According to a study published in the journal PLOS One, nutrition has a greater impact on bone mass and strength than exercise. The study was conducted on mice by looking at mineral supplementation and exercise. In the study, even after the exercise training stopped, the mice retained bone strength gains as long as they ate a mineral-supplemented diet. According to the researchers, the longer-term mineral supplemented diet leads to not only increases in bone mass and strength, but the ability to maintain those increases even after detraining. The second important finding is that the diet alone has beneficial effects on bone, even without exercising.
The data suggests the long-term consumption of the mineral-supplemented diet could be beneficial in preventing the loss of bone and strength with age, even if you don't do exercise training. While most studies look at effects of increasing dietary calcium, the new study looked at the effects of increased dietary calcium and phosphorus, and found benefits to increasing both. The researchers claimed that this is not to suggest that people run out and buy calcium and phosphorus supplements. Though the findings do not translate directly from mice to humans, they do give researchers a conceptual place to start.
A good diet includes sufficient calories and adequate protein, fat and carbohydrates, as well as, minerals and vitamins- particularly vitamin D and the mineral calcium. Varied and enjoyable eating habits, including calcium-rich foods, are a recipe for a lifetime of strong bones and the high quality of life that comes with them. Calcium is a major building block of our bone tissue; therefore, it is important for you to load up on calcium-rich foods.
Calcium-rich foods for healthy bones:
Yogurt comes fortified with calcium and vitamin D. It contains about 30 percent of your calcium and 20% of your vitamin D for the day. Ideally you should make dahi at home, but if you don't want to, buy fresh, unsweetened dahi to ensure you are loaded with enough of these nutrients.
If you don't like dairy products, make way for spinach. One cup of cooked spinach contains almost 25 percent of your daily calcium, plus fibre, iron and vitamin A, all of which are known to promote overall health.
Milk is a good source of both calcium and vitamin D, which are important for bone health. Drink low- or non-fat milk. Pour a glassful of milk and drink the goodness daily.
Tuna is a fatty fish that is loaded with calcium and vitamin D that helps keep your bone health in check. Add some amount of fish in your daily diet.
Cheese is not that bad after all! It has high amount of calcium and it is said that mozzarella has the highest amount of calcium. For a healthier option, try cheese made from skim-milk. This doesn't mean you eat lots of cheese in your burgers and pizzas. It only means that a slice of cheese is enough to provide you with sufficient calcium for the day.