Us health junkies are good at thinking about our health; it’s our passion. We eat clean and work out to protect our hearts, watch our sugar intake to avoid Type 2 diabetes, take fish oils to protect our brain… but what do we do to protect our bones?
Bone health just isn’t something that most of us think about. Our bones are our support system. Strong and rigid they hold us upright, protect our internal organs, and help us move this wonderfully healthy body that we have created. But here is a scary fact; fractures from osteoporosis are more common than heart attack, stroke, and breast cancer combined. At least one in three women, and one in five men will suffer from this debilitating disease in there lifetime. The time is now to make sure you are optimizing your diet and nutrition to do all you can to protect your bones and keep that health junkie crown way into your old age!
More than just calcium
Despite the amount of attention that is given to calcium intake, very little is given to the factors that are essential for effectively absorbing and utilizing it. No nutrient works alone in our body and it is imperative to not only optimize calcium consumption, but to also optimize our consumption of trace minerals, vitamins, and other cofactors that work together to provide us with the ultimate in bone health.
Our bones are our body’s main reservoir of alkaline minerals, like calcium and magnesium, which our body calls upon to help maintain proper blood pH. When our diet is too acidic (as is those that are more centered around meat, grains and dairy) our body needs to draw on our bones to help buffer the acid, thus leaching our bones of the very minerals they need to stay strong. Going green, as in eating more green veggies, sea veggies, and of course starting your morning off with a scoop of greens+, provides your body with all of those wonderful alkalizing minerals helping your bones stay strong and healthy.
Reducing Intake of Calcium Inhibitors
As mentioned above calcium doesn’t work alone, and we need a wide variety of nutrients to help facilitate its proper usage, however many staples in the North American diet can also act as calcium inhibitors. To maximize calcium absorption it’s not just what we eat, but what we don’t eat as well that can really help to strengthen our bones. Avoid excess protein, sugar, salt, alcohol, coffee, and soft drinks in the diet, which have all been shown to deplete the body of its calcium stores, and weaken bone tissue.
Fermented & Sprouted Foods
Nobody’s perfect, and even some of the healthiest foods out there have a flaw; anti-nutrients. Anti-nutrients are basically compounds that can block the absorption of nutrients (i.e. the one’s that make us healthy), meaning less are available to be used by our body. Nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes are the biggest offenders, but by sprouting, or better yet fermenting, these foods you unlock their nutrient potential and breakdown those pesky anti-nutrients meaning that nutrient absorption goes uncompromised. If you are serious about bone health be sure to properly prepare all nuts, grains, and beans before consumption by soaking in water with a little acid over night, or choosing products like sprouted grain breads, or fermented protein powders that have done the work for you!
Eat The Rainbow
We often think of bones as these inert structure; rigid and solid not really changing after we are finished growing…. This couldn’t be farther from the truth!! Our bones are extremely metabolically active and in a constant state of flux depending on our body’s calcium and mineral needs. Whenever something is metabolically active free radicals form, meaning we need a good supply of antioxidants to help quench them before they have a chance to do any lasting damage. Eating a colourful diet full of all the reds, blues, purples, and of course greens, is key to providing your body with a wide variety of antioxidants to help prevent any oxidative damage to our bones.