With Christmas fast approaching, you’ll be pleased to know that many of your favourite festive foods will be a treat for your bones as well as your tastebuds.
Calcium is a vital nutrient for strong, healthy bones, alongside Vitamin D which helps our bodies absorb it from our food. Vitamin C is also important as it plays a key role in the production of collagen in the bone matrix.
As luck would have it, quite a few foods associated with Christmas are rich in bone-building nutrients.
Here are some of the top foods to bring to your table to boost your bones.
Turkey – the centrepiece of many people’s Christmas Day tables, turkey is a very good source of calcium and protein.
Roast potatoes – another firm favourite, potatoes are rich in calcium and roasting them – rather than boiling them – helps prevent too many nutrients being lost in the cooking water. They also contain potassium which can help balance any acidity in your body to stop it leaching away calcium.
Brussels sprouts – like them or loathe them, your bones will LOVE the humble Brussels sprout which is an excellent source of Vitamin C.
Cranberries – it’s hard to resist these bright berries and why should you? Cranberries are packed with calcium while the phytonutrients found in the skin and flesh can help fight inflammation which it’s believed can increase bone loss.
Christmas Pudding, Christmas Cake and Mince Pies are all packed with dried fruits which themselves contain good levels of calcium. It’s also thought dried fruits can help slow the breakdown of bone in your body. And don’t forget to bring out the dates as they’re great for bones too!
Dark chocolate contains, among other things, potassium, zinc and selenium which are all good for your bones meaning this delicious sweet treat more than earns its place on the Christmas table.
Smoked salmon for breakfast is a lovely way to start Christmas Day: as well as being rich in omega-3 fatty acids, it also packs a calcium and vitamin D punch.
Cheese is one of the best-known calcium-rich foods so feel free to bring out the cheese board this Christmas.
Nuts are high in calcium, potassium and protein which your bones will love. Eat a few each day and enjoy a range including almonds, walnuts and Brazil nuts. Avoid salted, honey-roasted and caramelised versions if you can!
Chestnuts are also good for your bones as they contain the mineral copper which is thought to enhance bone strength.
Aside from eating a good diet, walking is great for bones. Get yourself outdoors for a family walk to help clear your mind, lift your mood, boost your bones and restore your energy. And it might just get you out of doing the washing up too!