Strong bones are an integral part of the body, and our lives for that matter. Without strong bones, we wouldn’t be able to partake in many of our daily activities, which is why having a healthy diet is vital to our overall health. Having strong bones puts you at a lower risk of experiencing fractures and osteoporosis as you get older. As we age, we lose bone mass, especially after the age of 30, when the bones have already reached their maximum mass. However, a good diet can lower the risk of a weak skeleton. Here are seven foods that help maintain strong and healthy bones.
Leafy green vegetables are a great source of minerals that are essential for bone health and strength. Aside from calcium, they also supply magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and iron, all of which help strengthen your bones. Try consuming more kale, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, mustard greens, bok choy, and watercress. While spinach and Swiss chard also contain an abundance of calcium and additional minerals, they are also packed with oxalates that can hinder calcium absorption in certain cases.
6. Protein-Rich Foods
While having rock-solid bones is everyone’s goal, flexibility is also essential to keep injuries at bay. And by adding the consumption of protein-rich foods to your diet, you can keep your skeletal system in a top state. Great sources of high-quality protein include turkey, chicken breast, fish, cheese, eggs, tofu, milk, soy milk, lean beef, pork cuts, beans, nuts, and seeds.
There are many great dishes that require the use of stock as a base, from soups to stews and sauces, which is great when it comes to bones! Since the stock contains minerals that have leaked out of the bones while being simmered in water for a long time, by adding vegetables to the stock you double up on bone-strengthening benefits.Related: 8 Signs That Osteoporosis May Be Ravaging Your Bones
4. Whole Grains
Including sufficient amounts of complex carbohydrates in your diet is important, as this keeps the body from turning to protein for energy. Luckily, since carbs provide the body with energy, protein is then able to be utilized mostly for muscle building and bone strengthening. Focus on healthy sources of complex carbs such as brown rice, wild rice, oats, cornmeal, amaranth, quinoa, and buckwheat products made from whole grain flour. All of these foods contain magnesium, a mineral that is necessary for calcium absorption.
3. Trace Mineral-Rich Foods
Proper trace mineral balance in the body is incredibly important for the attainment of stronger and healthier bones. If you eat foods rich in calcium and your body is lacking in other minerals, calcium absorption will not function properly. Great sources of trace minerals include fresh fruits and vegetables. Make sure you get enough seaweeds, nuts, and seeds too.
2. Edible Bones
Some of the best sources of calcium are animal parts where loads of minerals are stored–the bones! It’s a great idea to consume edible bones such as chicken leg quarters, ostrich necks, rabbit bones, duck wings, whole fish and others.
1. Healthy FatsRelated: Building Strong Bones: Foods to Watch
Yes, healthy fats! There are good types of fats that are vital for strong and healthy bones. Fish oils such as EPA and DHA should be a part of your daily diet for added support. Excellent sources of bone-friendly fats include oily fish such as halibut, herring, mackerel, salmon, sardine, tuna, and trout.