Since childhood, we were taught at school that drinking milk can strengthen the bones because it contains calcium. Other than milk, dairy products are also great sources of calcium such as cheese, powdered milk, yogurt, ice cream and others. However, dairy products are not only the best sources of calcium. But if you’re lactose intolerant, dairy products is a big NO. Have no fear, you have other options such as fish, fruits, and vegetables which can also become the best candidate for the best source of calcium or bone-strengthening vitamins. Calcium provides many health benefits which covers muscular, skeletal, cardiovascular, excretory and digestive health to name some. Some of its specific benefits include weight management, protection of cardiac muscles, blood pressure management, colon cancer prevention, kidney stone prevention, dental care and many others.   However, calcium is not the only mineral that is necessary in promoting bone health and strength. There are other vitamins and minerals which can help strengthen the bones. These include Vitamin D, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Vitamin K2 and trace minerals such as boron, copper, zinc and silicon. But most people take these in supplement format or capsules to easily get the benefits that they offer. However, taking in synthetic food supplements can be harmful to your liver since there are known and proven risks of some possible side effects which may cost a great deal of your health, or even your life. But there are natural sources of these bone-strengthening vitamins which are available in grocery stores, your kitchen or your backyard that you can turn to in order to avoid experiencing any side effect.   Here are the 5 best calcium-giving foods that will help strengthen your bones:     1. Dragon Fruit     Content: 8.8 grams of calcium per fruit   Dragon fruits have recently caught the market’s attention due to its unusual and unique appearance; bright red color and scale-like skin, which earned its name and reputation. However, it has more to offer than its appearance because its inside is sweet and juicy. Other than its taste and looks, Dragon fruits have a surprising number of phytonutrients which offers an almost holistic health advantage such as:  

  • Antioxidants which cleanses the body of toxins
  • Immune system boosting Vitamin C which is equivalent to 10 percent of the body’s daily needs
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids, or good fatty acids
  • Several B vitamins for carbohydrate metabolism, carotene and protein
  • Calcium for strong bones and teeth
  • Iron and phosphorus for healthy blood and tissue formation

    2. Sardines   Content: 351 milligrams of calcium in one 3.75-ounce can These little fishes have more than what you can think of. These salty little fish add tons of umami flavor to your food such as salads and pastas. In fact, they are the most popular among their kind in terms of providing joy to the dining table. However, they serve more than just calcium because sardines are an amazing source of vitamin B-12, which is a key nutrient for brain and nervous system health. Sardines also contain vitamin D, which is essential for bone health and notoriously difficult to get through food because the most abundant source of vitamin D is the sunlight.     3. Canned Salmon   Content: 232 milligrams of Calcium in half a can Canned salmon is the best option if you can’t find an environmentally friendly farmed salmon or simply can’t afford wild-caught salmon which can cost twice as much. Its in-can format can definitely do the job for you, which really doesn’t have any difference from a wild-caught salmon. Half a can provides 44% of your daily calcium needs, as well as 38 grams of belly-flattening protein. That’s true, eating sardines can help you achieve a flat belly.     4. Collard greens   Content: 268 milligrams of Calcium per 1 cup cooked Most are not fond of vegetables or leafy greens. If you’re one of them, it’s time to change perspectives. The color green is often associated with cleanliness or something that is fresh, natural and healthy, and Collard greens live up to these descriptions. Other than serving up more than a quarter of your daily calcium needs, this wonder leaf is also loaded with nearly three days worth of vitamin A, a nutrient that helps keep your eyes clear and sharp as you age.     5. Figs   Content: 121 milligrams of calcium per 1/2 cup dried The Fig tree is a biblical tree that belongs to the mulberry family. It has a plethora of different varieties, but regardless, they still offer the same benefit. Biting into a dried fig is like chowing down on a fiber and potassium-packed fruit. Figs are also a great source of magnesium, a nutrient that the body uses in more than 300 biomechanical reactions, such as maintaining your muscle function, keeping your heart’s rhythm steady, and strengthening your bones, to name a few.     Runner Up     Kale   Content: 101 milligrams of calcium in 1 cup raw, chopped   It is considered as a super food by some because it almost has it all. It racks up just 30 calories per serving, provides a day’s worth of vitamin C and twice the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, and a generous 101 milligrams of calcium per serving. It also provides a dose of vitamin K, a nutrient that helps your blood clot. This particular vitamin will help stop bleeding when you get a cut or bruise yourself.

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