Start The New Year With Bone-Healthy Foods

The holidays are over, and New Year’s resolutions focused on health are top of mind. One of the best things you can do for your bones—and your health—is to eat foods that will maximize bone strength. In 2016, we have six bone-healthy foods for you to add to your diet.

Our bones support our bodies, and our diet supports our bones. We are living longer, more active lives, and strong bones are essential to maintaining a vibrant lifestyle. It’s no wonder that health is at the top of so many New Year’s resolution lists. Diet plays an important role in maintaining bone strength, and we’ve got a list of six foods that will help you keep your bones at their healthy best.

Bones remain dense and strong until we hit our 30s, but after that, we begin to lose bone density. Eating the right foods is one of our most powerful weapons to combat bone loss and maintain strong bones. In honor of 2016, we are highlighting six foods that will help you stick to that New Year’s resolution to keep your health at its best.

  • Milk. Calcium is the key to strong bones, and a single cup of milk delivers 300 milligrams of calcium to your bones, whether it’s whole, skim, or low-fat. Until the age of 50, we need 1000 milligrams of calcium every day. After 50, women need 1200 milligrams a day. When men reach age 71, they need to start getting 1200 milligrams daily too. If you aren’t a milk drinker, yogurt and cheese deliver the same calcium benefits.
  • Dark leafy greens. It may be counterintuitive to attribute calcium to leafy green vegetables, but greens like bok choy, kale, Chinese cabbage, and turnip greens are great for your bones. One cup of cooked turnip greens delivers 200 milligrams of calcium.
  • Salmon. This centerpiece of the Mediterranean diet, along with other types of fatty fish, provides a number of important bone-boosting nutrients, most prominently vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. Your bones need vitamin D to absorb calcium.
  • Sardines. If you love these little fish, we have great news for you. The tiny crunchy fish bones in sardines are a rich source of calcium. Three ounces of canned sardines will give you more calcium than a cup of milk or yogurt.
  • Nuts and seeds. Peanuts and almonds are a good source of potassium, which protects against the loss of calcium. Nuts also provide protein to support strong bones.
  • Fortified breakfast foods. Orange juice and breakfast cereal may not be natural sources of calcium, but you can select brands that have been enhanced with the calcium you need. Remember that too much calcium can cause health problems too—check the label of fortified foods, and don’t exceed the recommended daily calcium requirements.

So start your day with fortified juice or yogurt, include dark leafy greens, dine on salmon several times a week, and snack on nuts. When you make these foods a regular part of your diet, you’ll be satisfying your New Year’s resolutions and taking good care of your bones—and that is an excellent way to begin a new year.

 

 

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