No matter who you are or what you eat, our bones are always changing. It’s a constant cycle of breaking down and rebuilding over and over again. As the balance between bones breaking down and bones reforming becomes harder to conserve, it’s imperative we do everything we can to maintain their strength. For vegans, it might seem a little harder to find the balance of what’s best for your bones, and what’s best for your body. Here are some tips that will literally help you feel it in your bones.

PROTEIN IS POWER

Recent studies have found that protein is great for strengthening bones since bones are formed around a collagen-rich protein substance. It was found that vegetarians who eat more protein based foods, such as quinoa, legumes, and beans, had a much lower risk of bone fracture. Other vegan foods that are still rich in protein include, lentils, chick peas, chia seeds and nuts. It’s always best for vegans to be on the safer side and enhance their protein intake by eating at least three servings per day of the above listed protein rich foods. Lucky for consumers, Vanini chocolate is made with soy lecithin, which is a great source of plant-based protein. Who knew eating dark chocolate would have such positive effects for vegan and nonvegan consumers looking for extra protein to strengthen their bones? It’s time to say bone appetite to more protein.

FRUITS AND VEGGIES

When your mom would always tell you to eat your veggies, it was for a good reason. It’s been found that diets rich in vegetables and fruits have been shown to help protect bone health. Because many of these foods contain vitamin C, it helps with the formation of collagen, which is extremely important for your bones. To top it all off, vitamin C is an antioxidant that can help relieve stress, which has been shown to contribute to bone loss. Vitamin C is extremely prevalent in oranges and orange juice so this fruit is perfect for strengthening bones. Some of your least favorite veggies as a child have just become your best friend as a vegan adult because peas, spinach and artichoke are all good for bone health AND contain protein. How’s that for bad to the bone?

CALCIUM IS KEY

Got milk? Almond, coconut, or soy milk of course! Studies have found that most vegans, and non-vegans, don’t consume enough calcium in order to prolong overall bone health. It’s not hard to find the right amount of calcium in your favorite plant foods, but most people aren’t sure where to look. This might hit your funny bone, but calcium absorption in the body is slightly higher from certain vegetables than from cow milk or tofu. Some leafy greens that are a great source of calcium include, kale, turnip greens and bok-choy. Other plant foods that are still rich in calcium include spinach, tahini and beans. An easier way to reach an appropriate calcium intake is by eating calcium absorbed foods. While turnip greens, tofu and fortified plant milks are among this list, other options include collards, mustard greens, almonds and navel oranges.

BONE UP

As the vegan food trend continues to rise, it’s important now more than ever that we make sure to take care of our body and bones. The first step is understanding what types of foods to put in our body. Next, be mindful of these foods and take action by consuming the appropriate amounts each day. There’s no need to be a bonehead when there are so many delicious tips and tricks to keep your bones strong and healthy; Especially when eating more Vanini dark chocolate can help.

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