as almonds, soy, and milk-based rice porridge. Many manufacturers enrich orange juices with calcium and vitamin D, since orange juices do not contain these elements. The ascorbic acid in orange juice can aid in calcium absorption.
First of all, you can strengthen your bones and improve their condition through proper nutrition. It is very important that you have sufficient calcium and vitamin D in your diet. Calcium helps maintain bone growth and strength, as well as healthy tooth structure. Vitamin D improves calcium absorption and with it improves overall bone growth.
Recommendations for calcium and vitamin D intake
Depending on age and specific needs, one glass of milk can cover 1/3 of your daily calcium requirement. What is important is that milk is not the only source of this element. It is also found in yogurt and cheese, which is good for people who don't drink milk. One glass of yogurt or one ounce of Swiss cheese contains as much calcium as one glass of milk.
Bean curd and other soy-containing foods are also good sources of calcium. Half a cup of bean curd contains over 800 mg of this element. What's more, soy-containing foods contain estrogen-like isoflavones that improve bone strength.
Salmon, tuna, and other fatty fish will increase bone strength. In addition to their vitamin D and calcium content, they are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
While not all seeds and nuts are rich in calcium, they should also be consumed as they help improve bone health in a different way. Nuts and seeds, in particular walnuts and flaxseeds, are rich in potassium, which prevents calcium from being excreted in urine. Most nuts are also rich in protein, which also has beneficial effects on bone strength.