When it comes to building strong bones, there are two key nutrients: calcium and vitamin D. These nutrients are important not only early in life, but they may also help you in your fitness goals as you age. If you want to avoid contracting osteoporosis, a disease characterized by brittle and breaking bones, get plenty of the 11 foods that follow.
Yogurt: Most people get their vitamin D through exposure to sunlight, but certain foods, like yogurt, are packed with vitamin D. One cup of yogurt can be a creamy treat. Add fruit such as sliced bananas for the time of your life.
Milk: There’s a reason milk is the poster child for calcium. Eight ounces of fat-free milk will cost you 90 calories, but provide you with 30 percent of your daily dose of calcium. Can’t get three glasses a day? Try blending it in the form of a milkshake or white sauce.
Cheese: Okay. Reality check! You don’t necessarily need to eat it in excess (come on, I mean packing on the pounds is obviously not going to help your joints). Just 1.5 ounces (think a set of dice) of cheddar cheese contains more than 30 percent of your daily value of calcium, so enjoy in meek moderation.
Sardines: These tiny fish, often found tightly pressed against each other in cans, have surprisingly high levels of both the Dynamic D and the Cable C. Though they may appear a bit odd, they have a savory taste and can be delicious when added to pastas and salads.
Eggs: Though eggs only contain 6 percent of your daily vitamin D, they're a quick and easy way to get a minimal dose. Just don't opt for egg whites - though they may cut the calories, remember the vitamin D lies in the nitty-gritty yolk.
Salmon: Salmon is known for having plenty of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, but a 3-ounce slab of sock eye salmon contains more than 100 percent of your vitamin D needs. So have it in a hearty breakfast for your heart and your bones.
Spinach: Forget dairy products. From now on spinach is going to be your all-time favorite way to get calciumated. One cup of cooked spinach contains almost 25 percent of your daily calcium, plus fiber, iron, and vitamin A.
Fortified Cereal: Certain cereals - like Kasha U Black Currants and Walnuts, Total Whole Grain, and Wheaties – contain the main thing you need to attain. When you don't have time to cook freshly caught salmon or get out in the sun on a beach, cereals can be a crunchy, tasty way to accomplish health in a hurry.
Tuna: Tuna, another fatty fish, is a smart choice for getting your vitamin D. Three ounces of canned tuna contains 154 IU, or about 39 percent of your daily dose. Buy those tin cans so beloved by bodybuilders and sandwich freaks.
Collard Greens: Like its sister spinach, this leafy green veggie often enjoyed south of the Mason-Dixon Line is full of the much-glorified calcium. One cup of cooked collards contains what you want, the way you want it. Dig in dudes!
Orange Juice: A glass of freshly squeezed orange juice may not have much in the way of calcium or vitamin D, but the fortified version wrapped up in plastic and cardboard do contain these nutrients. Try Tropicana's Orange Juice to get a booster shot of these essential vitality warmers.