Bone Health Start with What’s on Your Plate
Here is a complete solution to a bone health diet!
An unhealthy lifestyle (like over-drinking, overconsumption of processed/unhealthy foods, and lack of physical exercise and healthy activity) is synonymous with picking a bone with your health.
It not only leads to multiple health problems but also makes you vulnerable to developing bone diseases like weakening of bones or osteoporosis, slow healing in case of fractures, and other bone problems.
Why Bone Health is Important
Bones are an integral part of our body. They need as much attention and consideration as a pimple on your face.
Did you know that there are about 26 bones in our foot and 56 in our wrist?
So many bones are involved in such small areas of our body. Even a slight weakness, fracture of any one of these bones can leave us unable to walk or move our hands easily.
Taking Care of Your Bones in the Younger Years is Much More Effective
Bones grow until puberty, and bone density and strength vary over an individual’s lifespan. During the young ages, bones are still dense and strong. But as we cross the 30 years of age, our bones start getting weak because our body starts absorbing calcium from our bones more than absorbing it through food or other sources.
Therefore, taking care of your bones much earlier in your life is much more effective than thinking of taking supplements and doing other healthy activities later on in life.
When talking about a bone-healthy diet, most of us are usually confused between what to eat and how to manage a healthy diet so that it does not taste boring and tasteless. But, of course, we all know that calcium, vitamin D and B12 are the most important nutrients for making our bones healthy. How can we include these nutrients in our everyday meals?
The recommended daily intake of calcium is 1000 mg. However, the interesting part is that if you space out your intake of calcium throughout the day, it is absorbed better by your body than if you eat high amounts of calcium in a single meal.
Hence dividing your intake of calcium through the day is much more effective in reinforcing your bone health. You can have a calcium-rich diet for breakfast, a bone-healthy drink in the evening, and other small portions during lunch or dinner.
5 Exciting Bone-Healthy Recipes
Below, I have curated interesting, tasty and bone-friendly recipes that can save you the trouble of planning healthy meals and do not require you to spend the whole day in the kitchen. Choose one or two dishes for each day to furnish your calcium and vitamins needs.
1. Quinoa-Chickpea Tabbouleh
This Lebanese-style salad is great as a side or can be had on its own. It involves nutrition boosters like chickpeas, quinoa, and other healthy vitamins.
3/4 cup quinoa, dry, cooked
1/2 cup beans, garbanzo (chickpeas), (from can, rinsed and drained)
1/2 cup cucumber, chopped
1/2 cup tomato, cherry, or grape, quartered
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon oil, olive
1 tablespoon parsley, fresh, chopped (optional)
- Combine the quinoa, chickpeas, cucumber, and tomatoes in a bowl
- Whisk the lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, salt, and pepper.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss it together to coat evenly with the sauce.
2. Beans Enchilada Casserole
Coming from Mexico, this spicy yet comforting dish is packed with bone-healthy fats, calcium and vitamins. It can be made as a main course dish.
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon almond flour
1 (8 ounces) Can of unsalted tomato sauce
¾ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (15 ounces) can unsalted black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounces) can of unsalted pinto beans, rinsed and drained
¾ cup chopped green sweet pepper (1 medium)
½ cup chopped onion (1 medium)
1 4-ounce can diced green chili peppers, undrained
Non-stick cooking spray
9 (6 inches) corn tortillas, cut into wedges
2 cups shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese (8 ounces)
1 cup sliced lettuce
1 sliced pitted ripe olives
1 chopped tomato
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Prepare Red Sauce: In a saucepan, melt butter, add flour and stir until smooth. Stir in tomato sauce, chicken broth, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cinnamon. Cook and stir until thickened and set aside.
- Prepare Filling: In a bowl, combine black beans, pinto beans, sweet pepper, onion and chili peppers; set aside.
- Assemble: Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Start by layering everything. Spread about 1/3 of the tomato sauce mixture on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Layer half of the tortillas on top of the sauce. Top with half of the bean mixture. Spread 1/3rd of the remaining sauce overall. Sprinkle it with some cheese. Layer the other half of the tortillas, top with beans again, spread the remaining sauce and top with grated cheese.
- Bake: Cover the dish with foil. Bake for 35 minutes. Open the foil and sprinkle some more cheese. Bake, uncovered, about 10 minutes more or until the cheese melts. If desired, top with lettuce, olives and/or chopped tomato.
3. Meal in a Bowl
This nourishing salad is a side dish and can also be the main course because it contains the perfect balance of healthy fats, proteins, calcium, and antioxidants.
1 cup spinach
2 tbsp carrot chopped or grated
1 cup sweet potato (or butternut squash), cooked and chopped
2 cups of cauliflower-rice, cooked and chopped
½ of Avocado
1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
1 tbsp walnuts or almonds
3 tsp cilantro, chopped
½ tsp black pepper or cayenne pepper
- Cook sweet potatoes and cauliflower. Cut and chopped.
- Wash and dry all the ingredients, slice avocados, and grate carrots.
- Assemble everything together in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, add pepper and lemon juice, and mix well. Garnish with cilantro and nuts.
4. Almond Butter Toast
This versatile almond butter toast is a great recipe for breakfast or snack munching. It is packed with bone-healthy vitamin K and folate and is high in fiber.
1 slice gluten-free bread
2 Tbsp almond butter
½ banana, sliced
2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 Tbsp Diced Prunes
Sprinkle of cinnamon
- Toast bread as desired and get ready for assembling
- Spread almond butter onto the toast generously. Top with sliced banana, pumpkin seeds, diced prunes. Sprinkle some powdered cinnamon.
- Serve and enjoy!
5. Plump Pumpkin Smoothie
Winters come with great food options. Pumpkin is a nutrient-rich vegetable and goes well in smoothies to take full advantage of its nutrition. Smoothies are a great source of calcium, and pepped up with pumpkin, they become even more nutrient-dense with bone-healthy vitamins and minerals like magnesium and zinc.
1 banana (fresh or frozen)
1 cup cashew milk (or any dairy nut)
1/2 cup pumpkin, puree (soak the seeds for 2-3 hours before using it. Make sure you rinse the water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie powder
Ice cubes, 3-5
- Put all of the ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth and frothy. Drink fresh.
Try these recipes and share them with me if you find them helpful.
While there are several recipes to support and uplift your bone health, the best recipe and the best diet is the one that suits your personal health goals holistically. Consumption of a single nutrient or a few nutrients cannot ensure complete health. A holistic approach is required to ensure healthy bones and a healthy body in every way. For more personalized diet plans, food options, and recipes, please book your consultation with me.
My first 20-minutes consultation is absolutely FREE that can help you give an insight into what your body needs and what can be done for long, healthy life.
 Fun Facts About Bones and Joints. Accessed from: https://www.bidmc.org/about-bidmc/wellness-insights/bones-and-joints/2018/08/fun-facts-about-bones-and-joints