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Five must-eat foods for strong bones.

For most part of our life till we are adults, the bones behave pretty fairly well – they are strong and sturdy. As we age, somewhere circa post our 30s, the bone health starts showing first signs of a gradual dwindle. By this we mean, that the bones start thinning. Those with a familial history of what is widely recognized as ‘osteopenia’ (the bone building cells called osteoblasts are over powered by the bone leeching cells called osteoclasts and the bones start thinning out) or a deteriorated version of it called ‘osteoporosis’ (the bones become porous and fragile) are more prone to this thinning of bones. Plus women perimenopausally and in menopause are at a real greater risk of getting victimized by osteoporosis. The more dangerous aspect of this is that they develop a propensity to get fractured easily due to the porous condition of their bones.

But every problem has a solution. And it is as simple as managing your diet, smartly with some simple and really easy food-related moves which we are going to recommend below. Here goes:  

1) The milky way: It’s not meant just for the galaxies. Make milk your ally in your battle towards developing strong bones. Let’s get this straight; calcium is important to build strong bones. Do you know how much you need? Let’s see. Adults up to the age of 50 need 1,000 mg of calcium every single day. As we hit age 51, this need increases to 1,200 mg. For men of age 71 years, it is 1,200 mg too. And guess who is the blue-eyed boy of the pro calcium lobby. You got it right – milk indeed! A single cuppa of milk contains a whopping 300 mg – all fat, low fat, skimmed, all varieties. Unless you suffer from lactose intolerance or milk allergy, don’t rule out milk from your diet.

2) Curd, yogurt, cheese, paneer: Those who don’t relish milk or want to avoid it can actually go in for yogurt and curd. A cup of yogurt can give you up to 300 mg of calcium and that’s not such a sore deal. People with lactose intolerance can also indulge in yogurt but do check with your physician first. In case of doubt or concern, there are lactose-free dairy products available too. You can use them to supplement your diet. 

3) Green leafy veggies: Honestly, calcium is present in quite a lot of veggies but the green leafy vegetables top the list. Learn to love your leafy greens – spinach, methi (fenugreek), kale etc.

4) Seafood, especially sardines: Sardines and other fish such as tuna and mackerel are not only rich in omega 3 fatty acids which are super for heart but also rich in calcium. Revel in steamed herbed versions – they are tasty and healthy too.

5) Soy ahoy!: A whopping 300-400 mg of calcium is present in a small cupful of tofu. Soy is especially good for bone health in post menopausal women who suffer from declined estrogen related depleted calcium states. 

Sunshine, nuts and weight bearing exercises are all helpful when it comes to boosting bone health. Go ahead, make them a part of your life to keep your bones healthy for life…

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