Doctors, nutritionists and fitness aficionados always stress on the significance of building strong, healthy bones. Loading up on bone-friendly foods helps maintain a strong skeleton. It's not new information that calcium and vitamin D have a pivotal role to play in bone health and prevention of osteoporosis. It has been proven that calcium and vitamin D along with protein are vital nutrients for good bone health, and there’s no disputing that!
So, ladies, here’s how to increase bone density! We’ve gathered some foods to help you get more of these noteworthy nutrients into your menu.
3 Food groups to eat for strong bones
Calcium: Calcium maintains bone strength and bone density. The recommended daily intake of calcium for adults is 1000 mg, going up to 1200 mg for women over the age of 50 years. Dairy is a fabulous source of calcium, so it would be prudent to amp up your consumption of milk and its products. One serving of milk, yogurt or cheese provides approximately 300 mg of calcium. If dairy isn’t an option for you, another amazing source of calcium is leafy greens. So, stack your plates with these – paalak (spinach), methi (fenugreek), dhania (coriander), and cabbage. 1 cup of boiled greens provides around 250 mg of calcium. Lesser known incredible sources of calcium include – sweet potatoes, figs, oranges, almonds, sesame seeds, and tofu.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D is crucial for the absorption of calcium and for the normal functioning of the bone cells. Our body can manufacture most of the vitamin D that we require, if we get sun exposure. There are very few good food sources of the vitamin - egg yolk, fish, pork, and cheese. These foods provide small amounts of vitamin D. If you are a vegetarian or a vegan and are concerned about not getting adequate amounts of vitamin D, it is imperative that you discuss with your health care professional about taking a supplement.
Protein: Protein forms the bone’s underlying structural matrix and is very important for good bone health. Fish, chicken, eggs, dal, beans, and dairy are the obvious choices for quality protein. Try Tata Sampann dals as they are unpolished and do not undergo any artificial polishing with water, oil or leather. This makes them a cleaner and pure alternative in comparison to loose dals that are available in the market.
3 Foods that eat away at your bones!
Now you know how important and indispensable are vitamin D and calcium for good bone health. However, do you know that there are certain foods that may have an adverse impact your bones?
• Overconsumption of carbonated drinks and caffeinated beverages: Carbonated drinks cause considerable damage to your bones. They contain phosphoric acid, which increases the blood's acidity levels appreciably. Consequently, the body leaches out all the calcium from the bones to reinstate the acidity level back to normal. Overconsumption of coffee reduces the body's capacity to absorb calcium, thus contributing to poor bone density.
• Trans fats: Trans fats and hydrogenated oils are manufactured by adding hydrogen gas under exceedingly high pressure. The process of hydrogenation annihilates all the naturally-occurring vitamin K in the vegetable oil. Vitamin K also plays a role in sustaining strong bones, so steer clear of excessive consumption of those foods that are likely to have trans fats snuck into them – cakes, cookies, biscuits, wafers and fried foods.
• Large amounts of sodium: A diet that’s high in sodium causes your bones to deteriorate. Studies reveal that, for every 2300 mg of sodium you consume, you lose about 40 mg of calcium. Hence, you should be careful about the amount of sodium that you consume and reduce the amount of sodium in your diet and stay away from highly processed packaged food.
Research shows that a large section of our population suffers from osteoporosis and low bone density; (and most of them don’t know it). Unfortunately, there are no presenting features, until they suffer a fracture. Practically, all disorders of the bone can be averted by getting sufficient amounts of calcium and vitamin D into your diet. It is very essential for you to be aware of your calcium, vitamin D and protein intake to preserve and increase bone density and bone strength.
Importantly, you need to keep track of your everyday intake of these vital nutrients. You must know how much calcium, vitamin D and protein you consume on a daily basis. If you fear that you aren’t getting sufficient amounts, speak to your health care provider. Eat the right food, get a supplement if necessary and take steps to remedy the problem and keep building strong bones! Your sole aim ought to be able to stay active at all ages.
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