Eat right for strong bones
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.
Calcium present in curd is easily absorbed by