Bone formation exceeds bone breakdown when you’re younger, resulting in an increase in bone mass. However, as you get older, the rate at which bone mass is lost exceeds that of its creation, putting your bones at risk. Age isn’t the only consideration; race, family history, gender, and body frame size all play a role in bone health. The great news is that while you cannot prevent some of the bone loss, there are methods to improve your bones and slow down bone aging.
What you drink and eat has a big impact on your bone health, which includes consuming more bone-healthy nutrients into your diet. It’s not only what you eat that counts; it’s also what you drink daily. We spoke with Brittany Dunn, who is a member of our Medical Professional Board to find out about drinking habits that can benefit your bones.
1 — Drink some fortified milk or milk alternatives.
According to Brittany Dunn, drinking milk is one excellent approach to provide essential minerals to your bones.
“Vitamins D and calcium, as well as protein, are present in fortified milk and milk alternatives to promote bone health,” according to Dunn.
Fortified milk is cow’s milk that has been enriched with extra nutrients and minerals, which are not abundantly present in ordinary milk. If you are lactose intolerant or simply dislike cow’s milk, you can try soy, rice, oat, coconut, cashew, or almond milks instead.
Do you know how to check if your milk is fortified? You should be able to see it on the package. And for those who don’t want any of those dairy alternatives, kefir—a “drinkable yogurt” with probiotics—is a good alternative.
2 — Add dairy to your smoothie.
If you don’t enjoy the taste of milk “straight,” do not worry, there are other methods to incorporate it into your diet. According to Dunn, adding some sort of dairy to your smoothie is an excellent method to keep your bones strong.
Yogurt, reduced-fat milk, and fortified soymilk are all excellent sources of vitamin D, calcium, and protein—all of which are essential for healthy bones!
Bone mineral density can be increased by consuming more protein. Protein makes up about half of the bone’s volume and a third of its mass, according to Nutrition Today. It may also aid in the prevention of osteoporosis since dietary protein is an essential nutrient for bone health.
3 — Incorporate some green leafy vegetables.
Fortunately, if dairy products are out of the picture for you, there are alternative methods to obtain your calcium.
“Spinach and other green leafy vegetables are high in calcium,” according to Dr. Dunn. “spinach is an excellent leafy vegetable to include in your smoothie because you won’t notice it after blending with other stuff, yet you’ll still get the nutritional advantages.”
She also cautions, though, that spinach contains a high concentration of oxalate—a naturally occurring chemical that binds to calcium and might cause kidney stones.
As an alternative to spinach, consider using kale in your next smoothie. Most individuals require 2,500 mg of calcium each day. One-half cup (100 mg) of kale provides 254 mg of calcium, or 10% of your daily value, making it another good source of calcium that is also blender-friendly.