to have it and not need it than to need it and not have
it," my mom used to say. That’s why we always had
plenty of food for holidays…and why I still tend to over
pack when I travel.
comes to nutrition, this wisdom could apply to the process of
building strong bones. While babies are still in the womb,
calcium and other bone-building nutrients are mobilized to
develop their skeletal structure. During childhood, bones
continue to grow in size and density. Peak bone mass — when
our bones achieve their genetically determined optimal size
and density — occurs for most of us between the ages of 18
to 25 years.
get older, we begin to lose more bone than we make, says the
National Osteoporosis Foundation. And this is when earlier
investments in our bone bank begins to pay off. If we don’t
have it when we need it, we can develop osteoporosis, or
then, the most critical time to invest in bone building and
strengthening is during the younger years. As we mature, our
food choices help maintain what we have. An adequate supply of
calcium and protein, for example, add strength and flexibility
to our skeletal frame. And physical activity helps pump
calcium into bones. A simple carton of yogurt before
volleyball practice or a walk on the beach can help fortify
bones, for example.
D is essential as well. It helps the body absorb calcium and
phosphorous, the minerals that give bones their strong
framework. Without adequate vitamin D — from sunshine, food
or supplements — bones become thin and brittle.
a protein that allows our bones to bend without breaking, is
manufactured in the body with the help of vitamin C. Think
about that next time you grab an orange or throw some
strawberries on your cereal.
nutrients critical for building and maintaining bone mass
include potassium, magnesium and zinc — found in foods such
as green leafy vegetables, beans, meat, fish, nuts, and whole
picture? Bone building takes more than calcium. Bones need a
healthy dose of nutrients from all the major food groups,
including fruits, vegetables, protein and high-calcium foods.
Here are some good-for-your-bones foods:
yogurt, cheese, fatty fish like sardines and salmon, fortified
soy beverages (Calcium, Protein, Vitamin D)
turnip and mustard greens, kale, Chinese cabbage (bok choy),
broccoli (Calcium, Potassium)
raisins, prunes, bananas, spinach, potatoes, oranges
green peppers, oranges, grapefruit, broccoli, strawberries,
Brussels sprouts, papaya (Vitamin C)
like oysters and crab, nuts and seeds, legumes, whole grains,
yogurt (Magnesium, Zinc)
mother said, Better to have it than to need it and not have