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Eat Your Way to Healthy Bones

Easy recipes for calcium-rich meals

Composition of Regional Produce

Dairy products, dark green vegetables, fish and nuts are good sources of calcium. — J.Hall/photocuisine/Corbis

Good nutrition plays a vital role in maintaining strong bones. And that's especially important after age 50, when bone density begins to decline and your risk of skeletal fractures goes up.

See also: Eating for a healthy heart.

While diet alone can't prevent problems, healthy nutrition is a cornerstone of reducing your vulnerability. It's especially important that you get enough calcium, which is found in dairy products and in dark green vegetables like broccoli, kale and bok choy. (Nuts and tofu fortified with calcium are good choices, too.)

Another crucial nutrient is vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium. The best food sources include oily fish such as salmon and sardines, eggs, liver, fortified dairy products, margarine and cereals. (You can also get this vitamin through moderate exposure to sunlight.)

Don't forget that a bone-friendly lifestyle includes getting exercise, avoiding smoking and alcohol, and eating an overall healthy diet. Give your bones a boost with some of these tasty recipes:

Cod and Corn Chowder
This savory and satisfying soup is rich in calcium and protein.

Honey Glazed Salmon
Salmon fillets, rich in vitamin D, can be cooked in less than 10 minutes and are endlessly versatile.

Chicken Breasts With Garlic Cloves
The lean protein from the chicken and calcium from the baked vegetables make this entree a complete nutritious meal.

Asparagus au Gratin
A quick, easy and nutritious side dish. 

Pasta With Sun-Dried Tomatoes
The wheat pasta in this easy recipe is a good source of calcium.

Next: More calcium-rich recipes. >>

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