It is commonly known that if you want to ensure strong
bones, calcium is the boss. Now roughly, bones are half mineral deposit
(calcium phosphate) and half proteins (mainly collagen), surrounded by muscular
tissues. This physiology description is probably not new – however, when it
comes to bone health, everyone seems to focus on calcium from milk, labne and
cheeses. Little do they know that bone boosting goes beyond dairy consumption.
Thus, what we need to focus on is how to absorb bone boosting nutrients, how to
maintain their deposition and finally how to ensure bones a solid environment
to sustain us through adulthood.
Absorption in the Intestines
To start with, vitamin D is much needed to ensure proper
calcium absorption in the intestines. However, vitamin D is not widely spread
in food so make sure to have fatty fish, sardines or tuna. In fact,
canned sardines, with their tiny edible bones, can provide you with ample of
vitamin D and calcium so make sure to have these bones too!
Recent research from Spain shows that consumption of olive
oil, part of a Mediterranean diet, may strengthen the bones by being a
vehicle for fat soluble vitamins, such as vitamin D. Consequently, this may
increase the concentration of osteocalcin, a biomarker of healthy bones.
Sneak Peek on the Inside
Given that bones are half proteins on their inside,
consuming adequate amounts of dietary proteins is a must. On the other
side, make sure to have enough vitamin C, such as citrus fruits (kiwi,
oranges, berries), broccoli, green leafy veggies and bell peppers, to sustain
healthy collagen formation. Vitamin K is needed as much to promote
protein formation in the bones’ matrix. Green leafy vegetables such jews mallow
(mloukhiye), chard, spinach and asparagus can provide your bones with this
On the other hand, calcium is needed for mineral
deposition. Yes, it can be found in milk and dairy products, but you can also
get what your body needs from cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, nuts especially
almonds, soy products like tofu and soybeans, beans, peas and sesame seeds.
Furthermore, keep in mind that high sodium intake has
been shown to increase the calcium excretion in the urine, therefore, decrease
your salt intake especially from processed and junk food and increase potassium
in your diet from potatoes, bananas, dried fruits, beats, orange, tomatoes and
beans for it may counteract this calcium excretion mechanism.
Cushion your Bones
Your bones lay within muscular tissues that cushion and
protect them so have adequate proteins, magnesium and vitamin D. Strong
muscles are resilient, thus bones within them are less likely to break upon
Last but not least, bone health is sustained with regular physical
activity, especially weight bearing ones such as jogging, running, rope
skipping and jumping – practically
anything that exerts gravitational force on your bones!