MountainStar Health - August 19, 2019

We all know milk does the body (and bones) good. But to keep bones strong for years to come, think outside the carton! While calcium is essential for bone health, nutrients like vitamin D, potassium, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids also support your skeleton. Give your bones an extra boost with smart food pairings like these:

Edamame and salmon

Bone benefits: A single cup of edamame delivers 10% of your daily-recommended calcium intake. Oily fish like salmon contains protein and omega-3 fatty acids that support bone health, as well as vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium.

Tip: Serve salmon with a delicious succotash made by combining edamame with corn, tomatoes, okra and green peppers.

Yogurt and prunes

Bone benefits: Yogurt is loaded with calcium, along with phosphorus, potassium and vitamin B12. Prunes are high in vitamin K, magnesium and potassium, as well as other compounds that may reduce bone loss.

Tip: Stew prunes with a little vanilla and cinnamon, then cool and spoon onto plain yogurt. For a crunch, toss in a few almonds, which contain more calcium than other nuts, as well as healthy fats and magnesium.

Kale and figs

Bone benefits: Dark leafy greens like kale have lots of calcium along with vitamins K and C, which may protect bones. Figs pack more calcium than any dried fruit and also provide potassium, vitamin K and other antioxidants.

Tip: Prep farro and top with sautéed kale and figs to create a simple, healthy grain bowl. Add a sprinkle of goat cheese to bump up the calcium.

Spinach and feta

Bone benefits: Spinach is high in calcium, but contains compounds that make the calcium hard to absorb. Still, it has other bone-friendly nutrients like potassium, magnesium and zinc. Feta cheese adds extra calcium, plus protein and other beneficial nutrients.

Tip: Toss with strawberries and blueberries for an antioxidant-rich salad or whip up a spinach and feta pizza topped with tomatoes and onions.