Calcium and Vitamin D-Rich Foods to Care for Your Bone Health

18 July, 2020
The combination of vitamin D and calcium could help increase bone density, as they’re essential minerals for proper bone development. In this article, we'll share calcium and vitamin D-rich foods to care for your bone health.

Caring for your bone health is important to keep your bones from weakening and being more prone to fractures. That’s why it’s important to consume foods that contain calcium and complement them with foods rich in vitamin D since the latter is in charge of proper calcium absorption. This way, you care for your bone health.

Below, we’ll tell you about the calcium and vitamin D-rich foods that could help care for and strengthen your bone health.

Why is it important to care for your bone health?

Bone health.
Bones are in constant creation and destruction. Therefore, you must provide them all the necessary nutrients to make them stronger.

The skeletal system, which is made up of the bones, is the entire body’s support. For this reason, it’s very important to keep it healthy and strong. Until the age of 30, bones regenerate rapidly. However, beyond that age, more bone tissue is lost than regenerated.

Therefore, it’s very important to nourish your bones with fresh and nutritious foods. Also, you need to lead a healthy lifestyle, which includes a balanced diet and regular physical activity.

This article may interest you: How to Prepare a Calcium-Rich Remedy to Prevent Osteoporosis

What can affect bone health?

Several factors can affect bone health:

  • The amount of calcium you consume. Not consuming enough calcium contributes to reduced bone density and an increased risk of fractures.
  • Physical activity. Physically inactive people are at greater risk of osteoporosis than those who are more active.
  • Tobacco and alcohol consumption. A critical review published in Alcoholism, Clinical, and Experimental Research suggests that tobacco use contributes to bone weakening. Similarly, regular consumption of alcoholic beverages could increase the risk of osteoporosis. This is because alcohol interferes with the body’s ability to absorb calcium.
  • Sex. Women are at a higher risk of osteoporosis, as they have less bone tissue than men.
  • Age. Bones become thinner and weaker as you age.

Calcium-rich foods to care for your bone health

The recommended daily calcium intake varies with age. In this regard, a publication by Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center indicates that the daily recommended dose for adults is 1000 mg/day.

On the other hand, from the age of 50, especially women, the requirements amount to 1,300 mg/day to compensate for the loss of bone tissue caused by estrogen levels in menopause.

In this sense, the following foods are a good option to easily incorporate more calcium into your diet, without significantly increasing your fat consumption.

Green smoothies, a source of calcium

A green smoothie.
Whether in natural form or smoothies, green leafy vegetables are very rich in calcium.

Not only dairy products like milk or yogurt contain calcium. In fact, you can also find it in green leafy vegetables. Broccoli, kale leaves, or spinach are some of the foods that contain it.

Nuts

Specifically, try almonds and hazelnuts. A good way to add them to your breakfast is by incorporating them into your cereal bowl with milk.

Legumes

Chickpeas, beans, or lentils are foods that contain calcium and iron. What better way to consume them than in a delicious stew? Ideally, you should consume legumes one to two times a week.

Milk and dairy products

With an average amount of 124 mg per 100 g, experts consider cow’s milk a good source of calcium. In addition, it’s a staple food, meaning it’s very easy to find.

Given the significant presence of milk and dairy products in the diet, these are essential to achieving the recommended intakes of this mineral.

Read on to learn more: Strengthen Your Bone Health by Including These 8 Calcium Rich Foods in Your Diet

Foods rich in Vitamin D

A woman soaking up vitamin D from the sun.
One of the main sources of vitamin D is sun exposure. Thus, the populations of countries that enjoy a lot of sunlight usually don’t suffer from these types of deficiencies.

Vitamin D is essential in the absorption of dietary calcium. Also, according to the aforementioned publication in Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases – National Resource Center, the recommended intake for the general population is between 600 and 800 international units (IU) per day.

You can get this vitamin through supplements or foods that contain it, such as egg yolks, saltwater fish, liver, and fortified milk.

In addition to these foods, there are other natural ways to get vitamin D, such as sun exposure. In fact, according to a study published in the journal Nutrición Hospitalaria (In English: Hospital Nutrition), this process could help the body synthesize the vitamin. In fact, it’s enough to expose yourself to the sun for 10 or 15 minutes a day for this to happen. But always remember to apply a good sunscreen before doing so!

It can be easy to care for your bone health

In short, caring for your bone health isn’t only very important but it can also be easy to achieve. With a healthy diet, regular physical activity, and sun exposure, you can keep your bones strong and healthy!

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  • López, J. E., López Salazar, J. E., López Salazar, Y., & Fasanella, H. (2007). Osteoporosis: alimentación, calcio, vitamina D y ejercicio. Gaceta Médica de Caracas, 115(4), 286-291.
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  • Bethesda. (2018). El calcio y la vitamina D: Importantes a toda edad. Institutos Nacionales de La Salud Centro Nacional de Información Sobre La Osteoporosis y Las Enfermedades Óseas.
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