In India, one of the biggest problems that women face is early osteoporosis or weakness in the bones. This makes the bones brittle and there are higher chances of you falling and breaking them. A lot of middle-aged women in India are regularly affected by this and ultimately it ends up crippling them or having to go for hip or knee surgery. Most people don’t realize that all they needed to do to prevent this disease was to focus on having bone strengthening foods that will make their bones stronger and not susceptible to osteoporosis. Having a healthy diet, especially one that will give you calcium is essential to prevent rickets or osteoporosis or prevent any brittle bones later in life. Having a balanced diet with food rich in calcium and making sure that you are getting enough Vitamin D are good ways to build your bone strength.
In this article, we will tell you all about bone building bones and focus more on the foods that will help you strengthen them. We will also give you Indian food substitutes to have in case you want to strengthen your bones.
You need a good combination of Vitamin D and Calcium:
You cannot get stronger bones just by having calcium-rich foods. Most people undermine the need for Vitamin D’s presence for absorbing calcium. Keep in mind the fact that your body can only absorb the calcium well when there is Vitamin D, hence, it is important to have both in balance.
A lot of milk in your system:
Milk is essentially one of the best things you could have for stronger bones. If you are looking for a diet for stronger bones, this one should be your go-to food. Eight ounces of milk (you can go for the fat-free version if you are health conscious) will give you almost 30% of the daily dose of calcium needed for you. In fact, most departmental stores now also sell milk fortified with Vitamin D for the better absorption of calcium. You can go for that kind of milk too. It may be a little expensive but will give you very good results.
Soy-based food is for people who are lactose intolerant and are not able to get their daily dose of calcium from milk and other milk products. It’s the choice of many vegans too and can be had in different formats including soy milk. A half-cup serving of tofu fortified with calcium has approximately 25% of the daily dose of calcium needed for an adult. A cup of soybeans has 261 milligrams of calcium and also 108 milligrams of magnesium.
Add more greens to your diet (the darker, the better):
Dark, leafy vegetables are great not just for calcium and stronger bones but also for a ton of other minerals and vitamins. Kale, bok choy, Chinese cabbage – all are very rich in calcium and can provide 20% of the total calcium needed by an adult every day. They also contain Vitamin K that reduces the risk of developing osteoporosis later in life.
Yogurt – the traditional kinds:
Traditional yogurt has 30% of the daily calcium you need and 20% of the Vitamin D you need. A serving of yogurt is enough to fulfill your daily requirements of the day. Make sure you have some after lunch or dinner – not just for the calcium and Vitamin D but also to digest your food better. If you are looking to get more calcium, it is better to stick to the traditional yogurt. Greek yogurts do not have as much calcium but are rich in protein and less in fats.
Though most people would love to gorge on a ton of cheese, it will pack a lot of pounds and can be very heavy on your joints. Remember, just about 1.5 ounces of cheese will have 30% of the calcium you need for your daily requirements. So always use cheese with caution and never overdo it!
Vitamin C-rich foods:
Doctors suggest starting your day with something that is very rich in Vitamin C – for instance, have grapefruit as the primary fruit in your breakfast. It has been shown that Vitamin C prevents bone loss. If you think a grapefruit packs too much of a sour punch, you can substitute it for oranges too. Both are very rich in Vitamin C and good to start your day with.
Almonds are packed with calcium and Vitamin D and just a few of them in a day is good for you. Most nuts are also very high in healthy fats and a new study has, in fact, found that there is a very strong relationship between healthy bones and a diet that has been enriched with nuts. When you have a one-ounce serving of almonds, you will receive up to 80 milligrams of calcium and also about 80 milligrams of magnesium – another element that is good for strong bones.
They might not look that great, but figs are very important sources of calcium and when you are buying them, make sure you put them at the top of your shopping list. 90 mg of calcium is in about 5 medium sized figs and they are also rich in nutrients such as potassium and magnesium – all said to be great sources of elements that protect your bones. If you do not have fresh figs available, you can also go with dried figs that can be bought at most departmental stores.
They say good things come in small packages and sardines might be very small, but they have a lot of calcium and Vitamin D in them. Most people cannot have just sardines, so you could easily use them in different salads or pasta to mask their inherent taste.
Salmon and other types of fatty fish are very rich in an array of nutrients that help your bones. They also contain vitamin D, which in turn helps your body to utilize calcium. They are also good sources of omega-3 fatty acids which some research indicates that may help bones. If you don’t have fresh salmon available, you could also have canned ones that are easily available in many supermarkets. Three ounces of salmon contains about 183 milligrams of calcium – this is because the salmon bones in the canned food also get included in the canned process.
Eggs are considered as the complete food because, in those 78 calories, you have a tone of minerals and nutrients that could act as bone- boosting ingredients. The level of Vitamin D in eggs is not that much, but it could still be considered as a complete food.
Bananas for bones!
Bananas are not only great sources of calcium and potassium but are also a good source of Vitamin D. One banana has 422 mg of calcium which is more than the required amount of calcium for a person in a day! So you could just have one banana a day and get your daily dose of calcium in a jiffy!
So here are some of the best foods you could have to give your bones a boost. Incorporate these into your diet and prepare your bones for a stronger future. For those who are vegans or are lactose intolerant, we have also mentioned some options that could boost your bone health.
Remember, if you take action now, it would be easier for you on your bones. Bone health is essential for a happy life, and slight dietary changes can make a world of difference. So eat right!