Your diet is a very important factor in keeping the bones strong. What you put in your mouth can have an impact on your bone density, determining whether or not you are at high risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Everyone knows that calcium is a mineral that’s vital for keeping the bones healthy. But are you aware that consuming calcium-rich foods and taking calcium supplements is not enough to attain really strong bones?
Other than calcium, there are a few other nutrients that you need to supply your body with in order to keep your bones in superb form. It’s exactly for this reason why having a well-balanced diet is crucial for the prevention of osteoporosis — consuming a variety of nutritious foods helps ensure that your bones are getting everything it needs for strength.
So what are these nutrients vital for strong bones aside from calcium? Here they are:
Some of the best sources of high quality protein on the planet are soy products. So aside from including soybeans in your regular diet, it’s also a great idea to consume tofu, soy milk, soy cheese, tempeh and other soy-based products frequently. There are also many studies saying that soy products help slow down bone mass loss which normally happens as you get older and older.
If you think that vitamin C is only important for a strong immune system, think again. This powerful antioxidant is also needed by your bones for their utmost strength. You see, vitamin C is necessary for the production of more collagen. It’s not just your skin that can benefit from collagen, but also your bones. Collagen is actually a kind of protein that your bones necessitate in order to maintain its sturdy structure.
Experts say that vitamin K is crucial for bone strength because the said nutrient helps keep calcium in the bones rather than in the blood. Unlike vitamin C, most people are not familiar with foods that are rich in vitamin K. Well, some examples of them are green leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce and kale. You can also get good amounts of it from the likes of okra, asparagus, parsley, watercress, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
The role of vitamin D in strengthening the bones is this: it helps calcium travel to the body and be absorbed by the bones. We all know that one of the best (and cost-free!) sources of vitamin D is the sun, but you should stay in the shade between 10 am and 4 pm. Luckily, you can also obtain vitamin D from egg yolk, milk and yogurt, as well as fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and herring.
It’s no secret that potassium is a mineral that’s so important for your heart. Did you know that it is also something you need to ward off osteoporosis? Experts say that a diet that’s packed with potassium can help delay bone mass loss associated with the passing of years. To get good amounts of potassium, make sure that you regularly eat papayas, bananas, plums, avocados, artichokes, tomatoes and carrots.
Studies have shown that magnesium is also very important in the prevention of osteoporosis. The said mineral helps in strengthening your bones by promoting better calcium absorption as well as neutralizing metabolic acids that can have a negative effect on the bone structure. Some wonderful sources of magnesium include sweet potatoes, beans, sesame seeds and brown rice.
By the way, your diet is not the only determinant of how strong your bones are. There are a few more factors involved. For instance, heredity is considered as a factor — i.e. some ethnic groups have stronger bones than others. Gender is a factor, too, say the experts. Generally speaking, women have lower bone mass compared to men. It is said that heavier people have stronger bones due to all the weight that the bones need to support. Certainly, having regular physical activity, most especially weight-bearing exercises, is also vital for having strong bones.