Healthy and strong bones are essential for overall wellbeing and associated with physical strength and stamina. In childhood when bones are in development stage it will absorb vital nutrients like calcium and protein for optimum growth and development. In adulthood your bones would be strongest and as you approach mid age, your bones will start thin out that will cause multiple medical conditions related to bones. Especially in women bone strength will get drastically weaken after menopause. Weak and poor bone health will invite diseases like osteoporosis and other bone density related problems. To avoid any damage to your bones in middle age you should balance your diet in a way that your bones get all the nutrients and food to keep away any bone disease and keep the good bone density.
Calcium for Strong Bones
Calcium is foundation of real bone strength. Men and Women until their middle age will need 1000 milligrams of calcium per day and after middle age this requirement of calcium would go up to 1200 milligrams per day. To meet these requirements of your bones you should take calcium enriched foods in your diet. The simplest way to add calcium to your body is to drink milk. Milk is one of the best and natural sources of calcium. To meet the daily need of you bones you should take 1 liter of milk per day. If you are not able to drink this amount of milk per day then having calcium supplements is the easier choice for you. But you should take care of your overall calcium intake; if you are getting enough calcium from food then you will not need to take calcium supplements. Calcium supplements are only for people who are not getting enough calcium from food. But you should also watch out for excess intake of calcium. Having more than 2000 milligrams of calcium per day will not give you much benefit but some disease like kidney stones. For best absorption of calcium you should take calcium in small amounts and multiple times.
Nuts for Healthier Bones
Apart from Calcium your bones will need omega-3 fatty acids and potassium for healthier bones. Walnuts and flaxseeds are enriched with omega-3 fatty acids while peanuts and almonds contain potassium which will protect your body from losing calcium via urine. Nuts also provide protein and other nutrients which are supporting factors for strong and healthy bones.
Apart from Calcium, your bone will need a chemical called isoflavones for better bone density. Isoflavones can be found in soy foods such as tofu. Soy foods are also helpful in fighting bone disease in middle aged women.
Yogurt & Cheese
If you have milk allergy then you have other alternatives which are enriched with calcium which are yogurt and cheese. Yogurt has several health benefits other than healthy bones.. You can find the same amount of calcium in one cup of milk and one cup of yogurt while 1 ounce of cheese will have the equal amount of calcium.
Only milk and calcium supplements are not the only source of calcium, but calcium can be also found in green vegetables. Some green vegetables like sok choy, cabbage and kale contain lots of calcium.
Apart from milk, there is one more source of calcium is sardines. These little fish bones have got all the nutrients which will help you to build up bone density, bone strength and overall bone health. Having 3 ounces of canned sardines will give your more calcium compared to a cup of milk or yogurt.
Salmon is a kind of fatty fish that will give you various nutrients which are required for healthy bones. It will give you calcium that will enhance your bone strength and density and vitamin D will boost calcium absorption. Salmon will also give your omega-3 fatty acids. If you are not eating fish then you can try out Fish oil supplements that will help you to keep your bone healthy and prevent bone loss in elderly women. It will also help you to prevent disease like osteoporosis.
Apart from dairy products, sardines and leafy green vegetables you should also consider fortified foods for healthier bones. Fortified foods are the products which don’t contain calcium but have been enhanced with essential minerals. Fortified orange juice and fortified cereals will give you equal amount of calcium compared to milk and yogurt.
When we are talking about bone health and strength, we can’t ignore sun light. Sun light is very important for bone health and overall development. Sunlight will help your body to produce vitamin D which is very much required for bone strength and help your bones to absorb calcium.
Controlled Intake of Salt
Salt is indirectly damaging factor for bone health because it will throw away calcium via urine. So, the more salt you consume, more calcium will be carried away by urine. Hence, better choice is to stick to low salt diet.
Only consuming bone friendly food is not enough for strong bones, you have to do constant physical exercise to keep your bones healthy. So you should do enough exercise by lifting some weight to stress your bones. Some physical activities like walking, swimming, yoga, dancing will give more benefits to your bones.
The best policy to keep your bones healthy is to eat the right food in right amount and avoid any foods which are hampering bone health supported by regular physical activities.