Best Foods to Eat if You Are Looking to Boost Your Bone Health
As people retreat indoors during the coldest days of the winter, it is no surprise to learn that vitamin D production is suffering. This vitamin is made when the body is exposed to sunlight. Without this ample sunlight exposure, many people become deficient in this key nutrient. As a result, bone health may suffer, increasing the risk of developing osteoporosis and other bone deficiencies.
The good news is that there are foods that you can eat to help to protect your bones all year long, regardless of your exposure to sunlight. The best foods to support bone health are those that are rich in calcium or vitamin D. Here are a few foods to incorporate into your diet this winter if you are worried about your vitamin D production.
One of the best ways to maintain bone health during the dark days of winter is to increase your consumption of dark and leafy vegetables. While you may not associate vegetables with calcium, the dark and leafy varieties are ideal sources for this nutrient. For example, broccoli packs a good amount of both vitamin D and calcium, making it a good choice for your regular diet.
They may not be the most palatable food but there is no doubt that sardines are packed with vitamin D. One serving of this fish boasts about 40% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin D. The nutrient lies in the small edible bones of this fish. These bones are also rich in calcium, helping to support your bone health even further.
Discover what many vegans already know. Tofu is a great food to consume if you are looking to boost your bone health. This food is fortified with both calcium and vitamin D, giving you an option that hits on all the nutrients that you need to strengthen bones. Be sure to read the label as some tofu products are higher than others in calcium. You should aim to find a product that has at least 30% of the daily recommended value of calcium if bone health is your goal.
Yogurt is packed with calcium with some varieties offering up to 40% of the daily recommended amount in one serving. Beware that not all yogurts are created equal. You are better off staying away from the sugary varieties and choosing a plain nonfat version. You can then add your choice of fresh fruit, whole-grain granola, or other options to make it more palatable to you.
Looking for something to sprinkle on that yogurt? You would be wise to turn to almonds as a topping. Just one ounce of almonds can go a long way in providing your body with calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. All of these nutrients play a vital role in maintaining bone health. In addition to using them as a yogurt topping, try sprinkling them on salad, in your cereal, or just eating them straight-up as a healthy afternoon snack.
Start your day with a nutritional bang with eggs. Just one large egg yolk offers about 40 IU of vitamin D. Eating a few eggs will ensure that you are getting your day off to a good start with a hefty dose of this vitamin. As a bonus, you will also enjoy generous amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin when you consume eggs. Keeping some hard-boiled eggs on hand in the refrigerator for a quick grab-and-go breakfast is a great idea.
Prunes do more than just get the digestive system moving. Offering 20% of the daily value of vitamin K, prunes are useful in helping to increase bone density. This improvement in density can help to prevent bone fractures. If you do not like the taste of prunes on their own, try adding them to oatmeal, folding them into baked goods, or blending them into smoothies.
These foods will form the cornerstone of proper bone health. Making a conscious effort to eat more of these foods during the winter can help to bridge the gap that occurs when your body is not exposed to enough natural sunlight.
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