From salmon to yogurt, the food you eat can strengthen your bones and joints. The National Osteoporosis Foundation says that 10 million Americans suffer from osteoporosis and another 44 million suffer from low bone density. About 54 million total (half of all adults over the age of 50) are at risk of breaking a bone.

If this describes you or a loved one, you should be very concerned about bone health. One way you can address this concern is to eat the right foods and take the proper supplements.

Truth is, bone disease can be preventable through the addition of plenty of calcium and vitamin D in your daily diet. These two vitamins can help you preserve bone strength as you age. For example, high vitamin D levels can assist with bone health and muscle fatigue as well as improve energy levels. Proper levels of these two nutrients can also help with arthritis.

Examples of Calcium and Vitamin D Rich Foods

Here are some food suggestions that are high in calcium and vitamin D.

  • Calcium-fortified cereal: Go with a calcium-fortified cereal that’s high in fiber yet low in sugar, and add milk for calcium. Some whole grain cereal with a cup of milk supplies you with 600 mg of calcium.
  • Salmon: Fatty fish is a great way to get vitamin D. All you need is three ounces to get more than 100 percent of your daily value of vitamin D.
  • Dark leafy greens and veggies: Eat a mix of spinach, kale, bok choy and Swiss chard.
  • Yogurt: You can get 400 mg of calcium in one eight-ounce serving, making this a high-protein snack that also offers your body good bacteria for a healthy gut. Get additional protein with Greek yogurt, or try a non-fat yogurt for a healthy snack.
  • Milk Alternatives: From almond and soy to cashew and hemp milk, these alternatives have been fortified with vitamin D and calcium. For example, almond milk gives you up to 45 percent daily value calcium and 25 percent daily value vitamin D.

In addition to these foods, be sure to get out in the sun — in moderation of course. Dubbed the “sunshine vitamin,” you can get all you need for vitamin D with just 10 to 15 minutes of sunshine a day.

Get your vitamin D levels checked regularly by your doctor, especially if you suffer from osteoporosis. He or she may recommend a daily supplement. Also, it’s a good idea to keep track of your daily intake so you have examples to show your doctor or dietitian. Regular weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises are also recommended.

In the end, if you’re eating a well-balanced diet of dairy, fish, vegetables and fruits, you should be getting enough of these essential nutrients every day.

Contact Summit Spine and Joint Centers for Joint Pain Care

If you suffer from bone or joint stress, we have treatments that can help you. Be sure to eat a healthy diet, but in the meantime, call us for a free, no-obligation consultation today at 770-962-3642 and make an appointment to visit one our 24 pain centers including our featured new location for Pain Management in Lithia Springs, GA.