When it comes to building strong bones, there are two key nutrients: calcium and vitamin D. Calcium supports your bones and teeth structure, while vitamin D improves calcium absorption and bone growth.
These nutrients are important early in life, but they may also help as you age. If you develop osteoporosis, a disease characterized by brittle and breaking bones, getting plenty of calcium and vitamin D may slow the disease and prevent fractures.
Adults up to age 50 should get 1,000 milligrams of calcium and 200 international units (IUs) of vitamin D a day. Adults over 50 should get 1,200 milligrams of calcium and 400 to 600 IU of vitamin D. Get these nutrients by trying these 7 foods for healthy bones.
1. Salmon: Salmon is known for having plenty of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, but a 3-ounce piece of sockeye salmon contains more than 100% of your vitamin D. So eat up for your heart and your bones.
2. Yogurt: Most people get their vitamin D through exposure to sunlight, but certain foods, like yogurt, are fortified with vitamin D. One cup of yogurt can be a creamy way to get your daily calcium.
3. Milk: There’s a reason milk is the poster child for calcium. Eight ounces of fat-free milk will cost you 90 calories, but provide you with 30% of your daily dose of calcium. Choose a brand fortified with vitamin D to get double the benefits.
4. Sardines: These tiny fish, often found in cans, have surprisingly high levels of both vitamin D and calcium. Though they may look a bit odd, they have a savory taste that can be delicious in pastas and salads.
5. Eggs: Though eggs only contain 6% of your daily vitamin D, they’re a quick and easy way to get it. Just don’t opt for egg whites—they may cut calories, but the vitamin D is in the yolk.
6. Spinach: Don’t eat dairy products? Spinach will be your new favorite way to get calcium.Cooked spinach contains almost 25% of your daily calcium, plus fiber, iron, and vitamin A.
7. Orange juice: A glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice doesn’t have calcium or vitamin D, but it’s often fortified to contain these nutrients. Also, studies have shown that the ascorbic acid in orange juice may help with calcium absorption, so you may be more likely to get the benefits of this fortified drink.