Following on from reading this title I know exactly what you’re expecting… Milk, cheese, yoghurt… Essentially all the key foods known for their calcium content. You’re not wrong calcium is vital for supporting bone health although it doesn’t work alone. There are a range of other nutrients which are essential in maintaining a healthy bone function. Vitamin D, vitamin K and magnesium are all also vital for supporting your skeleton.
So which foods should you be consuming to help maintain longevity and strong bones?
Almonds are a great source of plant based calcium which as you know is vital for bone function. They’re also high in magnesium which is required for bone strength. Magnesium deficiency has been associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis and increased low-grade inflammation. If you’re consuming almond milk then opt for fortified varieties to ensure adequate vitamin D and B12 too. Alternatively you can consume almonds as a snack, in baked goods or straight off the spoon in the form of almond butter!
Eggs and salmon
Eggs and salmon are both sources of vitamin D (a nutrient which is really challenging to get through the diet alone). Vitamin D is required for the absorption and utilisation of calcium. This means that even if you’re eating adequate calcium levels and your vitamin D levels are low you’re still at risk of poor bone health if your calcium cannot be used.
Green leafy vegetables
You’ve got a triple whammy with this one! Green leafy vegetables are a source of vitamin K, calcium and magnesium. Vitamin K is required for bone metabolism and the utilisation of osteocalcin, a key protein required in bone function. Research has shown that adequate vitamin K status can be protective against bone fractures. Ensure you’re consuming at least one to two portions of green leafy vegetables per day.
Chickpeas are another source of plant-based calcium to help support your bones. They’re also rich in prebiotic fibres for a healthy gut function too. Try making them into hummus, adding them to soups, salads or even brownies!
Tofu is a source of lean protein to help support strength alongside calcium. You can scramble it with turmeric for breakfast, add it to stir frys or marinade it for skewers.
There you have a few key foods which can help support your bone health. It is really important to ensure that you’re getting a wide range of foods in so be sure to mix it up!