We usually think of bone mass issues as something that affects older people. While that’s usually true, the time to “invest” in bone health is when you’re young in order to avoid future issues. Children build 40% of their bone mass between the ages of 9-14 and reach 90% of their peak bone mass by age 18 for boys and 20 for girls. The younger years are critical! Here are the main nutrients to look for to build strong bones:
•Calcium - Great sources of calcium are dairy products, almonds, broccoli, kale, figs, and calcium-fortified foods such as cereals.
•Vitamin D - While you can absorb Vitamin D from the sun, it usually doesn’t provide you with enough, and can have harmful effects on your body. Foods that can help are egg yolks, salmon, and tuna as well as fortified foods such as orange juice and milk.
•Magnesium - For this mineral, think avocados, peanut butter, black beans, spinach, and almonds.
•Vitamin K - You can find lots of this vitamin in leafy greens such as kale, cabbage, spinach, and broccoli. Peas and green beans are also good sources.
As you can see, a healthy diet plays a huge part in a child’s bone health. Check back later this week as we look at other ways to boost bone health even further and things to avoid that may harm their growth.