All-day long our bodies are hard at work. Our organs, muscles, and bones all work together to keep us alive and take us to where we need to go. Because it’s the season of showing thanks and giving, give your body some love by eating nutritious and healthy foods to help your bones and joints. Here’s a list of ideas to get you started.
(Dark) Leafy Greens
Sure, if you aren’t used to ever eating leafy greens at all, then iceberg lettuce is a great way to start. But if you want to do your body a favor, try eating dark greens like spinach, kale, bok choy, or collard greens. These veggies are packed with calcium and even vitamin K. Calcium helps strengthen your bones and keeps your joints happy, while vitamin K can reduce your risk for developing osteoporosis. Try throwing some greens in with your morning omelet or smoothie for a nutritious breakfast.
While veggies and dairy products are known for their calcium-rich benefits, some fruits may also surprise you. For example, figs have approximately 90 milligrams of calcium. Similarly, when manufactured with added calcium, orange juice also offers a surplus in calcium. Even grapefruit and prunes are beneficial for your bones. With potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C, these fruits do more for your body than you might realize. So, have a glass of orange juice or a slice of grapefruit with breakfast and snack on some figs or prunes with your lunch.
From a young age, many of us have been taught to drink our milk because it makes our bones strong. That’s true, but cow’s milk isn’t the only type of dairy to provide precious nutrients to our bodies. Almond, soy, and coconut milk is also chock-full of calcium and vitamin D. Pouring a bowl of calcium-fortified cereal with your choice of milk makes for a hearty meal of calcium and a great gift for your body.
Fish carry surprising amounts of calcium and vitamin D. Sardines and pilchards are good examples of the fish that carry enough calcium to really benefit your body, while other oily fish like salmon and mackerel are sources for vitamin D. If you aren’t a fan of fish or seafood, consider taking fish oil pills or other supplements like vitamin D or magnesium.
You wouldn’t guess that Nutella crepes have 93 milligrams of calcium, but lucky for us, they do! Even if you are on a calcium-based diet, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice sweets. Some desserts can be baked in a way that they are full of calcium. Cheese fondue, cheesecake, or almond butterscotch bars may not be great for your waistline, but in moderation, they can be a great calcium dessert.
Calcium and vitamin D are essential parts of our diet. These nutrients give us energy and provide our bodies with the elements they need to function properly, and they are especially important for our bones. Give your bodies a little extra “thanks” for all they do this fall by eating foods that will benefit your joints and bones.