The best foods to prevent bones from aging

Low-fat plain yogurt is a good source of calcium.

Photo: Africa Studio / Shutterstock

Some nutrients are essential for building strong, dense bones. Eating foods that are rich in these nutrients from a young age will help keep them strong as you age.

Calcium is a necessary nutrient for strong bones, but it is not the only one. The Vitamin D is also important as it helps the body absorb calcium. The National Institutes of Health note that a diet low in calcium and vitamin D may increase the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.

1. Yogurt

Yogurt is a great source of calcium. In 8 ounces of low-fat plain yogurt, there are 415 mg of calcium, which is equivalent to 32% of the recommended intake of the nutrient.

In addition to being a food rich in calcium, yogurt is a source of protein and provides probiotics that can benefit gut health.

2. Sardines

Sardines canned in oil are among the highest sources of calcium and they also provide vitamin D. In 3 ounces of canned sardines in oil with bones there are 325 mg of calcium, 25% of the recommended intake.

Sardines also provide protein and are one of the fatty fish richest in marine omega-3.

3-4. trout and salmon

Rainbow trout and salmon are among the highest dietary sources of vitamin D., a vitamin that is found in very few foods naturally. In 3 ounces of cooked trout there are 16 mcg of vitamin D, 81% of the recommended daily intake; while in 3 ounces of salmon there is 14 mcg of vitamin D, 71% of the recommended daily intake.

Salmon also contains some calcium, with 14% of the recommended daily intake in 3 ounces of canned salmon. Both salmon and trout are healthy sources of complete protein and omega-3s.

5-6. milk and soy milk

One cup of nonfat milk contains 299 mg of calcium, 23% of the recommended daily intake. Whole milk provides 21% of the recommended intake of calcium. Some brands of milk may be fortified with vitamin D.

Soy milk is a plant-based alternative that can provide calcium and vitamins when fortified. It is also a source of complete protein.

7. Milk powder

The Bone Health & Osteoporosis Foundation (BHOF) notes that a simple way to add calcium to many foods is to add a single tablespoon of nonfat dry milkwhich contains about 50 mg of calcium.

How much calcium and vitamin D do you need each day?

The recommended daily intake of calcium and vitamin D depends on age. Both nutrients are needed from birth to old age.

Calcium. For people between 19 and 50 years of age, the intake of 1000 mg of calcium per day is suggested. For adult women ages 51 to 70, 1,200 mg; for men ages 51 to 70, 1,000 mg; and for adults older than 71 years 1200 mg of calcium.

Vitamin D. For adults ages 19 to 70, 15 mcg of vitamin D per day is recommended. For adults 71 years and older, 20 mcg is suggested.

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