Building up your bones
Bones are the body’s foundation and strong, dense bones are essential for good posture, strength and balance. The quality of your skeletal structure also has a direct impact on your appearance and energy levels. Therefore, you should consider building strong healthy bones a lifelong concern. Bones consist of malleable, living tissue in a constant state of renewal and certain foods can help to maintain them.
Keeping your bones strong
Thinning and weakening of the bones is not an inevitable aspect of ageing. Loss of bone density and inflexibility can be prevented and possible reversed with a good diet and lifestyle. Two of the easiest ways to achieve these goals are to include regular weight bearing exercise in your daily routine and eating more of the foods that contain the nutrient necessary for healthy bones.
REQUIRED FOR: The main constituent of bones and teeth. Calcium is also needed for blood clotting and for muscle contraction
SOURCES: Broccoli, cheese, figs, milk and tinned sardines. Aim for 100mg a day
REQUIRED FOR: Important for calcium uptake. For each 100mg of calcium, consume 50mg of magnesium
SOURCES: Beans, broccoli, nuts and seeds, especially almonds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds
REQUIRED FOR: This is another essential building block for bones
SOURCES: Artichokes, asparagus, bran, cheese, corn, eggs, oatmeal and sardines
REQUIRED FOR: This aids the metabolism of minerals, and a deficiency can lead to porous bones
SOURCES: Bananas, bran and leafy green vegetables
REQUIRED FOR: This is needed for the uptake of calcium.
SOURCES: Orange-coloured fruits and vegetables, fish-liver oil and meats
REQUIRED FOR: This vitamin helps to metabolise calcium
SOURCES: Avocado, eggs, fish oils and liver. A small amount can also be manufactured by the body from sunlight
REQUIRED FOR: This helps in the synthesis of bone proteins. Yoghurt with active bacterial cultures helps to create vitamin K in the intestines
SOURCES: Cabbage and tomatoes