Though virtually all persons experience the effects of wear and tear on their joints as they age, these effects can be minimized by eating a diet rich in nutrients that keep the bones and joints healthy.
Calcium is one of the most important nutrients required to build and maintain healthy bones and joints. It can be obtained from dairy products like milk and cheese. Broccoli and kale are other good sources of calcium and can be consumed by vegetarians.
Vitamin D is another vital nutrient for healthy bones and joints, since it helps the body absorb calcium. This vitamin can be obtained from fortified foods like cereals and soy milk. Basking in the sun also helps the body make its own vitamin D.
Omega 3 fatty acids are other nutrients which are important for maintaining healthy bones and joints. These essential fatty acids can be obtained from eating cold water fatty fish like salmon, herring and sardines. Avocados and flaxseeds are great sources of 3 fatty acids which can be eaten by vegans.
Foods which are rich in antioxidants are also important for maintaining healthy bones and joints, since they prevent the oxidative stress that can damage them. These foods include selenium rich salmon and Brazil nuts, as well as vitamin E rich avocados and sunflower seeds. Brightly colored fruits which contain abundant vitamin C and A like papaya, oranges and mangoes are other key ingredients of an antioxidant diet.
Minerals like potassium, phosphorous, magnesium and zinc are also required by the body to increase the density of bones and strengthen them. These minerals can be obtained from eating dark chocolate, bananas and almonds.
Consuming a diet that feeds the bones should be combined with low impact cardio exercises like brisk walking, swimming and cycling, since both work hand in hand to strengthen the bones and keep the joints supple.
Written by: Marian Kim, FizzNiche Staff Writer