One of the most important foundations of good health is maintaining your teeth and bones. If you build strong teeth and bones while you’re still young, you will have a far less chance of developing osteoporosis or requiring dental implants later in life. Practicing good hygiene and living an active lifestyle are important, but it’s the way that you eat that can have the biggest impact on your teeth, gums and skeletal system.
1. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are one of the healthiest types of food that you can eat. A half cup of turnip greens can contain up to 125 mg of calcium, and spinach is also a wonderful source. To provide your body with the highest possible amount of calcium and other nutrients, eat leafy greens each day and alternate the types.
2. Fresh Fish
The health benefits of fish go far beyond your teeth and bones, but the vitamin D that fish can provide is crucial for helping the body absorb calcium. A single serving of salmon can provide your body with 70 IU of vitamin D, and a can of sardines contains nearly 180 IU. The National Institutes of Health recommend adults ingest about 600 IU per day to ensure good bone density, so it’s best to get some of it from fish and take the rest in supplement form.
Almonds are rich in good fats, calcium and magnesium, making them an excellent healthy treat. A one-ounce serving contains 80 mg of magnesium, and an average-sized adult needs up to 400 mg of magnesium per day. If you eat almonds regularly, it can help you reach that requirement.
4. Olive Oil
Oil isn’t typically thought of as a bone-healthy food, but studies are showing that it may help to prevent osteoporosis. In a recent study, researchers determined that men who ate a diet rich in olive oil had healthier bones than those who did not. It has also been noted that those who live in the Mediterranean suffer less bone problems than people of other European countries, possibly because the Mediterranean diet is so rich in olive oil.
5. Milk, Yogurt and Cheese
No bone-healthy list would be complete without dairy products. A single cup of milk contains up to 300 mg of calcium, making it by far the richest source available. Yogurt is also great. Not only does it contain even more calcium per cup than milk, but it also has good bacteria that can aid your gut in functioning correctly. The better your gut functions, the more nutrients you can absorb, so eating yogurt really is a double victory for your body.