Maintaining a healthy diet is one of the best ways to keep your bones strong and reduce the risk of bone fractures. Since bones are living tissues that are made up of a thick outer layer shell, a well-balanced bone-healthy diet consists of calcium, vitamin D and minerals, which are especially important to increase bone strength and rigidity.
Many studies have shown that a poor diet can increase your risk of osteoporosis later in life. Therefore, starting early by eating a calcium and vitamin D-rich diet may help to slow down the effects of bone-density loss as we become older. Vitamin D is important, because without it, our bodies cannot absorb calcium.
However, in today’s busy, stressful daily routines, surveys show that more and more people are skipping breakfast. By not eating breakfast, you are putting your bone health at risk. Try these simple bone-healthy breakfast ideas to keep you fueled throughout the morning.
- Whole Grain Bagel with Cream Cheese and Lox – Top your bagel with low-fat cream cheese for added calcium. Add a bit of lox (fillet of brined salmon) to the top for increased vitamin D content. A 3-ounce serving of salmon provides you with 582 international units (IU) of vitamin D – you need about 600 IU a day to provide your body with adequate amounts of vitamin D because it helps regulate bone density.
- Steel Cut Oatmeal– Oats are rich in minerals that promote bonemineral density, such as calcium, magnesium, zinc and copper. You can actually make steel cut oatmeal the night before to save some time. Follow the instructions and when it’s cooked, put it in individual serving size containers, so you can grab one and go the next morning. You can spice it up by adding some chopped nuts, a dash of maple syrup or honey or even a splash of milk.
- Scrambled Eggs on Toast – By changing up the recipe a bit, you can quickly and easily increase the calcium content of your scrambled eggs. Be sure to mix in milk to your egg mixture and as the eggs start cooking, throw in a half-cup of shredded cheese as well. Enjoy your eggs on a slice of toast.
- Yogurt and Granola Parfait – This is a delicious bone-healthy breakfast, snack or even dessert! Combine fat-free yogurt of your choice with calcium-fortified granola (watch the sugar content!). Both of these are good sources of calcium that can help prevent osteoporosis. Pour yourself a glass of calcium-fortified orange juice for a complete breakfast.
- Bone-Building Smoothie – Obviously calcium is important for bone health, but there are a host of other vitamins and minerals that are beneficial as well. Magnesium, vitamin D3, vitamin K and manganese are important, too. So how do you get those into your breakfast? Leafy greens is the answer. Leafy greens contain all the nutrients needed for bone health. And the best way to eat leafy greens is of course by adding them to your smoothies! Drinking your greens is fast and easy, you can add fruit that masks the flavor and you get your daily shot of what your body needs in an instant.