A well balanced & healthy diet helps in building healthy bones from a very early age and then tends to maintain them throughout the life of an individual. Calcium is necessary for keeping bones healthy and vitamin D is important for the body to absorb calcium. Poor bone health can also result in causing certain diseases including rickets & osteoporosis, and increased risk of fractures from falls in later life. With a healthy, balanced diet, one can get all the nutrients needed for healthy bones & muscles. Good nutrition is thus the key to having healthy bones and muscles, along with regular exercise and avoiding the risk factors for osteoporosis.
Calcium for Bones
Foods that provide calcium are essential for bone health. Adults need around 700 milligrams of calcium daily.
Foods That Provide Calcium
Some of the great food sources rich in calcium are mentioned underneath:
Other dairy products
Leafy green veggies excluding spinach because it reduces the absorption of calcium in the body
Dry fruits or nuts
Fortified flour products
Vitamin D for Strong Bones & Muscles
Vitamin D is another important nutrient for bones. Vitamin D can be found in certain foods or supplements. It is difficult to get enough vitamin D that is needed from diet alone, so see the sun regularly on our skin for your dose of vitamin D.
Vitamin D Food Sources
Apart from Sun exposure, you can get vitamin D from certain food products as well:
Oily fish including salmon etc.
Fortified breakfast cereals
At-Risk Groups for Bone Issues
At-risk groups for bone issues include those who have osteoporosis. Some people may be at risk for bone issues, such as those with a family history of osteoporosis.
Individuals who remain outdoors mostly
Individuals who cover most of the skin when they are outdoors
Individuals with dark skin like those of south Asian origins
Menopause and Bone Health
Women lose bone faster for several years after menopause, when their ovaries almost stop producing estrogen, which has a bone-protective effect. So, some women may be at higher risk for bone issues, such as those who are postmenopausal. There aren’t any specific recommendations for calcium intake or vitamin D for women after their menopause, but a well-balanced healthy diet including calcium, enough summer sunlight, as well as vitamin D supplements can help slow their bone loss.
Vegetarian Food Sources for Bone Health
Vegetarians can also get all the nutrients they need for healthy bones by eating a variety of plant-based foods. Vegetarian food sources for bone health include the following
Certain seeds including sesame seeds & tahini
Dry fruits including raisins & apricots
Vitamin A in Excess Can Mar bone Health adversely
Yes, the excess of this vitamin is actually not good for your bone health, so it is important to get this nutrient from food sources rather than supplements. Though, vitamin A is must to be taken; however, too much vitamin A can actually be bad for your bones, so it's important to get this nutrient in balance.
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