With all the milk that we have throughout childhood, our bones remain strong into early adulthood, but after thirty, their density starts to decrease progressively, leading to osteoporosis and arthritis. Contrary to popular belief, women are not the only victims; many men, too, suffer from problems related to bone-density reduction.
Calcium is the essential material for building strong bones and milk is the richest source for it. One 8oz glass will give you 300ml of calcium. If you combine it with a potassium-rich banana in a milkshake, you will get a value-added drink, as potassium is great for reducing calcium loss.
Yoghurt and cheese are great sources of calcium too. A cup of yoghurt or 1oz of cheese contains just as much calcium as a glass of milk. Opt for the fresh rather than processed ones. Lactose-intolerant people can choose lactose-free forms of these foods, because removing lactose does not affect their calcium content.
Leafy green veggies are packed with calcium, besides other healthy nutrients. Kale, spinach, cabbage and bok choy are all good for bone-strengthening. One cup of cooked spinach contains as much as 200ml of calcium.
Soy and tofu are rich in isoflavones, which are known for bone-building qualities. They’re a good source of protein as well as potassium, which helps reduce bone-density deterioration.
High in Omega-3 fatty acids that reduce cholesterol, Salmon and other fatty fish are great for bone-building too. Fish oil supplements are recommended by doctors to help reduce the progress of osteoporosis.
Nuts and seeds are probably the best snack you can have, packed as they are with nutrients. The Omega-3 and potassium in them help to reduce calcium loss from your system, and the protein and other components play a supplementary role in strengthening your skeletal frame.
In case you aren’t getting enough calcium in your diet, you can enhance it with supplements, but too much may cause side-effects like kidney stones. Some supplements, such as calcium carbonate, are better absorbed if taken with meals, so read the label in order to get full benefit from your calcium tablet.