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Food for the Bones

What makes bone strong? Most people know it is the essential mineral Calcium and yet when it comes to choosing a diet rich in calcium, most limit themselves to just dairy products. Undoubtedly, milk is the superstar source of calcium with a glass of milk containing as much as 800 milligrams of calcium. But there are other sources of calcium too that can help in strengthening the bones. Here are some examples,

Dairy Products other than Milk – Many people just cannot drink milk every day and that includes me. For us non-milk lovers curd, cheese, paneer etc. can do as much benefit in making the bones strong as milk. A cup of curd has as much calcium as a glass of milk and so has 30 gms of cheese. A typical myth is also that only whole milk can do good to your body. Truth is, whether the milk is whole, skimmed or low fat the calcium content of the milk does not change, it is only the fat content that alters.

Fish – Fishes like Sardines and Salmons not just contain calcium they have lot of Vitamin D that helps in the absorption of calcium in the body. It has also be seen that women who have fish get lesser bone problems with old age as the omega-3 fatty acids present in fishes prevent bone loss.

Soyabean – Soy foods like tofu, nutria-nuggets etc. are a rich protein source and also a good calcium source. A recent research also suggests that plant based chemicals called isoflavones are crucial in increasing bone density and these are found in ample in Soyabean. It therefore makes sense to include the soy products in your meal.

Green Vegetables – Spinach and Broccoli are supposed to be good source of Iron but they are also good source of calcium and therefore can work wonders for your bones especially if you are lactose-intolerant or not that fond of dairy products.

Nuts – Almonds, Pista etc. have high calcium content and thus good for the bones. Almonds and peanuts also contain potassium that helps in stopping calcium from being washed away from the body as urine. Other seeds like sunflower seeds, flax seeds etc. also contain the goodness of omega-3 fatty acids apart from calcium.

Salt – Low salt intake in food is ideal for the body as salt triggers more loss of calcium through urination. Lesser the salt intake, better the calcium level in the boy and better the bones.

Vitamin D – Our body produces Vitamin D in presence of sunlight and this vitamin helps in the absorption of calcium from food. Therefore, ample exposure to sunlight indirectly helps in boosting the strength of the bones.

Fortified Food – Market in flooding with food items such as juices and cereals that do not have calcium and other minerals naturally but have been artificially induced with them. Although it is best to get your calcium from natural sources, it does not harm to fulfill your body’s mineral requirements through these fortified food products.

Calcium Supplements – Many women after menopause or even earlier are advised by their doctors to take calcium supplements. These are also available as over the counter medicines and can be taken to help the bones remain strong and healthy.

It is thus not difficult to find calcium in the products we eat regularly. Ideally, if you have a daily intake of around 1000-1200 milligrams of calcium every day, your bones are sure to remain strong for a long long time.


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2 Responses

  1. Thank you for the valuable addition Chandrakant ji. You are right. Honey helps in the better assimilation of calcium in the body and increase bone mass. Thus, honey too is a good food for the bones.

  2. Atula Gupta, how you missed to mention honey? It is a great good for bones, and for gaining height, provided children are given it regularly from their childhood.