Ten Foods for Stronger Bones

It has been over a year since my fracture. I was in the middle of an intense game when I got into a bad “slip” and my left shin snapped. I was in a pretty sad state that time and it took me at least four months to recover. During all that time, I was on a diet with foods that can help speed up healing my bone fracture.

Calcium and phosphorus are the minerals crucial for strengthening the bones and teeth. They are also responsible for other activities such as the performance and coordination of nerves and muscle tissues. Doctors advise as much as 1,500 milligrams of elemental calcium a day. Aside from these two, other important ingredients are vitamins, proteins and some other minerals. For instance, Vitamin D, which is known as sunshine Vitamin, helps in building stronger bones. It absorbs and deposits calcium in the bones. Deficiency of such vitamin results in a condition known as rickets or bone weakening. Magnesium and vitamin K also helps calcium do its job. Magnesium stimulates bone production while witamin K activates a protein necessary for bone strengthening.

Milk. This is undoubtedly the best source of calcium. On average, eight ounces of milk contains 300 mg calcium. Accordingly, the best choice for milk will be the low-fat or fat-free since the absence of fats aids in the easy absorption of calcium by the body. Aside from calcium, milk also contains essential nutrients like potassium, magnesium, riboflavin, phosphorus and vitamins D, A and B12.

Dairy Products. In addition to milk, other dairy products like cheese and yoghurt contain high levels of calcium. An ounce of Swiss cheese or cheddar cheese contains 200 milligrams of calcium. These products offer alternatives for lactose intolerant people.

Sardines. This fish is another excellent source of both calcium and Vitamin D. On an average, three ounces of canned sardines provides as much calcium as a cup of milk or 320 milligrams of calcium.

Salmon. Salmon is a great source of omega-3-fatty acids, calcium and vitamins which are all important for stronger bones. Accordingly, a three-ounce piece of salmon contains more than 100% of our regular Vitamin D requirement, and as much as 200 milligrams of calcium.

Green veggies. Another food for the development and strengthening of bones are dark green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, collards, spinach and turnip greens. These foods are not only sources of calcium, but their alkaline effect helps prevent calcium loss. A cup of turnip greens contains up to 200 milligrams of calcium, while a cup of raw broccoli can have 90 milligrams of calcium. Spinach and collard greens are also great sources of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. Moreover, the plant sterols or steroid hormones are converted to calciferol, a hormone essential to calcium absorption. Greens also contain vitamin K which is critical in forming bone proteins and cuts calcium loss in urine.

Nuts and seeds. Examples of these high-calcium foods are peanuts, walnuts, almonds, and flaxseeds. Besides calcium, they contain significant levels of minerals, potassium and omega-3-fatty acids. Walnuts in particular is rich in both omega-3 fatty acids and linolenic acid which help decrease the rate of bone breakdown and keep bone formation constant. Moreover, all seeds are good magnesium sources, but pumpkin seeds outshine the rest.

Orange juice. Oranges provide calcium, as well as vitamins and minerals necessary for bone strengthening. A calcium-fortified orange juice can have 200 – 340 milligrams of calcium. For those having problems with dairy product consumption, this offers a great option.

Cereals. Ordinary cereals can give you half of your daily calcium requirement. A cup of calcium-fortified cereal contains 100 – 1000 milligrams of calcium.

Fatty fishes. Aside from salmon and sardines, fishes like mackerel and herring are also good sources of calcium. Oil from cod liver also contains vitamin D necessary for strong bones.

Beans. Beans, especially soya beans, pinto, black, white and kidney beans, are another essential sources of magnesium and even some calcium.

Other foods that can also aid in strengthening the bones are egg yolk, tomatoes, carrots, watermelon, peas, yellow corn, and sweet red peppers.



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