11 Foods For Your Bones

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Foods Rich in Calcium1. Green Leafy vegetables

Green leafy vegetables pack a punch when it comes to fulfilling your daily nutritional needs.  Other than the all important fiber that these greens add to your diet, they are also filled with vitamins (like Vitamin K and Vitamin C) and minerals that are important for bone health.
One cup of cooked collard greens will give you 350 mg of calcium or 35% of your daily calcium needs.

2. Citrus Fruits

Vitamin C has been shown to help prevent bone loss and citrus fruits are an excellent source of Vitamin C.  Along with Vitamin C, most citrus fuits also come with a fair amount of magnesium and potassium and other vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function properly.  Oranges, limes, grapefruit and lemons are just some of the popular varieties of citrus  fruits.

3. Fatty Fish

Fatty fish like sardines are a rich source Vitamin D, a mineral which most people are deficient in.  Vitamin D is essential for bone health as it aids in the absorption of calcium.  Canned sardines or salmon are conveniently obtained in supermarkets and are an easy way to add more calcium to your diet.

4. Sweet Potato

Magnesium and Potassium are important minerals for bone health and you can find both in the humble sweet potato. Enjoy them steamed, boiled, cubed or mashed, sweet potatoes are a great food to include in your diet to stronger bones.

5. Figs

Figs which can be enjoyed fresh during summer or fall or dried throughout the year are a good source of calcium, potassium and magnesium, all of which are important minerals for buiding strong bones.  So the next time you are having a handful of nuts, trying adding a fig or two.

6. Almonds

Sometimes duped the “wonder nut”, almonds are rich in calcium, phosphorus and magnesium,  some of the crucial nutirents for maintaining stong bones and teeth.  Peanuts and Brazil nuts can also add a boost to the calcium in your diet.

7. Plant based Milk

Vegan or simply not into dairy? Plant based milk may just  surprise you with its lists of  health benefits.   Soy milk which often comes fortified with Vitamin D and calcium is a good substitute to cow’s milk as it is also the most protein rich of all the plant milks.  Almond milk is also a good source of calcium.

8. Soyabean products like Tofu

Studies have shown that absorption rates of calcium from soyabeans and dairy products are comparable. Hlaf a cup of calcium enriched tofu contains more than 400 miligrms of calcium.

9. Calcium fortified juices

It is common to now find orange juice that comes fortified with calcium.  Add a glass of orange to your breakfast repertoire to give your bones a boost.

10. Prunes

Research seems to indicate that prunes which have a high concentration of polyphenols have been found to prevent and even reverse bone loss. In a randomized non-blinded comparative study, researchers found that consumption of dried plums (prunes) “significantly increased the bone mineral density of ulna and spine” in comparison with dried apple.  
(Reference Hooshmand S, Chai SC, Saadat RL, Payton ME, Brummel-Smith K, Arjmandi BH. Comparative effects of dried plum and dried apple on bone in postmenopausal women. Br J Nutr. 2011 Sep;106(6):923-930.)

11. Molasses

The next time you need a sweetener, try molasses instead of sugar or honey.  Molasses which is considered a healthier alternative to refined sugars is formed as a byproduct of the sugar making process.  One tablespoonful of it will give you about 41 mg of calcium.  However, do remember that as it is also very high in sugar, one is not advised to consume molasses just for the nutrients but only as an alternative to other refined sugars.

Further Reading

The article above is meant to provide general information and does not replace a doctor's consultation.
Please see your doctor for professional advice.