Our bones and joints provide structure to our bodies, protection for internal organs and anchorage for our muscles when we move. Most people attain maximum bone mass around the age of 30 after which they begin to lose bone mineral density which can cause thinning and brittleness of bones. The key to minimizing loss of bone mass is to eat plenty of calcium-rich foods.
The recommended daily intake (RDI) of calcium for adults to help maintain bone mass is around 1000 mg. Older individuals and menopausal women may need up to 1500 mg per day.
As Bone and Joint Health Action Week is celebrated in the month of October, let’s look at 10 foods that will help strengthen your bones and joints:
- Calcium-Fortified Cereal: Some types of calcium-fortified cereal may contain 1000 mg of calcium per serving as well as vitamin D which is necessary for calcium absorption.
- Cheese: Most types of cheese are excellent sources of calcium. In general, soft cheese tends to have less calcium as compared to the hard variety with Parmesan cheese having the maximum amount of calcium.
- Milk: A glass of milk provides about 35% of the RDI. It also contains vitamin D which is essential for proper absorption of calcium.
- Calcium-Fortified Orange Juice: If you don’t like drinking milk, you can still get your calcium from calcium-fortified orange juice which can provide up to 50% of the RDI.
- Figs: Dried figs have more calcium than any other type of dried fruit. They also contain vitamin K and potassium in decent amounts that contribute to strengthening your bones.
- Tofu: When prepared with calcium, tofu can contain relatively high amounts of calcium with half a cup supplying 85% of the RDI.
- Collard Greens and Kale: These vegetables have good amounts of calcium with 1 cup supplying nearly 25% of your daily requirement.
- Almonds: Among nuts, almonds contain the most amount of calcium. In addition, they also have magnesium which helps preserve bone health.
- Beans: They contain significant amounts of calcium and other bone-strengthening vitamins such as iron, magnesium, and zinc.
- Canned Salmon and Sardines: Thanks to their edible bones, these fish are loaded with calcium and contain vitamin D. A can of sardines can provide 35% of the RDI and 3 ounces of canned salmon about 21% of the RDI.
To make sure all the calcium from the above-listed foods is absorbed properly by your body, spend 10-20 minutes in the sun daily to boost your vitamin D levels.
A healthy diet along with a regular weightbearing exercise program will ensure your bones and joints remain healthy and strong lifelong.
The physicians of The Carrell Clinic™ are committed to providing the highest standards of excellence in orthopedic care. Book an appointment with us today.