Many people mistakenly believe that osteoporosis is an unavoidable part of the aging process, especially for women. It may be true that the weak, brittle bones caused by osteoporosis are a common ailment, but this potentially debilitating condition is also preventable with the proper health regimen.
Eating a diet rich in calcium is a crucial part of preventing bone loss. Your body doesn’t make this mighty mineral on it’s own, so it’s important to include plenty of calcium-rich foods in your meals. But how much do you need? Most adults should shoot for 1,000mg daily. Women over 50 and men over 70 need even more, about 1,200mg every day. The following healthy and delicious choices can help you build strong bones and keep them that way:
Dairy foods like cheese and yogurt are an obvious choice to bump up your calcium intake. Not a big fan of dairy? Thankfully, there are plenty of other options. Some surprising sources of dietary calcium include:
- Dark leafy greens
- Sardines and other fish with soft bones
Cow’s milk is great for a calcium boost. Just one cup of milk has 300 mg of of the stuff — nearly one-third of the recommended daily amount. If dairy isn’t your thing, try soy, almond or rice milk instead. Most supermarkets also carry a selection of beverages that have been processed with extra added calcium. Fruit juices and even bottled water are some common products that are available in calcium-fortified varieties.
Be merry (in moderation).
Going overboard on certain foods can have a negative impact on bone health. Imbibing more than 2–3 drinks per day can contribute to bone loss. Caffeinated beverages like coffee, soda and tea can make it more difficult for your body to absorb calcium. Sodium is another calcium-robber. Aim to keep your intake below 2,400 mg a day.