Foods we eat can help prevent spinal fractures, osteoporosis, along with other bone issues. Most of us struggle to get the proper amount of calcium and vitamin D into our diets even though magnesium is found in a variety of foods like green vegetables, oatmeal, nuts and seeds, meat, poultry, seafood, and legumes.
The spine is constantly in a state of change as your metabolism breaks down, replaces and rebuilds bone. The nutrition your bones need is always changing, as well as the body as it acquires stored bone minerals for other purposes and replaces them with a fresh supply from what you eat.
The best way to keep your bones strong and pain-free is by eating a healthy diet rich in calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium. That means going beyond the dairy aisle when looking for bone-boosting foods. There are plenty of healthy options scattered all throughout the grocery store. Here are some tips on what you might want to consider buying the next time you’re at the market.
Here is a list of foods rich in calcium and vitamin D to start adding to your grocery list. Note: Always check nutrition labels. Fortified products, like plant-based:
- Kinds of milk
- Juices with added calcium or vitamin D, are not included.
But they can be a great addition to your diet as an added assurance that you’re hitting the proper nutritional goals.
Fruits, veggies, and plant-based proteins are always a good choice but here are a few that pack more bone nutrients.
- One cup of shredded Bok Choy equals 74mg of calcium.
- Two cups of raw Broccoli equals 86mg of calcium.
- One cup of cooked Collard greens equals 268mg of calcium.
- A half-cup of raw Cress equals 188mg of calcium.
- One cup of Edamame equals 98mg of calcium.
- One cup of raw Kale equals 101mg of calcium.
- One cup of Okra equals 82mg of calcium.
- One good size Orange equals 74mg of calcium.
- A half-cup of raw Rhubarb equals 103mg of calcium.
- A half-cup of Tofu equals 434mg of calcium.
Fresh seafood offers some great options to get vitamin D.
- Three ounces of cooked Mackerel equals 300-500 IU of vitamin D.
- Three ounces of cooked Salmon equals 400-500 IU of vitamin D.
Foods like nuts, seeds, and canned goods, can help stretch your food dollar and be a nutritious option.
- One ounce of Almonds equals 75mg of calcium.
- A half-cup or three ounces of Canned salmon can equal 290mg of calcium or 400-475 IU’s of vitamin D.
- Three ounces of Canned sardines equals anywhere from 325-400mg of calcium or 150-250 IU’s of vitamin D.
- One ounce of Chia seeds equals 179mg of calcium.
- A half-cup of dried Figs equals 121mg of calcium.
- One tablespoon of Poppy seeds equals 127mg of calcium.
- One tablespoon of Sesame seeds equals 88mg of calcium.
- A half-cup of White beans equals 63mg of calcium.
Dairy sources have more calcium with each serving than any other food. Here are a few to help you reach your daily nutrient amount to keep your bones strong for years.
- One slice or a half-ounce of Cheese equals150-270mg of calcium.
- One large Egg equals 44 IU of vitamin D.
- A half-cup of Frozen yogurt equals 80-110mg of calcium.
- A half-cup of Ice cream equals 80-110mg of calcium.
- One cup of Low-fat yogurt equals 350-400mg of calcium.
- One cup of Milk equals 250-300mg of calcium.
- A half-cup of Pudding equals 55-140mg of calcium.
Eating a well-balanced diet gives you all the nutrients your bones need. Sometimes you need a calcium supplement to fill in the gaps. Learn more about whether a supplement may be right for you by talking to your doctor, chiropractor, health coach, dietician.
Keep Your Spine Healthy
A healthy diet that’s rich in multiple nutrients will maintain your spinal bone health and overall health.
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