3 habits that can improve your bone health as you age
These two nutrients play a key role in maintaining bone health. Calcium makes up most of your skeletal structure, and it also helps blood vessels contract and dilate, muscle function, and blood clotting, among other processes, according to National Institutes of Health3 (US NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF HEALTH).
When you don’t get enough calcium—through food or supplements—your body will stimulate the process of removing the mineral from your bones, increasing your risk of bone loss, Masternak says. Similarly, vitamin D, which can be obtained from food, supplements and exposure to the sun, helps the absorption of calcium in the intestines. Without enough calcium, your body will not be able to properly use all the calcium you consume, contributing to osteoporosis. NIH4.
To make sure you get the recommended 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams of calcium each day (depending on your age), choose foods such as dairy products (eg, yogurt, milk, cheese), fortified beverages (eg, soy milk, orange juice), and fish (such as salmon and sardines with bones). If you need help meeting this guideline after adjusting your diet, consider a supplement, Masternak says, whether it’s a well-designed multivitamin or a stand-alone calcium supplement.