7 High-Calcium Foods for Bone Health

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You know that calcium is critical to strengthen teeth and prevent osteoporosis—but it’s not the only nutrient that you need for healthy teeth and bones. Magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin K, copper, zinc, and other nutrients play a crucial role in maintaining bone density.

Protein is also important—while it was once thought that a high-protein diet caused the body to lose calcium, more recent research suggests that a high intake of protein actually boosts intestinal calcium absorption. Several studies also point to a link between protein intake and improved bone mineral density.

Plenty of plant foods are rich sources of calcium and other supportive nutrients for vegan or dairy-free diets. Keep your skeleton healthy and strong with these seven bone-building foods.

1. Collard greens

Especially important for people who don’t eat dairy, collard greens are an excellent source of calcium, with about 270 mg per cup of cooked collards. They’re also high in magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin K, and other nutrients needed for bone health. Turnip greens, mustard greens, beet greens, and kale are also great sources of calcium and other bone-building nutrients. While spinach is rich in calcium, it’s also high in oxalates, compounds that are thought to inhibit calcium absorption, though studies are mixed.

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