With osteoporosis on the rise, many of us are letting our bone health fall to the wayside. Strong bone density relies on a complex balance of nutrients, and that’s why we’ve unpacked a few of the best sources of these vitamins and minerals.
Hard cheeses are loaded with bone-healthy nutrients – Nordic and Swiss cheeses like Emmental and Raclette are especially high in calcium and vitamin K2 content. Both of these play a major role in bone formation and maintenance. You’ll get around 220 milligrams of calcium in a 28-gram serving of Swiss cheese – that’s well over 20% of our daily needs. K2 plays a role in protecting bones and it’s believed to have a more powerful effect than vitamin K, also known as vitamin K1. You’ll also find vitamin K2 in eggs, natto and butter – though natto packs a particularly powerful punch. It holds a variety of vitamin K2 known as MK-7, which is believed to help calcium bind to bone proteins in our body. To put it simply, it strengthens and regenerates our bones to reduce the risk of fracture. Hard cheeses also pack a good dose of magnesium, which our bodies need to maintain bone density. Research shows that our levels decline as we age, which is why it becomes all the more important to load up on sources of magnesium.
Spinach, kale, bok choy and beet greens are all bone-healthy veggies, and it comes down to their nutritional profile – they tick most of the boxes for all the bone-building essentials. Let’s take a look at what you’ll find in most leafy green veggies:
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin C
Zinc is essential for bone growth and regeneration, with low levels linked to osteoporosis in post-menopausal women. Along with leafy greens, nuts, seafood and lentils also offer a good amount of this nutrient. Vitamin K is another essential for bone formation, with low intake linked to a greater risk of fractures – that’s where leafy greens come in. Kale, for instance, provides an impressive 176 micrograms of vitamin K – that’s well over the 120 and 90-microgram recommendation for men and women, respectively. It also has around 250 milligrams of calcium per 100 grams, which beats cow milk’s 110 milligrams.
You might be surprised to hear that vitamin C is important for healthy bones – it’s not just about calcium and vitamin D! Vitamin C is believed to lower the risk of low bone density, with deficient and low levels associated with an increased risk for osteoporosis. Their antioxidant properties are also essential for overall health, with research showing these antioxidants can prevent bone loss. Citrus fruits, broccoli and kiwi are all great sources of vitamin C.
We’ve mentioned a few of the essentials for healthy bones, but it’s worth noting boron, silicon and manganese are also a major part of the process – as you can see, it’s a lot more complicated than simply getting your daily calcium. Need a little help with nutrition? Join us for the 8-Week Program where we’ll be quitting sugar and relearning the ins and outs of eating well. We’ll help you change the way you look at food – and that doesn’t mean you have to follow restrictive diets or miss out on your favourite foods; we believe you can still enjoy delicious food without jeopardising your health. With celebrity chef Sarah Glover on our panel of experts, you’ll have an array of fun recipes at your fingertips, along with our own exclusive armoury of simple, tasty and healthy recipes for everything from daily meals to impressive entertaining. We’ve also got nutritionists, personal trainers and naturopaths in our team of experts, and they understand what our bodies need and how to best arm ourselves against those cravings.
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