Foods for your bones
In general, foods that contain adequate calcium helps to ensure strong bones. There are also some essential vitamins and minerals which help to support bone health.
The recommended calcium intake is about 800 to 1000mg of calcium daily, that equates to 2 to 3 glasses of milk. Weak bones can lead to age related diseases such as osteoporosis (brittle bones) in later years.
Here is a list of bone friendly foods which you should include in your diet regularly.
Dairy products such as cheese, milk or yoghurt are primary sources of calcium. Low fat milk is also rich in calcium. As mentioned before, adults should aim to consume 2 glasses of milk to meet the daily calcium intake requirements.
Soy based products
Soy based products are rich in calcium and can be a good alternative for those who are lactose intolerant. Soy based foods include soy milk, tofu, soy protein powder. Similarly, 2 glasses of soy milk has the calcium content equivalent to 2 glasses of milk.
Nuts and seeds
They not only have some levels of calcium, nuts and seeds are rich in 2 essential minerals known as magnesium and phosphorus. Magnesium helps in calcium absorption while phosphorus is found mainly in the bones. Walnuts, pecans, almond, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds are great diet options .
Green Leafy Vegetables
They are also known as cruciferous vegetables which include spinach, kale, cabbage and broccoli. They are a good source of vitamin K and calcium, where other than calcium, a lack of vitamin K is closely related to a higher incidence of osteoporosis and fractures. Avoid overcooking your vegetables so as to prevent loss of nutrients.
Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and tuna are rich in Vitamin D. Vitamin D plays a pivotal role in bone growth and enhance gut absorption of calcium. Even though vitamin D can be triggered through sun exposure but it is said that about 50% of the population lack this important vitamin due to relatively low exposure to the sun.
Fortified cereals and bread
Healthy Processed foods that are fortified with minerals, nutrients such as whole meal bread or whole meal cereals can be good options to tap on not only calcium, but also all the above-mentioned nutrients. However, remember to check the nutrition label and choose those that are low in sugar and sodium content.
Other than a well-planned diet program, do remember to keep the exercises coming! Resistance based exercises are shown to have benefits in bone health. Consider 30 mins (3 to 4 times weekly) of body weight or weights training to build strong bones.
By : Alvin Ho
B (Eng), MBA, Certified Allied Healthcare/Fitness Professional (EIMS), Master Fitness Trainer / Fitness Nutrition, Resistance & Endurance Training Specialist (NFPT)