Sure, that cast looked cute as part of your mummy Halloween costume. However, now that the masquerades are over, you’re likely sick of sitting on the disabled list with a broken bone.

How can you strengthen your skeleton and prevent fractures? You can benefit your bone health greatly by making healthy food choices. Here are nine of the tastiest treats to incorporate into your diet.

1. Carrots

Does osteoporosis run in your family? If so, you might want to make like Bugs Bunny and reach for some carrots. Many people mistakenly believe taking a calcium supplement is all they need to do for healthy bones. However, it’s the synergistic interplay of many different minerals working together that produces the most significant health effects. In particular, a diet high in vegetables like carrots benefits overall well-being — including bone health.

2. Dark, Leafy Greens

Your teeth have to work overtime to chew deep greens like Swiss chard and arugula — and this helps strengthen your teeth. Both collard greens and spinach rank among the vegetables highest in calcium, too. Your body needs calcium to build healthy bones.

Fortunately, it’s easy to incorporate more of these veggies into your diet. You can make a traditional collard greens side dish with your evening meal. Add a few leaves to your lunchtime salad or wrap. You can even blend arugula or kale into your morning omelet.

3. Radishes

Radishes help your bones in two ways. These red root vegetables contain vitamin K, a nutrient that may impact calcium absorption as much as vitamin D. Additionally, cruciferous vegetables act as natural toothbrushes. As you chew, your mouth releases more saliva to rinse away plaque-causing bacteria. The crunch of such veggies also scrubs particles away from tooth surfaces. Additionally, your body needs this vitamin to strengthen bones and recover from fractures.

4. Beans

Phosphorus, like fluoride, is an essential mineral for dental health. You can get healthy levels of this mineral from beans of all varieties, from pinto to kidney.

Beans also contain high levels of protein, so if you embrace a vegan or vegetarian diet, strive to eat more. You can make a batch of burritos to freeze and take one along for a grab-and-go workday lunch.

5. Broccoli

Even if you follow a vegan lifestyle, you can get adequate calcium by incorporating more broccoli into your diet. As a bonus, these “little trees” are widely known in folk medicine for preventing cancer. Healthy adults need 1,000 mg of calcium daily, and this veggie provides nearly 10% of that figure in one serving.

6. Yogurt

You can take calcium supplements all day long, but if your diet lacks adequate levels of vitamin D, you won’t absorb it effectively. Start your day with a healthy parfait containing yogurt. You can also get the same benefits from nondairy yogurt if you don’t consume dairy products. Many varieties contain high levels of the sunshine vitamin. Your body can also manufacture this nutrient with adequate sun exposure. Strive to get outdoors for at least 10-15 minutes daily without sunscreen to boost levels of vitamin D, too.

7. Sesame Seeds and Tahini

Protein builds muscles, which support a healthy skeleton. You can make sunflower seed tahini easily at home and use this spread to increase your intake of amino acids. You can sprinkle the seeds on salads to add a satisfying crunch and salty flavor without reaching for the shaker.

Strengthen Your Bones by Making Good Dietary Choices

If you want to strengthen your bones and prevent fractures and osteoporosis, start by taking a look at what you put on your plate. When you combine a healthy diet with reasonable exercise and adequate rest, you benefit your skeleton and your overall health.

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