We all want strong, sturdy bones throughout our lives, but many of us are not eating enough of the right foods for optimal bone health. Here are a few of the most beneficial bone-enhancing food choices to add to your meal plan this spring if you’re not already eating healthy servings of each.
Green leafy vegetables
Kale, spring greens, Bok choi, and broccoli contain high levels of calcium, magnesium, vitamin K, and folate. Vitamin K and magnesium play an important role in ensuring that calcium is properly transported to your bones. Low levels of these two nutrients can cause dangerous levels of calcium to buildup in the bloodstream. This subsequently leads to weak bones due to the lack of proper calcium transport. Therefore, leafy vegetables are a must.
Fish such as salmon, pilchards, and sardines are great sources of calcium as their tiny, edible bones are loaded with this essential mineral. They also supply the body with omega-3 fatty acids that have antioxidant properties as well as vitamin D, which enhances calcium absorption in the bones. A leafy green side salad along with a healthy serving of fish is an ideal way to get adequate servings of nutrients that promote optimal calcium transport.
Dairy foods such as yogurt, milk, and cheese are the best-known and richest sources of calcium. However, try not to mix too much coffee with your milk as caffeine can disrupt the body’s ability to absorb calcium. Don't be afraid to reach for calcium-fortified products as well such as fortified orange juice, breads, etc. Some dairy-free products (e.g., rice or soya milk) are also fortified with calcium.
If you’re not sure whether you’re getting enough nutrients through your diet, consider adding a supplement with chondroitin, protein, and glucosamine to your meal plan. The combination of a potent dietary supplement with these types of spring foods can promote strong bones for years to come.