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Eating For Strong Bones
Posted: 5/21/2014 12:00 AM by
Our bones remain fairly healthy and strong through young adulthood. The problem is that as we hit middle age, they start to thin out. For women, this process can even accelerate after menopause. Seniors in particular are at special risk when it comes to bone health, but the good news is that you can put the brakes on bone degeneration and one of the best lines of defense in this battle is your diet.
Calcium is the cornerstone to good bone health. Adults up to age 50 need 1,000 milligrams per day but beginning at age 51 women need 1,200 milligrams every day. The following are some foods you can eat that which contain high amounts of calcium to keep your bones healthy and strong.
A single 8-ounce cup of milk, whether skim, low-fat, or whole, has 300 milligrams of calcium. So do like your parents always told you and drink your milk!
Yogurt & Cheese
So we recognize knocking back a glass or two of milk is not for everyone, but did you know a cup of yogurt has at least as much calcium as an 8-ounce cup of milk? And 1 ounce of Swiss cheese has nearly as much. Even if you're lactose intolerant, yogurt and hard cheeses are low in lactose or try products that are lactose-reduced or lactose-free because eliminating lactose from milk and dairy foods does not affect the calcium content.
Milk or dairy products are not the only way to get a healthy dose of calcium. All those little fish bones in sardines have just what you need and eating 3 ounces of canned sardines delivers a little more calcium than a cup of milk.
Fruits & Veggies
Calcium is plentiful in many fruits & vegetables, especially the dark leafy greens such as Bok Choy, Chinese cabbage, and kale, among others. Blackberries, Dates, Grapefruit, Oranges Pomegranate and Prickly Pears contain a bit more calcium than others. Collard, turnip greens, Brussels Sprouts, Celery, Butternut Squash and Okra are other great sources of calcium as well.
Soy & Beans
Half a cup of calcium-enriched tofu contains as much as 861 milligrams of calcium, but calcium is not the only mineral that gives you leg up. New research suggests plant-based chemicals called isoflavones strengthen bone density as well. Edamame, white beans and navy beans are also good sources of calcium.
Nuts & Grains
Almonds, Hazelnuts and Brazil Nuts also contain calcium as does oats, pistachios, sesame seeds and Wheat-Durum.
If you don’t get enough calcium from the food you eat, your body will take the calcium it needs from your bones. At Interim HealthCare of Santa Monica, bone health is a major concern of many of our
patients. Eating the right foods can give you peak bone mass and boost your bone density no matter what your age is.
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