It’s a common misconception that healthy food is either not delicious or boring. But that’s not always the case. You can make your food both healthy AND delicious when you add the right spices and flavours. You can also make your food in a way that helps certain aliments and conditions you may be suffering from. Or simply use it as a tool for general health, vitality and immunity.
In this post we will be focusing on bone health specifically and which foods will help strengthen them and help them to last a lifetime.
We will also be giving you one of our favourite recipe examples of a calcium rich dish bursting with goodness, which is our Spinach and Chickpea Stuffed Sweet Potatoes recipe for strong bones. It’s a dish bursting with calcium, vitamins and minerals that are all needed for stronger bones. Plus, it tastes so good you would want to eat it every day.
Why Bone Health Matters
Our bones play a vital role in providing structural support for our bodies and protecting our organs. To keep them strong and healthy you need to consume a diet rich in bone-nourishing nutrients coupled with a regular visit to your local osteopath for preventive consultations.
At the same time, eating a plant based diet in general is fantastic for bone health. Many believe that plant based foods, or eating a 100% plant based diet, will mean missing out on vital calcium due to the lack of dairy products, but this is not the case. Plant foods are bursting with calcium, some more than others, and you should incorporate a few of these into your diet every day.
These foods include:-
Beans, Peas and Lentils
Soya beans and soy products in general are a fantastic source of calcium. Tofu, tempeh, soy mince and seitan are all great protein elements to your plant based plate that are truly versatile in the place of meat and dairy.
You will also find that soy products such as cheeses, milks and yogurts will contain high concentrations of calcium, plus they may also be fortified with it too.
Almonds and Brazil Nuts
These two nuts specifically are the highest in calcium and small portions can easily be added to your homemade granola in the morning, or just alone as a snack. Always eat your nuts in a RAW state for highest health benefits and nutrients. Heat treatment can destroy the precious oils and nutritional profile of nuts and even make them carcinogenic when eaten in large quantities.
Seeds, specifically sesame seeds, are very good calcium sources for strong bones. The great thing about sesame is the fact that it’s pretty much the basic ingredient of tahini. Tahini has a smooth peanut butter-type texture and can be used readily in sauces, desserts, in sandwiches and in baking as a fat source.
Amaranth is an ancient grain that can be used a s a replacement for rice, pasta or potatoes in a dish. It also makes a delicious porridge in place of oats for a higher protein version with healthy fats and calcium thrown in for good measure, naturally from the amaranth.
This seed does take quite a lot longer to cook than your average oatmeal, so save this for non busy mornings or prepare in advance.
Seaweeds such as kelp and wakame are great sea calcium sources. Find seaweeds and sea weed flakes in Asian supermarkets and add it to soups, stews or even make your own vegan sushi!
Dark Leafy Greens/Cruciferous Vegetables
Dark, leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables contain lots of bone healthy calcium and are easy to add into your diet daily.
Try making a leafy greens stir fry from a mix of all the cruciferous greens and you’ll be covering all bases with this one. Or, knock up a delicious, RAW salad for even higher health benefits from some of the more easier to eat raw, green veggies such as baby spinach, baby kale and dark green salad leaves. ANYTHING can taste good with the aid of a tasty dressing!
Blackcurrants, blackberries, raspberries and especially figs and oranges are unexpectedly and exceptionally high in plant based calcium and very easy to eat daily. Try to eat your fruits in their whole form rather than juicing. Juicing can lead to you eating unnatural amounts, ultimately consuming too much sugar and potentially throwing your blood sugar out. That’s why it’s always good to eat the fibres within your fruits.
If you must juice your oranges, then do it as fresh as possible yourself and keep as much of thr pith and fibre in as you can. Shop-bought orange juice, even the so called “freshly squeezed” varieties are far inferior to actual freshly squeezed and drunk within 20 minutes juices.
Blackstrap molasses is derived from sugar cane that has been boiled 3 times into a thick, tar like syrup. This causes it to become high in vitamins and minerals, especially calcium.
Try adding it to baking or in place of other syrups that you would normally use. It has a much stronger flavour so you will need less.
This vegetable is actually known as a yam rather than a potato. It’s far superior to the white potato in terms of its nutritional profile and CALCIUM.
The great thing about a sweet potato is its versatility. Use it in place of your normal potatoes by boiling and mashing with butter and/or spices, chipping, roasting or baking. They make the perfect calcium bomb when baked and drizzled in calcium rich tahini.
What’s So Good About Spinach And Chickpea Stuffed Potatoes?
This recipe will be a great source of plant based calcium because we have incorporated lots of the calcium rich foods from our list onto it to make a delicious and rich soup. This a meal itself with its high protein and complex carbohydrate content.
You will be able to make similar high calcium soups for strong bones by using the list above and a little imagination.
This plant-based recipe is packed with nutrients that promote bone health such as:
- Calcium: Spinach and chickpeas are good sources of calcium that’re needed for strong bones.
- Vitamin K: Spinach contains vitamin K which helps with the absorption of calcium.
- Magnesium: Chickpeas are a source of magnesium a mineral that supports bone health.
- Nutritional Yeast: Adds a cheesy taste and provides vitamin B12 which is a nutrient for maintaining healthy bones.
- Vitamins and Fibre: Sweet potatoes contribute to overall health by providing vitamins A and C as well as fibre.
Spinach and Chickpea Stuffed Sweet Potatoes For Strong Bones
- 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
- 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
- 1 can 15 oz chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
- ½ cup diced tomatoes canned or fresh
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 clove minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil or hot water for cooking Oil is optional and cooking without oil is more beneficial for health. Use splashes of hot water works just as well for this job.
- Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Scrub your sweet potatoes and make sure you’ve rid them of any dirt, and then pierce them with a fork and place them on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for about 45 to 60 minutes or until they are tender and can be easily pierced with a fork.
- While you wait for the sweet potatoes to bake you can heat a skillet over medium heat with a bit of olive oil. Then add the minced garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes until its fragrance starts filling your kitchen.
- Then add the chopped spinach to the skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until it wilts down.
- Stir in the drained chickpeas, diced tomatoes, nutritional yeast, dried oregano, salt and pepper. Cook for another 5 to 7 minutes allowing the flavours to combine and the mixture to heat through.
- Once the sweet potatoes are done remove them from the oven and let them cool slightly. Slice them open lengthwise and fluff the insides with a fork.
- Spoon the spinach and chickpea mixture onto each sweet potato dividing it evenly.
- Serve your Vegan Spinach and Chickpea Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with a side of steamed broccoli or your favourite leafy greens for added healthy nutrients for bones.
This recipe is specially curated to let you health junkies enjoy a good meal without having to feel any guilt. Eating Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Vegan Spinach and Chickpeas you’re not just enjoying good food but also taking care of your health. Isn’t that amazing?
We hope you’ll enjoy this recipe from ZestForever today and make sure to share it with your friends.