Food plays an important part in your overall health. Your diet can affect everything from your blood pressure to the way your organs function. But you may not be aware that what you eat can even affect your bone density. This is particularly important for women in middle age. As women age, they lose bone density and are at a higher risk for osteoporosis, a disease that causes bones to become porous and brittle. However, taking care of bones is something that everyone should prioritize. Your diet is the best place to start. So, what are the best foods to eat to support bone improvement?
1. Dairy Products
You probably remember being a child and hearing your parents tell you to drink your milk. It turns out that they were right. Dairy products are full of calcium, which is vital for building strong, healthy bones. You can get your daily calcium intake from any kind of dairy product, including milk, cheese, and yogurt. Dairy products are a versatile and delicious way to add calcium into your diet, making them the perfect choice to help build up your bones.
2. Leafy Green Vegetables
Leafy green vegetables are another good choice for upping your calcium intake. They contain high levels of calcium as well as other vitamins and minerals that are essential to health. Good choices for leafy green vegetables include broccoli, okra, and cabbage, among others. However, there is one leafy green vegetable that you should avoid if you are trying to build up your bones: spinach. Although spinach, like other leafy greens, is full of calcium, it also contains high levels of oxalic acid. This blocks calcium absorption, making it a less efficient way to increase your calcium intake.
Soy may not be as popular a diet choice, but it is an excellent way to increase your calcium intake. You can eat soy in many different forms, including sprouts, beans, and tofu. Tofu is also a highly versatile food, which means that you can cook it in a lot of different ways. Many people find that they do not enjoy the taste or texture of tofu on its own, but they like it when combined in other recipes such as salads or stir frys.
4. Fish with Bones
When you eat most kinds of fish, you need to be careful to avoid swallowing any bones. However, there are also some kinds of fish that are intended to be consumed whole, bones included. Some examples include sardines, anchovies, and pilchard. If you enjoy eating fish, make it a priority to have it on the menu regularly. These small boned fish are a great source of vitamins and minerals that increase bone density and improve bone health.
5. Fortified Bread and Other Foods
Though they are not the ideal when it comes to a healthy diet, you can get sufficient amounts of calcium and vitamin D through fortified foods like bread, rolls, and cereals. Many commercially produced grain products are fortified with vitamins and minerals, which is good news for people who are looking to improve their bone health. Although a well-balanced diet includes fruits, grains, vegetables, and protein, you can also up your calcium and vitamin D intake by eating grain products with an extra boost.
Your diet can drastically affect every aspect of your health, including your bone strength and density. If you are looking to improve your bone health, add some of these foods into your daily diet. Taking better care of your bones can be as easy as adjusting your weekly menu to make a few changes.