The mix of nutrients in colorful fruits and vegetables bolsters bone in ways we’re just beginning to understand. Choose a variety of greens, reds, oranges, yellows, purples, blues and more. Eat at least 1 1/2 cups of fruits and 2 cups of veggies each day.
Too much—or too little—protein stalls calcium absorption. Aim for 5 ounces a day for women and 5½ for men (about the size of two decks of cards). Popular, high-protein (low-carb) diets overdo it. Eat a balanced diet along with skinless poultry, fish, beans, nuts and seeds. Avoid fatty red meats.
Your body can only absorb about 500 mg of calcium at a time, so spread your intake across meals. Choose low fat and non-fat dairy (e.g., milk and yogurt). Skip fatty cheeses. Try canned salmon and sardines (eat the soft bones!). Eat dark leafy greens (except spinach), broccoli, dried figs and nuts.
Vitamin D helps your body use calcium. Milk usually is fortified with vitamin D. Some dairy products, juices, and cereals also may be fortified. Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines naturally contain some vitamin D.
Overdoing any of these drinks might harm bones:
Americans consume too much sodium. The top culprits: processed foods from the grocery store and restaurant meals.