Food can be the best medicine or the worst poison. Eating the right foods can actually help strengthen your bones and help build muscles. The part of food that can help your body is in the vitamins they contain. Calcium is vitally important to the development of strong bones. When a body is deficient in calcium, it pulls it out of your bones. Eating a sufficient amount of calcium a day can stop your body leaching from your bones and start to build a stronger skeleton. Calcium is particularly important in women, as osteoporosis is the second highest cause of death in women over 60. There are many ways to include calcium in your diet, and eating it has been shown to be better than taking supplements.
Calcium is also of high importance to your muscles. It affects your muscles through the contractions of movement. Vitamin D helps calcium be absorbed into your body and be used more efficiently. Vitamin D was added to fortify milk to prevent rickets, a soft bone disease in children. It is both important for bone health, but also muscle health. People low in vitamin D are weaker and have greater muscle fatigue.
We have put together the top 10 foods containing both calcium and vitamin D for an extra dose of healthy bones and muscles!
Fortified Milk: Milk was one of the first food items that was fortified with vitamin D. It is naturally high in calcium. Look for brands that advertise that they are fortified with vitamin D.
Fortified Juice: Another artificially fortified product, fruit juices commonly contain vitamins now. Many brands advertise that they are high in calcium and vitamin D. This is an easy switch to make if you already enjoy fruit juices.
Salmon: This fish is naturally high in both calcium and vitamin D. All species of salmon are good choices. An easy school lunch is canned salmon in the place of tuna salad.
Oysters: These shellfish are the staple of turkey dressing in some areas of the United States. They are low in fat and are very healthy.
Sardines: Canned sardines are a secret ingredient of good chefs. They melt into a salty paste that can be added to many different dishes. They are salty and have a depth of flavor that is unique.
Broccoli: Kids might hate their broccoli, but they are easy to make appetizing. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the top and say they are “little trees”.
Cereal with Milk: Cereal is another fortified product. They commonly have vitamin D added to the ingredients. Serve with milk to get both these great vitamins.
Bread: Some popular brands have great additions of vitamins. This is an easy way to get vitamin D and calcium in things children eat every day.
Tofu: Many people hate tofu, but it is a great ingredient if it is cooked properly. It also blends great in smoothies or sauces.
Almonds: These delicious nuts are high in protein, low in carbohydrates, and are packed with vitamins and minerals. A small handful can last all day as they are amazingly filling.