How to Fill Your Grocery Cart to Prevent Osteoporosis

calcium  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After my second child was born, I learned that my

body did not respond well to dairy products.  At first,

just anecdotal evidence, then lab tests confirmed a

cows milk allergy.

 

As someone in the healthcare field who sees the

effects of osteoporosis and fractures everyday,

this really concerned me.  How could I build my bone

mass up without milk or cheese?

 

Fortunately, education and investigation showed me

that milk products are not the most important bone

building product in my grocery cart.

 

In fact, one Harvard study actually states the

following: "It is unlikely that high consumption of

milk or other food sources of calcium during mid-life

will confer substantial protective effects against hip

or forearm fractures".

 

 

With that being said, we all do still need calcium in

our diets.  It contributes to healthy blood pressure

and heart function, brain and nerve signalling, and

prevents diabetes through the control of blood sugar

levels.

 

My point here is to say that calcium is not the end all,

be all of bone health. Especially not in the form of

cow's milk.  Calcium contributes to bone health in

combination with many other vitamins and minerals.

 

So, what vitamins and minerals do you need to load

up on to prevent bone loss and build new bone?

 

1. Calcium

 

It's true that calcium is necessary for bone

development as well as strength.  However, calcium

is not only found in dairy products but also white

beans, broccoli almonds, greens, sesame seeds.

 

2. Vitamin D3

 

Without this vitamin, calcium can not be absorbed

by your body.  The best from of vitamin D comes

from the sun.  We need 20 minutes a day of sunlight

on exposed skin.  Too cold or cloudy? Your doctor

may test your levels, as many people require

supplementation.   Food sources are minimal but

include eggs and salmon.

 

3. Magnesium

 

When vitamin D3 enters our body, magnesium

must covert it to be usable.  This is also an area of

frequent deficiency. Magnesium is in highest

amounts in spinach, but also potatoes, black beans,

almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, and avocado.

 

4. Boron

 

In addition, Boron allows proper metabolism of

all of the above nutrients. In this way, Boron

prevents the formation of weak bones. However,

as a trace element, we only need Boron in small

amounts.  It is in chickpeas, almonds, beans, legumes,

prunes, and raisins.

 

4. Zinc

 

Zinc is important for bone healing.  It promotes

production of collagen proteins that build new bone.

Zinc is plentiful in pumpkin seeds, beef, cashew s,

chickpeas, mushrooms, and chicken.

 

5. Manganese

 

Manganese has a special role in formation of bone

cartilage and collagen, as well as bone mineralization.

It is found in whole grains like rye, brown rice, and

buckwheat.  When we replace whole grains with

refined flour, our intake becomes insufficient.

 

6. Vitamin K

 

We often overlook Vitamin K.  However, it

synthesizes bone tissue and binding of calcium to

the bone matrix.  It's essentially the glue that sticks

the calcium to bone to make it stronger. Vitamin K

is plentiful in green leafy vegetables, peas, green tea,

broccoli, brussel sprouts, hard cheeses, and

fermented foods.

 

7. Lysine

 

Lysine may be a surprising contributor because it is

an amino acid.  It helps in the production of collagen,

a protein that is a basic building block of bones,

cartilage, and tendons.  Lysine is present in protein

rich foods such a meat, poultry, legumes, or eggs.

 

With all this being said, the best foods you can fill

your grocery cart with for stronger bones are those

that contain several of these nutrients.

 

The best choices:

  • spinach
  • broccoli
  • almonds
  • flax seeds
  • eggs

 

You will get the most benefit for your buck with

greens.  For example, Swiss Chard has a powerhouse

supply of calcium, vitamin K, and magnesium.  Also,

one study found that by eating 1 cup of spinach a day,

a woman's chance of breaking a hip could be cut by

almost 1/3 due to improved bone density.

 

In conclusion, osteoporosis currently affects over 44

million American's.  Fortunately, there are natural and

highly effective ways you can boost bone density,

primarily through your diet (or supplementation if

necessary).

 

Let us know how we can help you improve your bone

health through exercise or nutrition.  We are happy to

answer further questions through e-mail:

amanda@peakpotentialpt.com