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The Best Foods To Eat For Strong And Healthy Bones

The Best Foods To Eat For Strong And Healthy Bones

Are you interested in keeping your bones strong and healthy? If so, exercises like walking and lifting weights can help, but your diet is also incredibly important! A bone-healthy diet is going to include minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins like vitamin D and K. Below is a guide to some of the best foods you can eat to get the nutrients you need.

1. Yogurt

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    If you want to keep your bones strong, yogurt is one of the best foods that you can eat. A single serving of yogurt will provide you with 30% of your calcium and 20% of your vitamin D for the day. It is also incredibly versatile and is great in smoothies or parfaits.

    Apart from all of this, yogurt is good even for those who are lactose intolerant as it is an excellent source of probiotics, the healthy bacteria that live in your gut and that can improve both your digestion and immunity. However, be sure to choose one that is unsweetened and has live, active cultures.

    2. Cheese

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      Apart from yogurt, cheese is another great way to go to support your bone health. Cheese is high in fat, but the good news is that you don’t have to eat a lot to get the calcium you need — just an ounce and a half of cheddar cheese can give you 30% of the calcium you need for the day. Keep in mind, however, that the amount of calcium will vary from one cheese to another.

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      Apart from being high in calcium, cheese is also a great source of protein and is good to include in vegetarian diets.

      3. Sardines

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        These fish may be tiny, but they come packed with a bone-strengthening combination of calcium, vitamin K, and vitamin D. This is because sardines are eaten with their bones still in them. They are great when added to salads or can also be placed on toast for a quick and easy snack.

        Sardines are also part of a healthy diet because they can give you a big dose of protein while still staying low in fat.

        4. Salmon and Other Fatty Fish

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          Salmon and other fatty fish are great for preventing bone weakness with a winning combination of calcium and vitamin D — just a few ounces of salmon will give you 100% of your daily vitamin D requirements. Not a salmon fan? That’s okay, other fishes like tuna and mackerel are also great choices.

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          These fish will not only give you strong bones but a strong heart: they are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol naturally.

          5. Spinach

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            A bone-healthy diet doesn’t just have to rely on meat and dairy products — there are plenty of plant-based foods that will keep your bones strong as well. One of the best of these is spinach, which gives you a rich combination of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin K, with few calories and absolutely no fat!

            The good news doesn’t end there: spinach is also great for getting your iron and fiber for the day. And if you want to explore other greens that will also be great for your health, collards, turnip greens, kale, bok choy, and other leafy green vegetables are your top picks.

            6. Fortified Orange Juice

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              It might come as a surprise, but fruits are also a great way to protect your bones. One particularly good drink is orange juice that has been fortified with calcium and vitamin D. What makes it even better is that it is already high in potassium.

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              Orange juice is also high in vitamin C, which will help develop your immune system. However, because it is also high in calories and sugar, it is something you will want to enjoy in moderation.

              7. Figs

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                Orange juice is not the only way to go if you are looking for fruits that will help build up your bones. Figs, too, are a great choice, since they are not only high in calcium but also in other important nutrients like potassium and magnesium. Keep in mind that there is a difference in the values between fresh fruits (with 90 mg of calcium) and dried ones (with 120 mg).

                Figs are also great for you because they give you a load of fiber, which can improve your digestive system and, because it curbs your appetite, help fight hunger pains.

                8. Potatoes

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                  Potatoes don’t usually come to mind when you think about foods that prevent bone loss, but they actually are a good food to include in your diet. They have a rich combination of magnesium, potassium, and vitamin K. They are especially good if you prepare them with their skins still on.

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                  However, while potatoes are high in nutrients, they are another food that is best enjoyed in moderation, as they are calorie-dense and, due to being full of starch, can spike your blood sugar

                  9. Almonds

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                    Almonds are another nutrient-rich food that will give you loads of both calcium and vitamin K. You can eat them raw as a snack or enjoy them in the form of nut butters or nut-based milks like almond milk (which makes a great base for a breakfast smoothie).

                    Almonds are also rich in good-for-you fats, proteins, and fiber, and studies have shown that people who eat them regularly are more likely to have a healthy body weight than those who do not.

                    10. Soy

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                      Are you vegetarian but still want to avoid the problem of weak bones? Then load up on the soy! In all its forms — tofu, tempeh, or soy milk — soy is a great source of not only calcium, but also of compounds called isoflavones, which studies have shown to ward off osteoporosis for women who have hit menopause.

                      Soy is also both low in fat and high in protein, making it a great choice for an overall healthy diet.

                      So, if you want to build those strong and healthy bones that will keep you fit and active even as you age, load up on the foods above. They will provide you with a rich blend of vitamins and minerals that will keep osteoporosis at bay — and give you a wide range of health benefits on the side.

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                      Brian Wu

                      Health Writer, Author

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                      Last Updated on July 8, 2020

                      18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

                      18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

                      The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

                      1. Understand Yourself Better

                      Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

                      Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

                      2. Keep Track of Small Changes

                      I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

                      Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

                      3. Become Aware of What Matters

                      As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

                      You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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                      4. Boost Creativity

                      The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

                      When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

                      You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

                      5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

                      A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

                      Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

                      6. Process Life Experiences

                      When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

                      Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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                      7. Stress Relief

                      In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

                      Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

                      8. Provide Direction

                      Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

                      One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

                      9. Solve Problems

                      Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

                      Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

                      When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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                      10. Find Relief From Fighting

                      Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

                      Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

                      11. Find Meaning in Life

                      Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

                      12. Allow Yourself to Focus

                      Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

                      13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

                      When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

                      14. Let the Past Go

                      I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

                      15. Allow Freedom

                      Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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                      16. Enhance Your Career

                      Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

                      Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

                      17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

                      All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

                      18. Catalog Your Life for Others

                      No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

                      We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

                      Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

                      Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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