Food

Top 10 Superfoods for Strong Bones

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Healthy bones are vital for your health, as it is these which give structure to your body, protects internal organs and anchors muscles. In addition, strong bones are essential for having  good posture, balance and strength. However, the key to strong bones are two key nutrients – calcium and vitamin D. Calcium helps support your bones and teeth, whereas vitamin D improves calcium absorption and bone growth. Moreover, magnesium, potassium, beta-carotene and protein are among the other beneficial nutrients required for strong bones. All these nutrients can also help reduce the chance of osteoporosis, weak joints, inflammation, arthritis and other bone related health problems. So if your bones aren’t as strong as they used to be and you want to intensify the strength of them, then stock up on these 10 superfoods for strong bones…

1. Milk

superfoods for strong bones

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Calcium is the most essential element for strong bones and milk is most definitely the best source of get it from. Milk is loaded with nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, riboflavin, phosphorus and vitamins D and B12, which are vital for strong and healthy bones. It is recommended for adults to drink two glasses of milk a day.

2. Cheese

Cheese is filled with lots of calcium as well as the same nutrients found in milk. However, cheese also contains vitamins A and B12. Although cheese is full of calcium, it should be consumed in moderation, as it can be quite fattening. Around 1.5 ounces of cheddar cheese contains more than 30% of your daily value of calcium – so nibble away.

3. Yogurt

Consumption of a serving of yogurt a day is a great way to get your daily intake of calcium. With its high nutrient content such as calcium, vitamins A, D and B12, it also contains probiotics which studies have shown to promote gut health. If you’re not a fan of regular yogurt, try opting for a Greek yogurt. This contains less calcium and also has a higher protein content – so you can feel fuller for longer.  

4. Tofu

Tofu is a versatile and highly nutritious food which is rich in protein, iron and other bone healthy minerals such as manganese, selenium and phosphorus. Tofu and soy milk, whether they’re fortified with extra calcium or not are still excellent source of non-dairy calcium. This is due to tofu comprising of plant-based chemicals called isoflavones, which are important to promote healthy and strong bones. Tofu is great for those that are lactose intolerant and are unable to consume dairy products. In fact one cup of firm tofu contains 832 mg of calcium, compared to 304 mg of calcium in a cup of regular milk. So the verdict? Stock up on loads of tofu!

5. Salmon

superfoods for strong bones

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Fatty fish such as salmon and sardines are great for our health, due to its heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acid content. Fatty fish have also been linked to supporting skeletal health, as well as being an excellent source of protein. However, salmon is rich in vitamin D which improves calcium absorption and bone health. While it is possible to get vitamin D from sunlight, almost half Americans are deficient in this vitamin. So salmon is a great food to get your teeth sunk into, as a 4 ounce serving of cooked salmon contains around 600 international units of vitamin D – which is the recommended intake for adults under the age 70.

6. Nuts

Nuts are known for being very small yet being packed with all those essential vitamins, minerals and healthy fats – oh and they are also great for healthy and strong bones! So what nuts are good for our bones?

Almonds – These are a great source of mineral magnesium, providing 20% of the recommended intake and are also the only nuts to provide a source of calcium.

Walnuts – Walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 fats which helps to preserve and strengthen bones.

Pistachios – Pistachios are a very popular choice of nuts people consume – usually due to their eccentric taste. However, these nuts are high in magnesium, potassium and vitamin B6.

In fact, research has shown potassium to help maintain good bone density, vitamin B6 regulates levels of homocysteine – a compound that plays an important role in bone metabolism. Nuts are also a great food to snack on in between meals. So if you’re feeling peckish nibbling on a handful of nuts a day is a great way to eat healthily and gain all those nutrients needed for bone strength.

7. Eggs

While many do not regard eggs as an essential food for bone health, they do provide a source of non-dairy calcium as each egg contains 21mg of calcium. In addition, eggs are also a rich source of vitamin D and heaps of nutrients that contribute to a healthy body and bones. An egg also contains 6% of your daily vitamin D, which a great amount for such a small food. Research has also shown that up to 6 eggs per week are safe, even those with high cholesterol. So whether, it’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner – eat up!

8. Collard Greens

This leafy green vegetable contains a good amount of calcium, along with magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin K. All of these nutrients are essential for bone health and in fact one cup of cooked collards contain more than 25% of your daily calcium. They also contain antioxidant and antibacterial properties, which provide a variety of other health benefits too!

9. Red Grapefruit

superfoods for strong bones

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This sweet yet tangy fruit is packed with lots of vitamin C, which plays a vital role in the maintenance of bone health. Vitamin C also plays a crucial role in building collagen – which is an important component of bones, that usually starts to deteriorate as we age. Having high levels of collagen helps to maintain younger looking skin and functioning of joints. As our bone matrix is 90% collagen, it is important for bone strength and structure. Red grapefruit also provides 120% of our daily vitamin C, along with the antioxidant lycopene which diminishes free radical activity.

10. Prunes

Prunes are dried plums that have a sweet taste and are a great for snacking, or even a healthy dessert. However, studies have also found prunes having a healthy effect on bones due to postmenopausal women who ate 10 prunes a day had significantly higher bone density than a control group who ate only apples. This is due to the presence of certain types of antioxidants in prunes called polyphenols and the high vitamin K content that help to slow down the rate of bone loss as we get older. Prunes are also great to pair with yogurt or even oatmeal, so go on and nibble away…

So if you feel your bones aren’t as strong as they used to be, stock your cupboards with these 10 superfoods for strong bones and before you know it – you’ll be feeling like superwoman!

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