We achieve our peak bone mass by the time we reach 30. If there’s not enough bone mass built during this period, there is a higher risk of getting bone fractures. Fortunately, changes in nutrition habits can make a difference.
Incorporating the following foods in your diet can help boost your bone health:
1. Dark, green leafy vegetables
Milk is usually the first thing that comes to mind when we talk about calcium. But did you know that you can also get them from your dark, leafy greens?
Dark leafy greens such as collard greens and kale are rich in calcium. A cup of boiled collard greens provides you with 268 mg of calcium. These greens are also rich in vitamin K which helps prevent osteoporosis.
2. Sweet potatoes
Calcium isn’t the only mineral that is vital for bone health. Potassium and magnesium are also needed.
Potassium neutralizes the acid in the body which can leach the calcium out of the bones while magnesium keeps the vitamin D balanced.
You can get both nutrients from sweet potatoes. A medium-sized baked sweet potato provides you with 31 mg of magnesium and 542 mg of potassium.
3. Fatty fish
Vitamin D is one of the essential vitamins for bone health. It promotes calcium absorption in the gut, maintains adequate levels of calcium and phosphate in the blood, and supports the process of bone remodeling.
There are only a few good food sources of vitamin D and one of them is fatty fish (e.g. salmon, tuna, mackerel).
Tofu isn’t only rich in calcium (half a cup of tofu contains 800 mg of calcium). It also has isoflavones, which help in warding off bone disease in women after menopause.
5. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits like orange and grapefruit are rich in vitamin C, which helps in preventing bone loss. A whole grapefruit has 91 mg of vitamin C while an orange has 83 mg.
When coupled with regular physical activity, a diet rich in whole foods, like the ones mentioned above, can keep your bones strong for long.