5 Ways to Be Good to Your Bones

Calcium is important but it isn’t the only thing to consider when it comes to keeping your bones strong and healthy. To reduce your risk of osteoporosis, make sure you’re paying attention to these 5 things.

Calcium is important but it isn’t the only thing to consider when it comes to keeping your bones strong and healthy. To reduce your risk of osteoporosis, make sure you’re paying attention to these 5 things.

1.    Weight-Bearing Exercise

Exercise that’s done with your feet on the ground and your body working against gravity is referred to as “weight-bearing” (so swimming or cycling don’t qualify). Weight-bearing activities like jogging, team sports, aerobics and even weight lifting helps bones become stronger.

2.    Vitamin D

Calcium relies on vitamin D for absorption. While the list of foods that contain it is short (eggs, milk and salmon are some of the best sources), luckily your skin produces some of its own vitamin D when exposed to sunlight (about 10 minutes a day can do it). In addition to catching some rays, make sure you’re doing whatever you can to meet the daily recommendation of 400IU per day from diet.

Learn more about the healthy benefits of vitamin D.

3.    Bone Density Testing

Getting your bone density checked using a DXA scan is the best way to see if you have or are at risk for osteoporosis. Women over 65, men over 70, or postmenopausal woman with other risk factors should get frequent checks.

4.    Vitamin K

Some studies point to a connection between vitamin K and strong bones. Vitamin K from green veggies, cauliflower, cabbage and vegetable oils (like olive and canola) will also help regulate blood-clotting.

5.    Muscle Health

Your bones wouldn’t get very far without your muscles (and vice versa). Be good to your muscles -- stay hydrated, get plenty of vitamin C and always take a few minutes to stretch before exercising.

Tell Us: How are you good to your bones?

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Good Eats for Better Bones

An estimated 44 million Americans are at risk for, or have, osteoporosis, a disease where our bones become increasingly fragile and sometimes fracture. Though women are 4 times more likely to suffer from osteoporosis, men are affected as well. Exercise and some medications can help, but what you eat plays a vital role.

Tilapia 5 Ways

We’ve given you our take on tilapia and why this low fat, high protein fish should be a part of your diet. Now we’re dishing out more recipes on this ecologically sustainable fish.

Shrimp 5 Ways

Enjoy this low calorie shellfish packed with selenium and energy-boosting B-vitamins any day of the week. Three-ounces cooked contain 84 calories and 1 gram of fat. As long as you keep portions under control (and forgo the frying), there’s no need to stress about the cholesterol. Shrimp lovers—enjoy these 5 recipes.

Eggplant 5 Ways

We all love good old eggplant parm, but this nightshade veggie is much more versatile. Here are five sensational summer recipes.

Okra 5 Ways

Fried okra is a classic, but this green hued veggie can also be prepared with few calories and fat added. Here are 5 mouthwatering recipes to get you started.

Casseroles 5 Ways

A one-stop meal, casseroles make an easy weeknight dinner (and next day lunch). But many recipes call for cups (yes, cups!) of mayo, cans of creamy soup or lots of heavy cream—you may as well have “911” on redial for the after dinner coronary. Here are our top 5 lighter casseroles that’ll keep your waist slim and your heart in tip top shape.

Asparagus 5 Ways

Spring is in the air, which means it’s time for fresh asparagus. This green veggie is packed with energy boosting B-vitamins and a boatload of other nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, beta-carotene and iron. Here are 5 ways to cook it up.

Avocado 5 Ways

This fruit is packed with fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium, but these babies are also heavy on good-for-you monounsaturated fat. To make them a part of a healthy diet, consume in reasonable portions—about one-fifth an avocado contains 50 calories. Here are 5 delicious and portion-friendly ways to make them part of your day.

Mushrooms 5 Ways

Super low in calories but packed with energy-producing B-vitamins and even some vitamin D, mushrooms add a flavor boost to your healthy dishes. Whether you prefer them raw or cooked, here are 5 ways to try them.