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Food for strong bones

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Overview of bones

A balanced diet helps us to build healthy bones from an early age and also maintains them throughout life. We need sufficient calcium to keep our bones healthy, and vitamin D also helps our body to absorb calcium.

Deprived bone health can cause complications like osteoporosis, and rickets, and also increase the risk of bone fracture from even a minute fall. Our body should get all the nutrients for healthy bone development, which can be taken by consuming calcium-rich food for strong bones.

Consuming food for strong bones along with practising proper exercise avoids risk factors for osteoporosis.

Bone strengthening foods

The foods that we consume can affect our bones, the foods that are rich in Vitamin D, Calcium, and other nutrients that are important for strong bones and also overall health.

If you consume a balanced diet with plenty of fish, fruits, vegetables and dairy products; only then you will get enough nutrients for everyday survival.

Some food for strong bones includes-

1. Calcium-rich foods for bones

An adult needs 700 mg of calcium every day, this is only possible when you consume calcium-rich food for strong bone development.

Some rich sources of calcium for strong bones include-

  • Soya beans
  • Nuts
  • Tofu
  • Leafy vegetables like- cabbage, broccoli, and okra
  • Plant-based drinks like soya drinks
  • Fishes rich in bone density
  • Dairy products like milk and cheese 
  • Products made of fortified flour.

No wonder, Spinach is rich in calcium content but it also contains oxalate crystals which reduce calcium absorption and therefore is not included in bone-strengthening foods.

2. Vitamin D

An adult needs a minimum of 10 mg of vitamin D in a day. However, it is difficult to get all the required amount of vitamin D from our diet, we also get vitamin D from the action of the sun on our skin.

People are advised to daily have short periods of sun exposure without applying any sunscreen. Further, vitamin D supplements are also available in the market which can be taken along with other food for strong bones.

A part of the population is at a greater risk of not getting enough vitamin D, in such cases vitamin D supplements must be consumed along with other food for strong bones.

People at a greater risk of vitamin D deficiency are:

  • Who wear clothes that cover up a maximum of their skin
  • People who avoid going outdoors 
  • People with dark skin colour

Food for strong bones rich in vitamin D includes:

  • Egg yolks
  • Oily fishes like Mackerel, Salmon and Sardines
  • Fortified foods

People who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis are prescribed calcium-rich foods for bone development along with vitamin D supplements.

3. Eat plenty of vegetables

Vegetables are very helpful to your bones, they are great food for strong bones and also the best source of vitamin C, which stimulates the production of bone-forming cells. Vitamin C due to its antioxidant effects also protects the bone cells from damage. Vegetables are also beneficial to increase bone density, also called bone mineral density.

Bone density is the measure of the total amount of calcium and other minerals present in the bones. Low bone density leads to a situation called osteoporosis. Green and leafy vegetables are readily available food for strong bone development as they maintain bone mass in healthy adults.

Old-aged people who regularly consume green and leafy vegetables have a lower risk of osteoporosis, as compared to people who do not consume them. Hence it is advised to maintain a diet rich in vegetables to help create strong bones and also protect bone mass.

4. Protein-rich food for strong bones

Consuming enough protein is important for healthy bones as 50% of the bones are made up of protein.

It has been proved that people with low protein intake have lesser calcium absorption and have a greater rate of bone breakdown. High protein intake is associated with a lower risk of forearm fracture and higher bone density in the spine, hip and total body.

5. Collagen supplements

It has been shown that collagen supplements also help to protect bone health. Collagen is an important protein present in bones, it is also rich in glycine, proline, and lysine which are responsible for maintaining bone health.

Collagen Is derived from animal bones and is also known as gelatin and is widely used to relieve joint pain. Collagen is also used in arthritis treatment.

Collagen is also used in combination with calcitonin in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. It has been stated that collagen supplements preserve bone health and also reduce collagen breakdown.

How to increase bone density?

Bone density is important for a person’s overall health, If the bones lose their density, then they are very prone to the development of cracks.

However, bone density can change over time, from childhood to adolescence the ability of the bones to absorb nutrients and minerals changes over time, and hence the bone density also changes.

The bones lose density as the person getting older in age. Women after menopause are more susceptible to developing osteoporosis (disease due to lack of calcium, which makes the bones prone to developing fractures). 

However, there are several ways to maintain and boost bone density, some of which are mentioned below-

  • Weight lifting and strength training
  • Consuming more vegetables
  • Eating adequate amount of calcium
  • Consumption of foods rich in Vitamin K and D 
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Avoid low-calorie diet
  • Consume more protein
  • Eat foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids
  • Consume foods rich in magnesium and zinc
  • Avoid smoking
  • Avoid drinking an excessive amount of water during a day

Bones maintain bone density throughout a person’s early life, peaking in their late 20s, hence it is advised to maintain proper calcium levels in the body for proper growth and development.

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