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7 Foods that improve bone health

When your bones are not at optimal health levels, it can lead to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a bone disorder that progressively weakens bones and causes them to be more susceptible to fractures. Three of the most important nutrients that your bones need to stay healthy are calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium.  There are plenty of foods that contain an abundance of these nutrients and improve your bone health.

1. Salmon

Salmon is one of the healthiest foods that you can eat.  It is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which improve bone density.  More important, however, is that a 3-ounce piece of salmon has over 100% of your daily vitamin D.  If at all possible, it is best to eat wild salmon instead of farmed.  Farmed salmon has been found to contain more toxins than wild salmon.  

2. Milk

Milk has long been regarded as helping you develop strong bones.  It is loaded with calcium, a main nutrient in reducing the chances for osteoporosis.  However, calcium alone does not help prevent osteoporosis, but you also need sufficient amounts of vitamin D and magnesium for healthy bones.  Health experts suggest that to receive full bone health benefits, that you should be drinking 3, 8 oz. glasses of milk each day.  If you do not like milk, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D are all available as supplements.      

3. Sardines

Sardines are another type of fish that can help your bones.  These little fish are often found in cans and are great sources of vitamin D, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids.  They are a great source of vitamin D, which are essential to bone health. Vitamin D increases the absorption of calcium in the body.  Sardines are great to put in pastas and salads.

4. Dark leafy greens

Many of the greens that you eat in salads are packed with an abundance of terrific nutrients including calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K and are all beneficial for your bones.  Vitamin K forms bone proteins and cuts calcium loss in urine.  If you do not get enough vitamin K, it can lead to an increased risk of hip fractures.  In addition to calcium and magnesium, spinach also contains an increased amount of fiber, iron, and vitamin A.  

5. Orange juice

Orange juice provides you with vitamin C, which aids our bodies in getting calcium. While it does provide you with vitamin C, orange juice also has calcium on its own which helps protect against osteoporosis.  Orange juice helps produce collagen, which is the structural component of bones, ligaments, tendons, and blood vessels. Collagen allows the body to hold calcium in the blood stream.  We need vitamin C in order to make collagen and about one glass of orange juice each day provides you with enough collagen to improve the health of bones.

6. Yogurt

Yogurt is a rare food that is loaded with vitamin D.  In addition to vitamin D, yogurt is also plentiful with calcium.  Just one cup of yogurt gives you your daily source of calcium.  Vitamin D and calcium are the two most important nutrients to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and yogurt is a great source of both of these.  While greek yogurt is the popular option right now, they contain less calcium than regular yogurt and barely contains any vitamin D, if you’re looking to keep your bones strong and healthy, regular yogurt is the way to go.    

7. Beans

Various types of beans have been shown to be effective at limiting the development of osteoporosis.  Beans increase the levels of calcium in the bones while also limiting the amount of calcium excreted through urination.  1 cup of cooked beans can provide an impressive amount of magnesium, calcium, and potassium.  Black eyed peas have been shown to be the most effective for bone health, individuals who eat them have a decreased bone resorption biomarker.