From an early age, you need to develop your bones and make them strong by having a healthy and balanced diet. And good bone health is not all about calcium, but proper bone formation requires a combination of different nutrients such as calcium, Vitamin D, magnesium, protein, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, fluoride, and Vitamin C.
Your bone density reaches its optimum level around the age of 35. Above the age of 50, people are at a higher risk of having osteopenia. It is a bone condition (not a disease) in which the bone density is lower than normal, leading to bone weakening and increasing the risk of fracture.
Bone mineral density (BMD) is a measurement that helps you find out how much bone mineral your bones have and also estimates the chances of bone breakage due to regular activity. Moreover, a nutrient-rich diet can help prevent this. So, check out here a few vegetarian foods that help in increasing bone density.
Tofu, cooked in calcium salt, is a great source of calcium, magnesium, and protein. These are key nutrients required for good bone health. A quarter block of tofu can fulfill 55% of your daily calcium and 12% of your magnesium needs and provides 13 grams of protein.
The nuts and seeds can practically be added to any food item or recipe and also give a combination of magnesium and protein. An ounce of roasted pumpkin seeds contains 37% of your daily magnesium requirement, while an ounce of roasted almonds consists of 20% of your daily magnesium and 7% of your daily calcium needs.
Fortified cereals like wheat bran, buckwheat, and more give a good amount of Vitamin D. Also, other fortified foods like plant milk, soya drinks, fat spreads, and orange juice are also effective in improving bone density.
Protein and magnesium-rich beans offer a healthy dose to strengthen your bones. A cup of cooked black beans fulfills 30% of your RDA for magnesium.
Green leafy veggies like Bok choy, broccoli, kale, spinach, collards, cabbage, Swiss chards, and more are packed with calcium and potassium. One of Vitamin C’s best sources, they stimulate the production of bone-forming cells. Add to that: some studies recommend that the antioxidant effects in Vitamin C may help prevent bone cell damage.
Vegetables also seem to increase bone mineral density, also known as bone density. Not only green but yellow veggies also are associated with increased bone mineralization during childhood and maintaining bone mass in young adults.
A great source of calcium, dairy foods such as yogurt, milk, and cheese can help in making bones stronger. As calcium is the main mineral for bones, it aids bone growth in children and reduces the rate of bone loss, and results in improved bone density.
All in all, do not worry if you have osteopenia. Follow a healthy lifestyle and consider adding the above vegetarian foods to your diet.
Also, risk factors like smoking, steroids, and inflammation associated with diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and work can aggravate the condition of osteopenia. And this condition, when further escalates, may result in severe conditions or diseases like osteoporosis, osteomalacia, rickets, and others.
You should also do regular exercise and make changes to your diet to stabilize and improve your bone density. However, consult a doctor or dietician before you do so.
Vegetarian is not just a type of diet, but more of a lifestyle. It’s a healthier choice you make for the people, for the animals, and for a better planet