According to Nutritionist Dr. Anju Sood, "Bone development takes place only till the age of 35 years, after which bones start to deplete, therefore it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and eat proper food that contains essential nutrients. The three most important nutrients for a healthy bone structure are protein, calcium and vitamin D." Nutritionist Dr. Simran Saini agrees, "Essential nutrients for bone health also include magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin C." We list down some nutrients that are a must for bone health.
Calcium is considered to be the most essential nutrient that is required by the bones. It is required to build and maintain strong bones and facilitate other important physical functions including muscle control and blood circulation. Do you know that human body does not produce calcium on its own? It is absorbed from the foods that we choose to eat; therefore it is important to load up on calcium-rich foods that may include dairy products, broccoli, oatmeal, soya, green leafy vegetables, almonds and figs among others.
The 'sunshine vitamin', vitamin D helps to build bones and absorb calcium from the food we eat. Direct sunlight is the best source for this nutrient. Foods like mushrooms, egg yolks, fatty fish and soy milk are rich in vitamin D.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps to develop healthy bones and also helps in the formation of collagen, which is the fibrous part of the bones and cartilage. Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit and strawberry and even broccoli and bell peppers are good sources of Vitamin C.
Vitamin K is required to increase bone mineral density, especially in people with weak bones, further preventing bones fractures. Some of the foods rich in vitamin K include basil, thyme, parsley, lettuce, cabbage and cauliflower.
Magnesium plays an important role in the structural development of the bones and further strengthens them. Older adults are more likely to be deficient in magnesium. Some of the foods that are rich in magnesium include green vegetables, legumes, pumpkin seeds and bananas.
Adequate daily protein intake can help your body absorb calcium and prevent the risk of bone-thinning. It also influences the bone mass further helping to keep them strong. Loading up on protein-rich foods like yogurt, eggs, oats, broccoli, meat and cottage cheese can help build stronger bones.
A number of nutrients facilitate the absorption of calcium in the body and phosphorous is one of them. Some of the foods that are rich in phosphorus include meats, fish, dairy products and fruits like avocados, grapes, figs and bananas.