Osteoporosis: How to Combat it with Food Choices

The idea that our bones can begin to shatter as we age truly terrifies me. Unfortunately, this seems to run in my family. So, I have done some research into how I (and you) can naturally reduce the risk of facing this debilitating disease. Obviously, there are lifestyle changes that can be made- such as weight bearing exercise 3 times a week and quitting smoking- but this may not be enough. Rather than relying on chemicals and pills, a dietary change can be quite helpful. Below you will find a list of things to avoid and things to consume:

What to avoid:

  • Sodas (such as coca-cola): avoiding artificial sodas is good for a number of reasons apart from this. They are truly gross!!
  • Sugar/refined carbs
  • Excess caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Salt
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • More than one palm sized amount of meat/fish protein per day; make sure to eat it with alkalizing foods
  • Dairy products: This may appear counter-intuitive, as dairy has loads of calcium. Unfortunately, dairy can in fact leach calcium from your bones, thereby increasing your risks. Calcium is abundant in many vegetarian sources; see below.
  • Pesticides: EAT ORGANIC!! Since switching to organic foods, I’ve found that they generally taste a lot better than conventional.
  • Some medicines: Aluminum-containing antacids, Steroids (glucocorticoids) such as cortisone and prednisone, Thyroid hormones in excess, and others. For a full list see: http://nof.org/articles/6

What to eat:

  • Alkalizing foods (see http://www.thebestofrawfood.com/support-files/alkalifoodlist.pdf for a list of alkalizing foods): although you don’t need to necessarily completely avoid all foods on the acidic side, try to have the majority of your food intake come from the alkalizing side.
  • Foods with boron: apples, pears, grapes, peaches, almonds and hazelnuts
  • Foods with phyto-estrogens: fermented soy products 2-3 times per week in your diet, including tempeh and miso
  • Foods high in vitamin C: Citrus fruits, cauliflower, onion soup, berries, potatoes, and green leafy vegetables
  • Foods with vitamin K and magnesium: quinoa, green leafy vegetables, kelp and alfalfa
  • Veggies high in calcium: collard greens appears to be the one with the most calcium (almost twice that of kale!). Other options include kale, spinach, broccoli and all other green leafy vegetables. 1 cup of tempeh also has more calcium than 1 cup of kale. You can find a list here and here of vegan sources of calcium and their absorption rate.
  • Veggies high in silica: lettuce, celery, millet, oats and parsnips
  • Eat mostly raw veggies, as this balances the acidity and alkali levels of the blood.

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