Digital composite of Highlighted bones of man on treadmill

By | Healthy Living.

A healthy diet can help your body in many ways.  One particular benefit of a healthy diet that many people don’t think about is maintaining good bone health.  Your bones, like the rest of your body, need certain nutrients to stay strong.  The two most important nutrients for bone health are calcium and vitamin D.

Calcium is one of the nutrients our bodies need in order to build bone tissue. The human body doesn’t produce calcium on its own, so it is important to eat foods that are rich in calcium to keep our bones healthy.

Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, so in order to get the amount of calcium the body requires, we need to have vitamin D.  It is pretty easy to incorporate calcium-rich foods into our diet; many of the foods we eat on a daily basis have calcium in them. Finding foods full of Vitamin D is harder.  We’ve made a list of foods that will help you get all the nutrients your body needs to maintain good bone health.

1. Dairy

When most people think of calcium, they think of milk, so it is unsurprising that dairy like milk, yogurt, and cheese are good foods for maintaining bone health.

2. Greens

All the greens you’d put in a salad are high in calcium.  If you don’t like salads, though, try putting some spinach and kale on a sandwich, in an omelet, or blending them into a smoothie.

Broccoli, too, is high in calcium, and it can be prepared in many different ways.

3. Fruit

Figs, prunes, and kiwi, are all high in calcium.  In fact, figs are higher in calcium than skim milk.

4. Nuts

Almonds and walnuts are both high in calcium and can be added to almost anything.  Nuts are great in oatmeal, salads, smoothies, or just by themselves.

5. Omega threes

Omega threes are one of the few foods that are full of both calcium and vitamin D.  Make salmon or sardines part of your main dish for a healthy, nutrient-rich meal.

6. There are a few other nutrients and vitamins you can take to increase bone health

  • Phosphorus: This nutrient is found mostly in foods high in protein like meat and dairy. It can also be found in whole grains.  These kinds of food also contain high amounts of vitamin A, which is also an important vitamin for bone health.
  • Magnesium: Magnesium plays an important part many of the body’s functions in addition to contributing to bone health. Magnesium-rich foods include spinach, dark chocolate, almonds, black beans, and avocado.
  • Vitamin k: This isn’t a vitamin you hear a lot about, but its contribution to bone health makes it one you need to be aware of. Vitamin K is found in most green vegetables.
  • Vitamin C: Everyone knows that vitamin C is important, and most people even know which foods contain a lot of vitamin C. But many people still are not getting enough vitamin C in their diets.  Try adding more strawberries, oranges, grapefruit, and vegetables like bell peppers and brussels sprouts to your diet to ensure that you are getting the right amount of vitamin C.
  • Zinc: Zinc can be found in beef, pumpkin seeds, garbanzo beans, cashews, and spinach.

Eating foods rich in these nutrients is the best way to prevent developing bone disease like osteoporosis. If you think you may be at risk for osteoporosis, it may be a good idea to ask your doctor about having a bone density scan. But it is best to take care of your bone health before it becomes a problem by making sure your bones get the nutrients they need to stay strong.