Our bones are so essential to our overall health. It is important not to take them for granted. This is especially true for women. After menopause many women suffer from a loss of bone strength, resulting in fractures. As we have found out in our own family, that first break often spirals into a slew of other health issues.
The good news is with the right diet and food selections, you can actually help make your bones stronger and less likely to fracture. Read on to discover some of the best foods that contain good amounts of bone strengthening minerals, and try to include more of them in your everyday meals.
Foods that Strengthen Bones
Here are some of the most effective bone strengthening foods to focus on in your diet.
Dried plums (prunes) have been shown to have a significantly beneficial effect on bone mineral density. The benefit is tentatively credited to the phenolics present in this dried fruit. Prunes not only slow the deterioration of bone, they actually help build new bone. Review of the medical studies.
Enjoy snacking on prunes, or try my Ginger Plum Chicken.
Nuts and seeds are actually the most underrated foods when it comes to bone building. Walnuts, Brazil nuts and almonds in particular are excellent sources of calcium and other minerals that help build stronger bones. They are also packed with alpha linoleic acid- a type of omega 3 fatty acid that helps reduce bone breakdown. Munch on a handful of these when you’re feeling a hunger pang coming up for a healthy snack option.
These tiny little fishes may not seem like a lot, but yes, they can actually contain surprisingly high levels of both calcium and vitamin D which help preserve bone health. Try experimenting with different ways to include more of it in your diet and you should be sorted!
This delicious breakfast staple is actually great when it comes to strengthening your bones. Eggs give your body a good dose of vitamin D, which is crucial when it comes to improving your bone health. Remember to include the yolk though, since that is what contains the much needed vitamin.
Yogurt & Cheese
Whether they are fortified or not, yogurt and cheese are amazing sources of both calcium and vitamin D. Just having a cup of yogurt everyday can make a huge difference and improve your bone health in more ways than one, and who doesn’t love cheese!
Dark leafy greens like kale, arugula, watercress, collard greens and even spinach are all excellent sources of calcium and magnesium, both of which are extremely important when it comes to strengthening the bones. Spinach in particular, also contains vitamin K and has the highest amount of calcium per serving.
This Roasted Carrot, Avocado and Black Bean Spinach Salad is a great bone health choice.
Most beans, particularly pinto beans, white beans and kidney beans contain impressive amounts of magnesium and a modest amount of calcium as well, which doesn’t just help improve bone health but also reduces the risk of cancer, obesity and heart disease. Plus, beans are pretty versatile too!
A Noticeable Omission
You may notice milk is not on this list and that is not an oversight. Milk has been shown to be acidifying within the body, which actually degrades bone composition. If you want to source calcium from dairy, stick to cheese and yogurt.