So that our bones do not become old at an advanced age, we have to create a stable base already in our youth. An adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D makes an important contribution to the prevention of bone loss and osteoporosis. Learn which foods are especially healthy for the bones.
Minor bones in old age
Our bones are by no means rigid, dead tissue, it is rather an extremely metabolically active organ, in which constantly reorganization processes take place. They consist mainly of connective tissue, which is responsible for the elasticity, and to large proportions of calcium, which provides the hardness and resistance.
In old age, the strength of our bones decreases, they slowly become crumbly and break more easily. The hormones also play an important role here: after menopause, women are at particular risk of developing osteoporosis - the term for crunchy bones. This is shown, for example, by the fact that older women are more likely to break a bone in a fall than younger ones.
Calcium stabilizes the bones
In order to maintain the resilience of the bones, it is important to take enough calcium with food at a young age. For a sufficient supply of calcium, the German Society for Nutrition (DGE) recommends 1, 000 milligrams of calcium per day. Calcium rich foods are especially dairy products.
It does not necessarily have to be milk. If you do not like milk, yogurt, cottage cheese and cheese are just as good. Especially matured cheeses such as soft, chopped and hard cheeses contain a lot of calcium. Notable amounts of calcium are also found in plant foods such as broccoli, kale, chard, nuts and seeds. Also calcium-rich mineral water (> 150 milligrams / liter) makes a contribution.
Tips for calcium-rich nutrition:
The following tips help with the choice of calcium-rich foods:
- The harder the cheese, the higher the calcium content.
- For cheeses with different fat content, the lower fat cheese contains more calcium than the higher fat cheese.
- For milk and sour milk products, heat treatment and fat content have little influence on the calcium content.
Calcium content of selected foods:
|1 glass of milk (1.5% fat)||200 ml||246 mg|
|1 cup of yoghurt (1.5% fat)||150 g||185 mg|
|1 slice of Emmentaler (45% fat in tr.)||30 g||309 mg|
|1 serving of kale||200 g||424 mg|
|1 serving of fennel||200 g||218 mg|
|1 serving of broccoli||200 g||176 mg|
|1 portion leek||200 g||126 mg|
|2 tbsp almonds||20 g||50 mg|
|2 tablespoons of sesame||20 g||157 mg|
Vitamin D promotes calcium intake
In order to store calcium in the bones, the body needs vitamin D as an aid, which we also absorb in the diet. Rich in vitamin D are egg yolks, dairy products and fatty fish. The skin is also able to produce vitamin D when exposed to the sun, but this ability diminishes with age. In winter, less "skin vitamin" is converted due to the lower sunshine duration.
In addition to calcium, vitamin D plays an important role in bone metabolism. Foods such as sea fish, egg yolk, mushrooms, cow's milk or fish oil provide a good supply. 20 micrograms of vitamin D should be given daily.
Sun for more vitamin D in the body
In addition to a healthy and balanced diet, regular exposure to the fresh air promotes the body's production of the vitamin, as vitamin D can also be produced in the skin under the influence of UV light. Therefore, stay outdoors as often as possible.
In order to meet the necessary need for calcium and vitamin D, one should especially consciously feed. Regular exercise in the fresh air and sun not only promotes vitamin D conversion, it also trains the muscles and stimulates their metabolism. The bones remain strong and do not break easily.
Vitamin D: overdose
If you take too much vitamin D over a longer period of time, it may happen that the intestine absorbs too much calcium and the bones release more calcium.
This is followed by hypercalcaemia - an increased level of calcium in the blood, associated with symptoms such as muscle weakness, depression or digestive tract disorders.
Therefore, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) recommends a maximum intake of vitamin D via dietary supplements of 20 micrograms per day.
The BfR has also made a recommendation for the additional intake of calcium via dietary supplements: the maximum limit here is 500 milligrams per day.