Build Bone Health With Vegetables
Vegetables are packed with several micronutrients ranging from minerals and essential vitamins, phytonutrients and dietary fibre
Vegetables contain all the essential nutrients required for nutrition and are usually low in calories. They are also packed with several micronutrients ranging from minerals and essential vitamins, phytonutrients and dietary fibre. Nutritionists often recommend around four-five servings of vegetables in a day. It is known that people who consume vegetables as a part of their daily diet have reduced their chances of acquiring chronic diseases. You can make vegetables more palatable by adding them to salads, sandwiches or soups. Vegetables can be consumed either raw or cooked, according to individual preferences.
Nutrition And Bone Health
Bones support and protect various organs in the body. Collagen, osteoclasts, osteoblasts and osteocysts make up the overall structure of bones. Collagen is the main fibrous protein in the body. The two important minerals that play a key role in keeping the bones healthy are calcium and vitamin D. If there are insufficient stores of calcium in the body. ¡t leads to osteoporosis and calcium metabolism disorders in small children.
Further, if this condition continues for a long period of time it eventually leads to thinning of bones causing frequent fractures. Vitamin D is essential for the proper absorption of calcium in the body. Potassium salts help in bone health by reducing bone resorption thereby strengthening the bones and increasing bone density. And vitamin K plays a vital role in bone metabolism.
Green leafy vegetables are not the best sources of calcium, phosphorus and Vitamin D, but their role in our diet cannot be ignored. They are definitely contributors of many minerals and vitamins.
How To Enhance Calcium Absorption
- Calcium absorption depends upon an individual’s age and diet consumed during adolescence.
- The consumption of vitamin D enhances calcium absorption. Sources of vitamin D include cod liver oil, mushrooms, tofu etc. These can be included in the diet. Also, daily exposure to sunrays will fulfil vitamin D requirement.
- Exercise too improves calcium absorption in the body.
- Calcium absorption is also facilitated with the consumption of protein.
What Impairs Calcium Absorption?
Found mostly in leafy vegetables such as spinach, oxalates bind with calcium and increase its loss. For example, even though sweet potatoes contain calcium, not all of it is absorbed because of oxalic acid present in them.
The body uses excess protein for energy. However, as protein is burned for energy, it produces sulphate increasing the amount of calcium excreted in the urine, thus decreasing the amount of calcium in the body.
Excess sodium leads to less absorption of calcium in the body.
Consumption of too much caffeine leads to excretion of calcium salts through the urine.
Generally, administered to people suffering from arthritis, this can lead to a loss of calcium when taken in excess.
|Vegetables And Minerals|
|List Of Vegetables||Calcium||Phosphorus||Vitamin K|
|Type of Vegetable||Salient Features||Examples|
|Green Leafy Vegetable||Calcium, phosphorus, potassium, antioxidants, folate, carotenoids||Spinach, drumstick, fenugreek, coriander, and mustard greens|
|Cruciferous Vegetable||Calcium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamins, lutein||Cauliflower, cabbage|
|Roots/Tubers||Sodium, potassium, carbohydrates||Potato, yam, carrots, radish|
|Others||Calcium, potassium, phosphorus||Green peas, lady’s finger|