Eat right for strong bones

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Variety - Anjali Mukerjee, nu­tri­tion­ist

The pop­u­lar no­tion among peo­ple is that if they have enough dairy prod­ucts to meet their cal­cium re­quire­ment, their bone health will be taken care of. Go­ing by the logic, Euro­peans and Amer­i­cans should not have any bone is­sues since their di­ets seem to rely heav­ily on dairy foods, yet cal­cium-re­lated dis­or­ders like os­teo­poro­sis and os­teoarthri­tis is quite com­mon among them. On the con­trary, dairy con­sump­tion of the In­dian pop­u­la­tion is lower, and yet the mag­ni­tude of bone min­eral loss is not so high. Such con­tra­dic­tory ev­i­dence as well as re­cent re­searches sug­gest that there is more to bone health than just a good in­take of cal­cium. The body re­quires a good sup­ply of phos­pho­rus, mag­ne­sium, boron, sil­i­con, Vi­ta­mins A, C and D to im­prove the ab­sorp­tion of cal­cium.

Foods for strong bones

BROC­COLI: It is packed with

■ plenty of cal­cium, Vi­ta­min K and mag­ne­sium. While most of us do un­der­stand the im­por­tance of cal­cium for bone health, Vi­ta­min K of broc­coli works like a glue to bind cal­cium to bone pro­tein. Have it raw, steamed or sim­ply stir-fry it with other veg­gies.

SPINACH: It is abun­dant in

■ Vi­ta­min A, cal­cium, Vi­ta­min K, zinc and mag­ne­sium. Vi­ta­min A is es­sen­tial for the pro­duc­tion of bone cells. Zinc from spinach works along with cal­cium to min­er­alise bones. To avail max­i­mum ben­e­fits, steam it in

min­i­mum wa­ter and have it in sal­ads.

■ CAB­BAGE: Dubbed as a woman-friendly leafy veg­etable, cab­bage is one of the rich­est sources of Vi­ta­min C, sul­phur com­pounds and boron. Boron helps reg­u­late the me­tab­o­lism of es­tro­gen (which helps pre­serve bones) and in­di­rectly pro­tects bones from sud­den frac­tures.

■ NUTS AND DRIED FRUITS: Go­ing by the slew of re­searches, nuts seem to be the best thing to beat hunger pangs, stay fit and sup­port strong bones. Be­ing a trea­sure trove of min­er­als like cal­cium, boron, zinc, mag­ne­sium, phos­pho­rus, cop­per and omega fatty acids, just a hand­ful a day can have amaz­ing pro­tec­tive ef­fect on your bones. Choose from a wide va­ri­ety of op­tions rang­ing from al­monds, wal­nuts, pis­ta­chios, raisins and dates, among oth­ers. It’s best to have them raw.

■ CURD: Cal­cium present in curd is favoured for bone health as com­pared to the ones sourced from plant foods, as it is more easily ab­sorbed. They are an im­por­tant source of com­plete pro­teins, which are the build­ing blocks of all our cells in­clud­ing bone cells. Pro­tein is equally im­por­tant for heal­ing frac­tures. Re­search has shown that el­derly peo­ple who have a diet de­fi­cient in pro­teins are more likely to suf­fer from hip frac­tures.

■ SUN­LIGHT: A gen­er­ous ex­po­sure to morn­ing and evening sun­light pro­vides the body Vi­ta­min D.

PHOTO: IS­TOCK

Cal­cium present in curd is easily ab­sorbed by

the body

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