We all know the importance of calcium for strong bones, a key part of human anatomy. But have you taken the time to think about whether only calcium can keep you healthy or not? And if not, what other nutrients does your body need to keep your bones fit and healthy?
First of all, we are not saying that calcium is not important, but calcium is not the only nutrient your body needs. It may be the most vital thing to keep your bones strong and healthy, but you also need more nutrients.
Dr. Yogesh K, an orthopedic consultant at Fortis Hospitals, Bannerghatta Road, Bengaluru, told HealthShots: “Calcium is the key nutrient for bone health. Other nutrients help and regulate calcium function at various levels. from absorption in the body to deposition in the bone. ” And that’s why adding the right amount of other nutrients to your diet is as important as adding calcium to the health of your bones.
Read also: 6 things that happen if you are consuming excess calcium
Without further ado, here are the five nutrients you should include in your diet along with calcium:
1. Vitamin D.
Vitamin D, also known as the sun’s nutrient, is one of the most important vitamins your body needs to stay healthy. Dr. Yogesh says, “Vitamin D is needed for calcium to be absorbed in the gut.” Not only that, it helps to increase bone density and maintain healthy bones. To increase your vitamin D intake, you can add these foods such as fatty fish (swordfish, salmon, sardines, mackerel), fortified foods (dairy, cereals) and egg yolks.
Like all vitamins, minerals also play a very important role in maintaining our health and magnesium is one of them. “It regulates the proper levels of calcium and vitamin D in the body, and can improve bone density and bone crystal formation,” says Dr. Yogesh. In fact, magnesium also reduces the risk of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Magnesium is found in green vegetables. (necklaces, kale, bok choy, okra), seeds (poppy, sesame, chia), nuts, legumes, whole grains, avocado.
Also, read: 5 foods rich in vitamin A that you should include in your diet right now
Phosphorus is another important nutrient for bone health. “It’s a part of bone mineral and it’s important for neutralizing acidic foods that would otherwise be harmful to bones,” says Dr. Yogesh. Phosphorus-rich foods are protein foods (soy, fish, meat, milk, eggs), legumes, and whole grains.
4. Vitamin A
Vitamin A can improve your eyesight, maintain your neurological function, and ensure healthy skin, but guess what? It is also important for bone health. “Vitamin A influences osteoblasts (the cells that build bones) and osteoclasts (the cells that break down bones) to help improve the strength of bones and teeth,” according to Dr. Yogesh. Foods rich in vitamin A are sweet potatoes, beef liver, spinach, carrots, melon, mangoes, fortified foods and eggs.
Zinc is an essential dietary micronutrient for its key role in gene expression, cell development, and replication during all stages of life, especially pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence. For bone health, says Dr. Yogesh, “Zinc is responsible for mineralizing bone and stabilizing vitamin D receptor proteins and protein synthesis.” It is present in seafood, beef, pork, seeds, beans, whole grains and yoghurt.
In addition, to increase your daily calcium intake, the best source of calcium is dairy, but you can also add Parmesan cheese, chia seeds, almonds, tofu, black-eyed peas (lobia), green beets and oranges.