We have the biggest impact on bone health, above all, maintaining good physical disposition and using the right diet. Our menu should not be lacking primarily calcium – the basic building blocks of bones. However, magnesium and zinc as well as vitamins D, K and C are not less important.
Strong bones – calcium
The body needs the right amount of calcium throughout life. Calcium is a basic component of bones and teeth. In the body of an adult human is about a kilogram of this element, of which 90% of storage is in skeleton in the form of calcium phosphorus. Calcium is present in many foods, but not all foods are good sources, because this element is not absorbed in the digestive tract in every form. Milk and its products, such as cheese and yogurt, are rich sources of well-absorbed calcium. Legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds, dried fruits (eg apricots), tofu, green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli or kale also contain calcium. Unfortunately, the intake of calcium in our diet is too small. In addition, we abuse substances containing caffeine, salt and phosphorus compounds that contribute to the washing out of calcium from the body. Sometimes it is worth reaching for dietary supplements rich in this element. The daily requirement for calcium for children is 800-1200 mg, and for adults 1000 mg.
Vitamin D for Good Bone Health
For bone health, vitamin D is important, which allows the body to absorb calcium from food. It is needed to maintain the bone mineralization process. The right amount of it in childhood and youth also helps in achieving the optimal peak bone mass. Vitamin D occurs in two forms: D2 taken with plant food and D3 synthesized in the skin under the influence of sunlight and present in animal products. The richest sources of vitamin D are greasy fish such as herring, mackerel and sardines, meat and its products as well as offal, eggs, enriched margarine for frying and bread, enriched breakfast cereals, enriched milk powder and condensed milk. One of the ways to increase the level of vitamin D in the body is its supplementation. It is especially recommended for elderly people who rarely go out and babies who are fed breast milk, because the content of vitamin D in natural food is insufficient. And children should actively rest in the open air, thanks to which the body will receive enough sunlight, necessary to achieve the optimal peak bone mass. The daily requirement for children is 400 IU, and for adults 800-1000 IU.
Vitamin K for Good Bone Health
It is considered a regulator of bone mineralization, as it is essential in the production of osteocalcin, one of the most important proteins involved in the formation of new bones. The diet distinguishes two forms of vitamin K: K1 synthesized in plants and K2 produced by intestinal bacteria. Vitamin K taken with food is usually plant phylloquinone. Green vegetable leaves contain it most. The sources of vitamin K are also fruits and all vegetables, vegetable oil, dairy products, meat products. The daily requirement is about 2 mg.
Strong bones – vitamin C
It is essential for the proper synthesis of collagen, which is the main organic component of the bones. Scientific research suggests a relationship between vitamin C intake and bone density. It occurs in paprika, rose fruit, citrus fruits, parsley, as well as in the fruit and leaves of blackcurrant, in garlic, onions, pine needles, pericarp and walnut leaves. It also contains cabbage, cauliflower, strawberries, strawberries and a variety of other fruits. The daily recommended intake is 45-90 mg.
Strong bones – zinc and magnesium
Zinc is involved, inter alia, in bone mineralization. We find him in lean meat, egg yolks, wholemeal flour, green peas, carrots, brussels sprouts, spinach, celery, and onions. Its minimum daily intake is 5 mg, recommended 15-20 mg.
Magnesium contributes to the improvement of bone density. From 20 to 30 grams of magnesium found in the body of an adult human being more than half is in the bones. Magnesium remains in a dynamic balance with calcium. Excessive magnesium intake versus calcium inhibits bone growth. It is easily available in food products (nuts, whole cereal grains, buckwheat, legumes, fatty fish, bananas) but we suffer from its deficiency. Stress, coffee drinking, alcohol abuse or hormonal contraceptives contribute to this. An adult needs 300 to 400 mg of magnesium per day.
Picture Credit: William Rouse