Whether you are young or old, good bone strength is crucial, and there are many ways to make sure you’re getting the most calcium you can than by just drinking a glass of milk.
You might know about some of the obvious calcium-rich foods, but did you know that there are extra diet and lifestyle measures that will enhance calcium absorption? Pick up these tips, and give your body a helping hand in maintaining strong bones.
Where to find calcium
You can consume calcium in many ways; some are obvious, and some aren’t as well known. Try to include the following in your balanced diet:
- Milk and milk products, such as cheese and yogourt, and mixed beverages, like thick shakes
- Dark green leafy vegetables, like spinach, kale and broccoli
- Soft-boned fish, eaten with bones still intact, such as canned salmon
If you’re concerned about weight loss, skim and non-fat dairy products are still good sources of calcium. And if you want to be absolutely certain you’re getting your daily requirement of calcium, take a supplement in combination with your healthy diet.
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How to make the most of your calcium intake
Sometimes it’s not enough just to drink a truckload of milk to enhance our calcium intake. In fact, our bodies absorb the nutrient a whole lot better when we make some simple lifestyle and diet changes. This can be particularly important as we age, given that our body’s ability to absorb calcium and regenerate bone strength decreases over time.
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The best way to increase your body’s absorption of calcium is to combine it with a good dose of vitamin D.
Health Canada explains that “vitamin D is a nutrient that helps the body use calcium and phosphorous to build and maintain strong bones and teeth. Vitamin D is unique in that it can be synthesized by the body after exposure to ultraviolet rays from sunlight.”
So a little time spent in the sun can prove beneficial for your bones. If you’re just popping outside, skip the hat and sunscreen for a few minutes so the sun can directly hit your skin and convert into vitamin D. But since this isn’t a practical option all year-round, many people benefit from taking a vitamin D supplement, which can be purchased separately or in a supplement that’s combined with vitamin D.
A diet filled with fruits and vegetables can also help your body retain calcium. The experts at C.Health say, “When your body digests and metabolizes fruits and vegetables, your body produces bicarbonate, which reduces calcium loss.”
Lastly, in addition to eating a balanced diet with adequate calcium and vitamin D, focus on exercise. Weight-bearing activities (where the weight of your body is kept on your frame, such as with walking or jogging) will help keep your bones strong.