Milk Isn't The Only Drink That's Good For Your Bones

You've heard the advice to drink milk for strong bones. Milk and other dairy products are indeed good sources of the calcium that's needed to help prevent osteoporosis. However, calcium isn't the only bone-healthy ingredient you can get from a beverage. Here are a few ingredients and drinks you may not have considered.

1. Catechins from tea. A recent study of green and black tea consumption demonstrated increased hip bone mineral density in elderly women who drank the tea. Previous research also arrived at similar conclusions. Green tea contains particular polyphenols that help slow down aging-related bone loss and bone loss that's related to estrogen deficiency.

2. Lycopene from tomato juice. Tomatoes are as beneficial to human health as they are delicious, and the fact that they contain lycopene has a lot to do with that. Lycopene is known for its skin-related benefits, but it's also showing promise for the prevention of osteoporosis. Studies have found that lycopene consumption is linked to a lower incidence of hip and bone fracture and also to decreased thinning of bones.

3. Vitamin K from green juice. Juicing has become a major trend among the health-conscious, and green drinks are at the forefront because they're a convenient way to get in your daily recommended servings of fresh vegetables, especially if it's hard for you to fit loads of spinach and kale into your everyday diet. In one study of more than 70,000 women, those with a higher intake of Vitamin K had a lower incidence of hip fracture. Vitamin K rich foods include kale, watercress and spinach. Greens mainly contain Vitamin K1. To obtain Vitamin K2, which is also beneficial to bones, consume foods such as egg yolks and organ meats. Natto is a vegetarian source of vitamin K2 that's a common food in Japanese cuisine.

4. Fructans from the tequila plant. A recent study is showing promising bone-strengthening results from a substance found in the blue agave plant, which is a spiky succulent used to make traditional tequila. Researchers found that fructans extracted from blue agave helped increase the body's calcium-absorbing capabilities, leading to increased bone density in lab mice. This research hasn't been conducted on humans and is still in its early stages, so don't start chugging margaritas just yet, thinking it's for the good of your bones. However, if you're going to drink tequila anyway, choose the kind made from blue agave if you want some possible bone-health benefits.

A healthy diet that includes beneficial drinks, exercise and medication when needed can all help you to maintain strong, healthy bones.