One of the most important factors in maintaining healthy bones is following a well-balanced, nutrient rich diet that includes plenty of calcium and vitamin D. Calcium consumption supports bone and tooth formation and vitamin D improves calcium absorption and bone growth.
The recommended daily dose of calcium for adults up to age 50 is 1,000 milligrams and 200 international units of vitamin D. For adults over 50, the amount of calcium and vitamin D consumed should increase, particularly for those diagnosed with osteoporosis. In this post, we’ve provided a list of some of the most calcium and vitamin D rich foods. Adding more of these to your diet will help you reach your daily dose of calcium.
Foods Rich in Vitamin D and Calcium
Yogurt is vitamin D fortified, and many brands are of full of calcium as well. Keep in mind that Greek yogurts are full of protein, but tend to contain less calcium and little, if any, vitamin D compared to traditional varieties.
Eight ounces of fat-free milk provides 30% of your daily dose of calcium. Brands fortified with vitamin D can help all of that calcium go to good use.
When it comes to cheese, it’s important not to overdo it. Carrying extra weight is not good for joint health. However, a thick slice (1.5 ounces) of cheddar cheese contains over a third of the daily recommended amount of calcium.
A 3-ounce piece of sockeye salmon contains more than 100% of your vitamin D for a day. Additionally, the omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon are good for your heart. Other fish like tuna are also packed with vitamin D. Three ounces of tuna contains almost 400 milligrams and sardines are a great source of both calcium and vitamin D.
Spinach is a great way to get calcium for people who can’t eat or don’t like dairy products. On top of that, this food contains calcium, fiber, iron, and vitamin A. Other leafy greens rich with calcium include turnip greens, kale and broccoli.
Eggs only contain 6% of your daily vitamin D, but they’re an easy way to get it. If you’re looking to up your vitamin intake, don’t just consume the egg whites, the vitamin D is held in the yolk.
A glass of fresh-squeezed OJ doesn’t have calcium or vitamin D, but it’s often fortified to contain these nutrients.
Cereal is a quick and very easy way to get calcium and vitamin D, especially with the edition of milk to your bowl. Avoid cereals loaded with sugar and opt for vitamin-fortified brands. Some cereals can provide half of the calcium you need for the day.
Reference: Health.com; “11 Foods for Healthy Foods”; http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20365458,00.html
Reference: Health.com; Rebecca Buffum Taylor; “12 Foods to Boost Bone Health”; April 30, 2009; http://www.webmd.com/osteoporosis/living-with-osteoporosis-7/diet-nutrition