To maintain strong bones and teeth, your body requires more than just milk. In fact, several different vitamins and nutrients are needed for bone and teeth strength. Most of these nutrients can be found in your everyday food sources and are probably in many of the foods you currently eat. To help your body stay structurally strong and ready for repair, incorporate foods that contain each of these vitamins and nutrients into your diet on a daily basis.
Calcium is likely the most common nutrient you’ve heard of for bone and teeth strength. In addition to helping build a strong structural system, calcium aids in blood clotting, the transmission of nerve impulses, and the regulation of the heart's rhythm. Your body needs calcium to function and if it does not get it through food sources, your body will pull it from bones. There are several sources to choose from to get your calcium intake. Look for dairy products, dark leafy greens or dried beans. Vary sources if you have health concerns about consuming more dairy.
Vitamin D and calcium go hand-in-hand. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. Unfortunately, vitamin D is not easily found in food sources. You can get your daily intake of vitamin D from fortified foods or spending a few minutes in the sun each day.
Like calcium, phosphorus is needed for bone and teeth strength. It is present throughout your body and readily found in many food sources. Having too much phosphorus can be more dangerous than having too little, so don’t rush out for a supplement. Phosphorus rich foods include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, nut, seeds and legumes.
Vitamin C plays a large role in the growth and repair of tissues throughout the body. Before a baby is born, while physically in the womb, vitamin C is one of the essential nutrients needed for tooth development. Include enough vitamin C in your diet to aid in the repair and maintenance of your bones and teeth. All fruits and vegetables contain some vitamin C. Certain foods that are higher in vitamin C include green peppers, citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, leafy greens, sweet potatoes and cantaloupe.
Vitamin A is important for bone growth, cell reproduction and repair. The most common sources for vitamin A are animal products, dairy, and colorful fruits and vegetables.
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Phosphorus
- Harvard School of Public Health: Calcium and Milk: What's Best for Your Bones and Health?
- American Dental Hygienists Association: Nutritional Factors in Tooth Development and Maintenance
- MedlinePlus: Vitamin C
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Vitamin A and Carotenoids