Osteoporosis is a largely preventable disease and there are definitely things you can do to prevent its occurrence. The areas over which we have the most personal impact are diet and exercise. For bone health, the exercise required is weight-bearing exercise.
While aerobic and strength exercise is great for our overall health, what is required to promote bone growth is simply anything that requires us to be standing upright, for at least thirty minutes per day and preferably for two hours.
This assumes that our body has the right materials to create the bone from. Our bones consist mostly of minerals, particularly calcium.
However, to create our bones also requires other minerals and also some vitamins. In the absence of calcium our body cannot create or repair bones. In the absence of the other needed nutrients calcium cannot be utilized for bone creation and excess will be passed from the body.
Those suffering from osteoporosis often show inadequate body levels of zinc, magnesium and vitamin D. Having these essential minerals in balance is a great start to preventing bone loss.
Vitamin D can be obtained by safe exposure of the skin to the sun and also from diet. The other vitamins and minerals needed will need to sourced from the diet. When the essential bone-building nutrients cannot be obtained from dietary sources, supplementation is necessary.
Here are some herbs, teas and foods that contain essential vitamins and minerals that assist in bone building and repair.
Calcium Rich Herbs
The following are herbs that can be easily incorporated into your day either as a tea, tablet, powder, or tincture:
” Nettle Tea, Chamomile Tea, Alfalfa, Plantain, Silverweed, Liquorice, Mullein, Meadowsweet, Black Cohosh, Rest Harrow, Dong Quai, Toadflax, Pimpernel, Fenugreek, Fennel, Unicorn Root, Clivers and Shepard’s Purse. Irish Moss has high mineral content.
Calcium Rich Teas
Incorporating some herbal teas into your diet can be a simple and healthy way to increase your daily calcium levels.
” Liquorice tastes delicious and has a sweet aftertaste so it is nice as a dessert in the evening or afternoon if you are craving something sweet. Be mindful if you have high blood pressure though.
” A cup of Chamomile before bed or when you are feeling anxious will soothe and relax and is great for getting your body prepared to sleep.
” Fennel tea can be made with the seeds from your spice cupboard.
” Nettle tea is high in iron as well and very nutritious.
” Try blending some of these together to make a tasty, customized drink that you will enjoy.
Green veggies and fresh raw fruit is ideal. Fish and fish oils are also important.
Dairy foods contain large amounts of calcium and have long been promoted as a dietary source.
Osteoporosis is less prevalent in those on a vegetarian diet. It is believed that heavy meat meals inhibit calcium metabolism.
A high protein diet, however, is beneficial. Try different non-meat sources such as beans, nuts and organic soy products.
Avoid alcohol and soft drinks, especially cola drinks.
Avoid high salt intake as this leads to a loss of phosphorus and calcium through the kidneys, thus placing the skeleton at risk and aggravating bone loss.
When dietary sources may be inadequate, the following are recommended daily:
– Vitamin B6 50mg,
– Zinc 15mg,
– Magnesium citrate 500mg,
– Calcium citrate 1g,
– Vitamin D 1000i.u.,
– Vitamin B12 50mcg,
– Folic Acid 200mcg,
– Vitamin C 500mg-1000mg (although many people are taking much higher amounts of Vitamin C).
– Vitamin A and Boron are also extremely beneficial. Eating healthy foods that contain the vitamins and minerals you need and exercising is a great start in preventing brittle bones. These are also the areas over which we have the most control. While we cannot do much about our genetics, we can certainly improve our bone health with a good diet and some exercise.
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