Strong bones are incredibly important for the health of the entire body: apart from giving the body structure and protecting important organs like the brain, heart and lungs, the bones also help give posture, balance and strength. They also are an important storage area for essential minerals and help to make red blood cells for the circulatory system (in the bone marrow). Strong bones require minerals like calcium and magnesium, as well as vitamins, protein and beta-carotene to be healthy and below are seven foods which can help provide these essential nutrients.
Milk is probably one of the best sources of calcium, which is needed in quantity for strong bones. It also supplies other nutrients that bones need to stay healthy, including Vitamins D and B, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium and riboflavin. Drinking one to two glasses of milk a day is a good way to get the nutrients you need to keep your bones strong.
Cheese, as a milk products, provides many of the same nutrients as milk itself: calcium, potassium, riboflavin and magnesium; it is also rich in protein and all these are needed to maintain strong and healthy bones. It is also a good choice for those who are lactose intolerant but still want to have a calcium-rich diet.
Yogurt contains many of the same nutrients as cheeses and milk, as well as providing probiotics for your digestive system. It helps to neutralize acid in the body, thus preventing a leaching of calcium from the bones. However, be aware that Greek yogurt may not be the best choice if you are looking to follow a bone-friendly diet, as it does not contain as much Vitamin D or calcium as regular yogurt.
Tofu is a soy product and not only is it a rich source of calcium, it contains isoflavones, plant-based compounds which also promote strong and healthy bones. Tofu and its products are excellent choices for those who are lactose intolerant or are following a vegan diet and do not partake of dairy products.
Sesame seeds are a good source of many of the nutrients need to maintain healthy bones, including Vitamins D and K, magnesium, calcium and phosphorous. These need to be consumed in one-fourth cup servings, but can easily be added to salad, stir-fries or other dishes to help increase your intake effortlessly.
Collards and other leafy green vegetables are also a good source of calcium, magnesium and Omega-3 fatty acids, all of which are needed to build and maintain bone strength. You also can receive the benefit from the collard’s antioxidant and antibacterial properties.
These wonderful legumes not only are high in fiber, but they are calcium- and protein-rich and are excellent for those who are following a vegan diet, since it is entirely plant-based. It is also a great source of fiber, phosphorous and potassium.
Healthy bones are essential to overall health and well-being. The foods above, because of the nutrients they provide, can help you to achieve and maintain strong bones and keep them functioning at their very best.
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