Fortifying and strengthening your bones is straightforward and comes down to two crucial nutrients – vitamin D and calcium. Although calcium is available in various foods that are commonly found in our diet, studies have found that most people still do not have enough calcium in their system in order to properly grow and maintain healthy bones. It is therefore important that we meet the necessary daily intake of both calcium and vitamin D; vitamin D is essential in facilitating the efficient absorption of calcium by the body.
Are you clueless as to which foods are rich in calcium and vitamin D? We have compiled a list of the most calcium and vitamin D-rich foods to improve bone health for a strong and healthy skeletal system.
One cup of fat-free plain yogurt contains 30% of calcium and 20% of vitamin D required daily. Pair a delicious and creamy bowl of yogurt with some fresh berries for a delectable and healthy start to your day!
Unless you are lactose-intolerant, it is likely that milk is already an integral part of your diet. One cup of milk is not only packed with 30% of your daily necessary intake of calcium, if you choose one fortified with vitamin D you can kill two birds with one stone.
Leafy Dark Green Vegetables
The best types of dark leafy green vegetables to include in your diet for their high calcium content are spinach, collard greens, arugula or kale. However, oxalic acid in spinach may hinder the absorption of calcium by the body and the only way to counteract this is by first lightly blanching or sautéing the spinach before consumption to remove the oxalic acid.
Yes, you read this right – sardines! Whether it is sardines packed in a can or fresh sardines from your local market, this economical offering is rich in both calcium and vitamin D. Half a cup of sardines contains 40% of the daily necessary intake of vitamin D and 30% in calcium. Some of the yummy ways to incorporate sardines into your food is by tossing them in a nutritious salad with some fresh kale, olive oil, feta cheese and balsamic vinegar, or in savory marinara sauce pasta.
A flavorful fish that is favored by many, salmon is better known for being rich in Omega-3 oils. However, one serving of Salmon offers all the vitamin D that you need in a day.
Long favored by health fanatics, tofu is versatile and abundant in nutrients like protein, manganese, selenium, phosphorous and iron. Of course, it is also an excellent source of calcium and contains more than 3 times the amount of calcium in a glass of milk.
Made of ground sesame seeds and eaten as a spread or dip, tahini originates from the Middle East and is packed with calcium. Other nutrients essential for healthy bone growth such as protein, magnesium, vitamin B and iron can also be found in tahini which makes it a wonderful food to have for a healthy skeletal system.
Contrary to popular belief, a lot of calcium-rich foods are non-dairy, making it easy for the lactose-intolerant to receive their necessary daily intake of this nutrient essential in improving bone health. In addition to the abovementioned foods that contain vitamin D, spending time outdoors under the sun is another good way to receive vitamin D. But do remember to apply sunblock!