1. Incorporate Calcium Rich Super foods
Although dairy foods are a rich source of calcium, milk, yogurt and cheese are only part of the solution of incorporating calcium-rich foods in ones diet. Think beyond dairy. Knowing that an 8 ounce glass of milk contains 300 mg calcium, use the following references to compare additional dietary sources of calcium. Also, refer to the specific foods on the list published by The International Osteoporosis Foundation.
- Collard Greens (268mg per 1 cup cooked)
- Tofu (434mg ½ cup)
- Broccoli (100mg in 2 cups raw)
- Kale 100mg (1 cup raw)
- Bok Choy (74 mg 1 cup shredded)
- Figs (121mg ½ dried)
- Oranges (74mg 1 orange); Fortified OJ (350mg cup)
- Sardines (351 mg 3.75 ounce can)
- Salmon (232 mg medium portion)
- White beans (63mg in ½ cup cooked)
- Okra (82mg in 1 cup)
THINK BEYOND DAIRY FOR CALCIUM. GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLE SUCH AS BOK CHOY ARE RICH IN CALCIUM.
2. Recognize how to get vitamin D
Get moderate sunlight during non-peak hours for limited periods of time; walk outside, do yard work. You can still wear sunscreen on your face. Vitamin D rich foods include: oily fish including salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, portobello mushrooms, fortified foods such as milk and cereal, tofu, egg yokes and pork.
3. Skip the Cola
Avoid cola, sweets, excessive salt, and the foods listed above in #3. Spinach is fine to eat, but not as a source of calcium.
4. Go for a walk, every day
Walk with light weights, do yoga, start weight-bearing activity, build muscle mass.
5. Search for clues from the past
If your parents or relatives suffered a hip or vertebral fracture, you may be at risk as well. Research family history if possible. Caucasian and Asian populations are at highest risk for osteoporosis.
6. Meet with your doctor
Discuss bone building strategies with your doctor. Know your T-score, the measurement determined by the DEXA or bone density test, which compares your bone density to those of a healthy young adult.
To learn more about osteoporosis, calcium and diet, click here to view recent slides from lecture I gave on bone health.