Anti-Aging Foods For Healthy Bones

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July 8th, 2011

Here’s food for thought: falls are the leading cause of accidental death among Americans over the age of 75. Osteoporosis, a bone disease characterized by thinning bones and risk of fractures, is often hereditary and affects more women than men. And those of European and Asian ancestry are most at risk.

Anti-aging foods for bones pack a solid dose of calcium and vitamin D. These two nutrients are vital to healthy bones, and especially as we get older. Adults under 50 should aim for 1,000 milligrams of calcium and 200 International Units (IU) of vitamin D every day. Over fifty? Bump the calcium up to 1,200 milligrams and 400 to 600 IU of vitamin D. Get them in these anti-aging superstar foods.

Yogurt – Safer than sunlight, yogurt is an excellent source of bone-happy vitamin D and is one of the healthiest foods out there. Just choose fortified yogurt over Greek yogurt, the latter of which is packed with probiotics, but has less calcium and virtually no vitamin D.

Milk – Eight ounces of milk are 90 calories and 30% of your daily fix of calcium. Try a brand that’s fortified with vitamin D for a bone-boosting fix of both nutrients. Or make a smoothie with milk.

Cheese – Watch your intake with cheese as it’s one of the more fattening sources of calcium. One and a half ounces of cheddar is about the size of a playing dice, yet it packs 30% of your daily calcium requirements. Most cheeses contain some – but not a lot – of vitamin D.

Sardines – Tiny, oily and surprisingly full of vitamin D and calcium, sardines are a great anti-aging food for your bones. They’re also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are linked to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s.

Eggs – Just six per cent of your vitamin D, but they’re quick, they’re easy and they burst with protein and amino acids and nutrients like retinol. And don’t fear the yolk – that’s where most of the goodness lies.

Salmon – Simply put, salmon may be one of the healthiest foods on the planet, with omega-3 fatty acids, plenty of protein and more than 100% of your vitamin D requirements for the day. Happy bones, happy heart, happy brain. Avoid Atlantic salmon, which is parlance for “farmed”. Choose wild-caught Pacific salmon instead.

Spinach – Popeye got it right, spinach is great for your muscles. But it’s also good for your bones. One cup of cooked spinach has almost 25% of your daily calcium needs, and it’s got fiber, iron and vitamin A.

Fortified Cereal – Some cereals, including Total Whole Grain and Wheaties, boast up to 25% of your daily vitamin D requirements. A quick and healthy way to start your day.

Tuna – Another fatty fish, three ounces of canned tuna has 154 IU, or 39% of your vitamin D for the day. Put tuna in salads, in tacos or the famous tuna sandwich. But a word: some species of tuna are highly over-fished, with unsustainable by-catches of sharks, dolphins and other marine life. Avoid blue-fin tuna completely. Try American-caught big-eye or canned tuna instead.

Collard Greens – They’re green, they’re leafy, they’re a staple of southern cooking. Collard greens are an anti-aging delight. One cup of cooked collard greens has 25% of your daily calcium requirements, with enough versatility to fit in any number of recipes.

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