Super Foods for Healthy Bones
Detailed description for the foods we need to include in our diet for healthy bones
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Healthy bones are very important for the normal functioning of the body and living a normal lifestyle. Our bones form the structure of the body and any pain or discomfort in them can halt our daily functioning. In order to ensure a good bone health we must follow a proper diet that provides all the necessary nutrients.
You need sufficient calcium to keep healthy bones and vitamin D to help your bones absorb calcium. If left unchecked then lack of these nutrients can lead to conditions such as rickets and osteoporosis and increase the risk of breaking a bone from a fall later in life.
Adults need 700mg of calcium a day. You should be able to get all the calcium you need by eating a varied and balanced diet.
Good sources of calcium include:
milk, cheese and other dairy foods
green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage and okra
soya drinks with added calcium
bread and anything made with fortified flour
fish where you eat the bones, such as sardines and pilchards
It's difficult to get all the vitamin D we need from our diet and we get most of our vitamin D from the action of the sun on our skin. Short daily periods of sun exposure without sunscreen from late March/April to the end of September are enough for most people to make enough vitamin D.
Good sources of vitamin D:
oily fish, such as salmon, sardines and mackerel
fortified fat spreads
fortified breakfast cereals
some powdered milks
If you've been diagnosed with osteoporosis, your doctor may prescribe calcium and vitamin D supplements as well as osteoporosis drug treatments to sustain healthy bones if they have concerns that your calcium intake may be low.
Vegetarian vs Non-vegetarians:
Non-vegetarians get most of their calcium from dairy foods (milk, cheese and yoghurt), but vegetarians can get it from other foods.
Good sources of calcium for vegetarians include:
fortified soya, rice and oat drinks
sesame seeds and tahini
brown and white bread
dried fruit such as raisins, prunes, figs and dried apricots
The vegetarian diet contains little, if any, vitamin D without fortified foods or supplements so try to get sufficient sunlight exposure during the UK summer.
Vegetarian sources of vitamin D are:
exposure to summer sunshine – remember to cover up or protect your skin before it starts to turn red or burn
fortified fat spreads, breakfast cereals and soya drinks (with vitamin D added)
vitamin D supplements
The list can be extensive depending on the region you live in. There are many foods that are rich in vitamin D and calcium as well and having a proper diet that include these foods is essential. This is especially important for children, old people and pregnant women. It is our responsibility to maintain healthy bones so that we can function the way we want to.