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Osteoporosis is a common bone disease that plaques over 200 million people all over the world. The disease leads to bone loss which makes them prone to fractures. However, there are certain foods you can take to lower your risk of this painful disease.
Some of the best super foods for osteoporosis are:
1. Low-Fat Milk
Almost all the calcium in our bodies is found in our bones. Since our bones are living tissue, they continuously demineralize and deposit calcium to make new bones. That is why we need to incorporate milk in our diet.
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Milk is very high in calcium as well as calcium-absorbing minerals like vitamin D, magnesium, and phosphorus, and can help your bones remain strong and healthy.
2. Plant-Based Milks
A lot of people get milk allergy as they grow up. However, that’s alright, as there are plenty of plant-based kinds of milk that provide you the same levels of calcium as dairy. Coconut milk, almond milk, and soy milk are great alternatives for dairy milk and many store-bought varieties and fortified with extra nutrients to support bone health.
3. Plain Yogurt
Next on this list of the best super foods for osteoporosis, we have yogurts. All yogurts are good sources of calcium but plain yogurt has the highest calcium content, even more than Greek yogurt. Straining out the whey in Greek yogurt may make it more creamy and thick and give it a higher protein content, but it also lowers calcium.
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That is why plain yogurt is a better choice as it has about one-third more calcium levels than its Greek counterpart.
Fatty fish like salmon is a wonderful source of vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin which is not found in many foods.
The vitamin is very important when it comes to calcium absorption and calcium deposition in our bones. Salmon is also a rich source of Omega-3 which fights inflammation, and protein which makes collagen that can help maintain bone density and repair bone injury quickly.
A lot of people believe prunes are only eaten by seniors who want to regulate their bowel. But this delicious fruit can also help improve bone health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis because they contain phenols that signal bone formation.
Research shows that postmenopausal women with low bone density lowered bone loss by eating five to six prunes every day.
Tofu is a staple food in Asian cuisine but it also is a powerhouse of nutrients. Half a cup of tofu contains a whopping 860 milligrams of calcium. Additionally, it is also rich in isoflavones, which can help ward off bone disease in women of menopausal or postmenopausal age.
The wonderful thing about this super-dark sweetener is that unlike refined white sugar, molasses contain a lot of calcium. Just a single tablespoon of the syrup can provide you with 41 milligrams of calcium.
This is one of the very best alternatives for sugar and you can use it to sweeten your smoothie and even in baking.
8. Almond Butter
Almonds are very high in calcium and almond butter gives you a way you can spread it on your morning bread. All you need to do is to ground up some almond and add a little salt or molasses to heighten the flavor. Just two tablespoons of almond butter have 111 milligrams of calcium.
Almonds also contain a lot of potassium (240 milligrams in two tablespoons) as well as protein, all of which have a role in improving your bone density.
If you love fruit and are looking for one that can make your bones strong as well, figs are your best bet. These soft, fleshy fruits are chock-full of calcium (five medium figs have about 90 milligrams of calcium) as well as magnesium and potassium, all of which are very beneficial for your skeleton.
Fresh figs are harvested in summer and fall but you can find dried figs all year-round, which are just as good and rich in calcium.
As far as the best super foods for osteoporosis go, you can’t do much better than the humble grapefruit. Research indicates that grapefruit may improve bone health. Since it belongs to the citrus family, grapefruit comes with a load of vitamin C, which can help prevent bone loss.
One single whole grapefruit has about 88 milligrams of vitamin C which is sufficient for every day. If you don’t like the slight bitterness that comes with grapefruit, you can switch it with navel orange which has 83 milligrams of vitamin C.
11. Dark Leafy Greens
You can get a lot of calcium from leafy green vegetables — the darker, the better. Dark green leafy veggies like kale, bok choi, collard greens, Chinese cabbage, and turnip greens are great sources of calcium. In fact, a single cup of cooked turnip greens has about 200 milligrams of calcium.
Additionally, these leaves are also high in vitamin K which has been found to reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Whole eggs are another wonderful source of vitamin D. The yolks in the egg are the most nutritious part of the egg and are packed full of vitamin D. This essential vitamin can help you absorb calcium in your bones.
However, eggs do contain cholesterol so do eat them in moderation.
Mushrooms have a cult following and they have a subtle umami taste that makes them go with a lot of different types of food. However, another wonderful thing about mushrooms, particularly varieties like Shiitake and Maitake, is that they contain vitamin D3 which improves bone density and helps treat cartilage and bone damage.
Mushrooms also contain zinc which helps in bone turnover and copper which plays a contributory role in producing collagen and elastin which are essential for bone health.
14. Skinless Chicken
Scientists once believed that animal protein can reduce bone density and make your bones prone to fracture. However, new research has found that animal protein, especially lean protein, works with the calcium in your body and protects bones.
That’s why it is important to consume lean protein like skinless chicken and fatty fish to keep your bones strong and healthy.
If you are uncertain whether you are getting the right amounts of calcium in your diet, talk to your nutritionist or doctor and they may recommend a supplement for you. However, it is always best to get nutrients from whole unfragmented foods like the ones we listed above. Although osteoporosis is a genetic condition, you can still reduce its risk by eating a healthy diet, and if you include these super foods for osteoporosis, you’ll be able to manage this condition with ease.