When people think about looking their bones, they think about dairy and, specifically, the calcium it contains. But calcium is not the only important nutrient for healthy bones; vitamins D and K, potassium, and magnesium are too. So with that in mind, here are five surprising foods for good bone health.
1. Dark leafy greens
Surprisingly, dark leafy greens – such as kale, silverbeet and bok choy – are reasonably high in calcium. They are also rich in vitamin K, which is known to reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
2. Sweet potato
A medium-sized sweet potato will deliver good amounts of magnesium and potassium. If you’re low on magnesium, it can affect your vitamin D levels, which may in turn affect your bone health. Potassium helps to balance the acid in your body, as an acidic environment can cause calcium to leach from your bones.
Both dried and fresh figs contain decent amounts of calcium: five medium-sized fresh figs have around 90mg of calcium, whereas half a cup of dried ones will give you about 120mg. Figs are also a good source of potassium and magnesium.
4. Tinned fish
Tinned fish that contain the soft bones too – such as salmon and sardines – are an exceptionally high source of calcium, even higher than a serve of dairy. Don’t worry, the bones are so soft, you won’t really even notice eating them.
5. Almond butter
Why not swap your peanut butter for almond butter? Made simply from ground almonds, almond butter is an easy way to boost your calcium intake. Plus, almonds also contain potassium. You could also just have a handful of raw almonds daily.
Discover more surprising foods for bones at WebMD.
Are any of these foods a part of your diet? If not, would you make an effort to include them, now that you know of their skeleton-strengthening benefits?