Your body can sometimes struggle to use the calcium found in milk, which is why a few of these other foods that are rich in calcium could be just what you need to get that daily amount.
Bone diseases, one of the most frequent being osteoporosis, are often due to genetic factors, infections, poor bone development, or poor nutrition. While the first cases are harder to avoid, you can take care of your health to prevent bone problems in the future.
In this article we will explain which nutrients need to be included in your diet or in some sort of supplement so your bones don’t have any deficiencies in the future, as well as what you should avoid or limit to better prevent bone problems.
Despite the importance that calcium is given when it comes to bone health, there are other essential nutrients that are equally as important. In fact, you need a balanced dose of all minerals for your body to have strong and healthy bones.
- In spite of the fact that milk and its derivatives are rich in calcium, some studies have shown that this is not easily digestible for the body as an adult. For this reason we recommend other foods rich in calcium, such as sesame seed, which has more calcium than milk and is more digestible.
- Algae: Algae is one of the richest sources of minerals among foods (spirulina, kombu, sea spaghetti, nori, wakame, agar-agar, etc.). These can be included in any kind of stews, rice, soups, pastas, vegetables, and any dish that requires cooking.
- Cooked carrot: This is even richer in calcium than when eaten raw.
- Peruvian Ginseng: This has a lot of calcium and iron and is also an excellent hormone regulator. It is great for those who have uncontrolled hypertension or an overactive immune system. One should take care of how much they eat.
- Horsetail: Rich in silicon, a mineral that supports our bone structure. You can drink two or three cups a day.
- Sea water: A natural and balanced supplement that can be found at health food stores. We recommend that you take a tablespoon before every meal. You can use it to season foods or instead of sea salt and table salt.
A protein-rich diet
Protein is necessary for bone health, but you don’t just get it from meat, fish, and eggs. In fact, an excess of animal protein can aggravate or speed up cases of osteoporosis. We recommend some of these vegetable sources of protein, which are easily digested by your body:
- Alfalfa sprouts
- Dried, raw, unsalted fruit
The importance of vitamin D
Vitamin D is necessary to absorb calcium and magnesium into the bones. The body naturally produces it when exposed to sunlight, which is why we recommend you spend time in the sun every day in the morning or evening (and apply sunscreen, of course). If you live in a region that is not very sunny, you can eat eggs and oily fish (sardines, herring, salmon, tuna) every day or take a supplemental vitamin, which can be bought in pharmacies and health food stores. We always recommend you consult with your doctor before taking even natural supplements.
Just as we should eat foods that add minerals, we should also limit or avoid foods that remove those nutrients from our bones. They are as follows:
- White sugar
- Carbonated and sugary beverages
- Processed foods
- Pre-cooked foods
- Fried foods
- Salty foods
- Bran inhibits calcium absorption. It is true that you need to eat whole grains, but you should avoid products that have added fiber (like crackers and bread) or eat them separately from foods rich in calcium.
- Vegetables with oxalate (spinach, beets). You can also eat them apart from those that are rich in calcium.
Images courtesy of ccharmon and I Believe I Can Fry