As we age, it’s increasingly important we take care of our bodies and maintain strong, healthy bones. One of the easier ways to maintain optimal bone health is by eating more foods rich in certain vitamins and minerals – most notably, calcium, vitamins D, C, K and A, magnesium and potassium. Fortifying your diet with nutrient-rich foods can reduce the risk of bone thinning commonly experienced by seniors, and subsequently prevent fractures stemming from falls.
Salmon and tuna are excellent sources of calcium-absorbing vitamin D. The Mayo Clinic recommends 600 international units (IUs) of vitamin D for people under 70 and 800 for people over 70. According to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements (NIHODS), three ounces of canned tuna contains more than 150 IUs per serving, while three ounces of cooked salmon has nearly 450 IUs. Sardines are also high in calcium – a three-ounce serving provides 30 percent of the daily value.
Dairy products are known for being rich in bone-supporting calcium and vitamin D. Yogurt, milk and cheese have some of the highest quantities of bone-healthy vitamins and minerals – an eight-ounce serving of any of the aforementioned products contains at least 30 percent of the daily value of calcium. Eight ounces of plain, low fat yogurt contains 42 percent of the daily value of calcium and more than 400 IUs of vitamin D, according to the NIHODS.
Leafy greens like spinach, arugula and collard greens, and vegetables like broccoli, kale and Chinese cabbage are lesser-known calcium suppliers, but they do carry modest amounts. One cup of cooked spinach, for example, has 240 mg of calcium and one cup of raw arugula has 125 mg, according to the University of California San Francisco. For context, the NIHODS recommends 1,000 mg for men and 1,200 mg for women over 50 each day.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation suggests a well-balanced meal featuring essential nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, vitamin K and magnesium – all found in grapefruits, strawberries, oranges, tomatoes and pineapples – can be nearly as beneficial for maintaining strong bones as high amounts of calcium and vitamin D. If you’re a fan of orange juice, drink up – one cup has 34 percent of the suggested daily value of vitamin D, according to the NIHODS.
Starting your day with a bowl of “fortified” cereal – which is a cereal with added vitamins and minerals – and milk is one of the best ways to provide yourself with ample amounts of vitamin D and calcium. Fortified cereals like Cheerios, Wheaties, Corn Flakes, Raisin Bran and Special K are excellent sources of vitamin D, folic acid, iron and calcium.
Eating more of these tasty foods is a superb way to build healthier, stronger bones. Sometimes, though, healthy eating isn’t enough. When you need a higher level of health care, A.G. Rhodes is here to help. Our staff have been providing the Atlanta area with attentive and trustworthy senior care for more than 100 years. In addition, we also offer short-term recovery care for people who are recovering from surgery or a broken bone. Call 877-918-6413 or visit our website for more information.