The Effective Diet for Shin Splints: Foods Rich in Calcium and Vitamins D and K-2

Kale

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  • While there are many available treatments to help you treat shin splints, supplementing them with a healthy diet is a great way to help improve their effectiveness and help you recuperate faster
  • In addition to strengthening your bones, your muscles need healthy food to help improve your recovery and overall athletic performance

Shin splints specifically affect the bone, tendons and muscle tissues in your lower leg area due to high-impact activities. The condition usually affects athletes such as runners or those who work in physically stressful environments, such as soldiers.1

While there are many available treatments to help you treat shin splints, supplementing them with a healthy diet is a great way to help improve their effectiveness and help you recuperate faster.

Calcium Is Good for Your Bones

It’s no secret that calcium is good for your bones, but what is it and how does it benefit your body exactly? Calcium is the most abundant mineral in your body and it actually takes up 2 percent of your body weight. In addition, 99 percent of it goes to your bones and teeth to help keep them strong. The remaining 1 percent is used in different important bodily functions, such as blood clotting, muscle contraction and neurotransmitter interaction.2

The table below provides a good overview of foods with good calcium content:3,4,5

Bok choy

Sardines

Wild-caught salmon

Kale

✓ Raw almonds

Sesame seeds

Oranges

White beans

✓ Raw grass fed milk

Broccoli

However, calcium is not just the be-all and end-all for developing strong bones. Consuming too much calcium-rich foods can actually result in arterial calcification, a condition wherein calcium builds up in your arteries, increasing your risk of heart attack. To prevent this from happening, you need two vitamins to make sure calcium goes where it needs to: vitamins K-2 and D.

The Role of Vitamins K-2 and D for Your Health

Many people are not aware of the role of vitamins K-2 and vitamin D on your bone health. Though it may not look like it, these two vitamins work synergistically with calcium to optimize your health.

Vitamin D is important because it helps absorb and regulate the amount of calcium that your body needs. If you are deficient in this vitamin, you will most likely have low calcium levels as well, putting you at greater risk for bone-related diseases.6

Vitamin K-2, on the other hand, is important because it helps direct calcium to where it is needed the most — the bones and the teeth — and out of places where it shouldn’t be, such as the arteries.7

One easy way to acquire optimal amounts of vitamin D is simply getting sensible amounts of sunlight exposure during midday. You can also consume sardines, pasture-raised eggs and shiitake mushrooms to increase your vitamin D levels. For vitamin K-2, you can consume fermented dairy products and vegetables, such as yogurt, natto and kimchi. Certain cheeses such as Gouda, Brie and Edam are high in this vitamin as well.

These Foods Can Help Build Stronger Muscles

In addition to strengthening your bones, your muscles need healthy food to help improve your recovery and overall athletic performance. The following foods contain specific nutrients that may help build strong muscles:

Avocado: This fruit is high in potassium, which is important for water balance regulation after an exercise. It also contains healthy fats that serve as a great source of energy while you’re exercising.

Kale: This vegetable contains all nine essential amino acids that work together to produce the important proteins your body needs.

Broccoli: This contains a compound known as sulforaphane, which is known to help increase testosterone levels and ward off the retention of body fat.

Banana: Similar to avocado, banana is popular as a pre- or post-workout food due to its potassium content, which helps control your heart rate as you exercise.

Raw nuts: This type of food is rich in magnesium, a mineral that plays a role in muscle growth and strength. Popular choices include Macadamia nuts and almonds.

Mushrooms: This type of food is rich in vitamin D, which is important when exercising, because low levels of vitamin D can cause muscle weakness.

MORE ABOUT SHIN SPLINTS

Shin Splints: Introduction

What Are Shin Splints?

Shin Splints Symptoms

Shin Splints Causes

Get Rid of Shin Splints

Types of Shin Splints

Shin Splints Treatment

Shin Splints Exercises

Shin Splints Prevention

Shin Splints Diet

Shin Splints FAQ

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