Your Bones Need the Proper Nutrients to Stay Strong…
Even with the best exercise regimen in the world, your bones will not be optimally healthy unless you're consuming the proper nutrients. So while exercise is certainly important, one of the most important strategies for healthy bones is to eat the right kinds of foods. A diet full of processed foods will produce biochemical and metabolic conditions in your body that will decrease your bone density, so avoiding processed foods is definitely the first step in the right direction. This goes far beyond calcium, which is the first nutrient many people think of concerning their bones.
Your bones are actually composed of several different minerals, and if you focus on calcium alone, you will likely weakenyour bones and increase your risk of osteoporosis, as Dr. Robert Thompson explains in his book, The Calcium Lie.
Calcium, vitamins D and K2, and magnesium work synergistically together to promote strong, healthy bones, and your sodium to potassium ratio also plays an important role in maintaining your bone mass (larger amounts of potassium in relation to sodium is optimal for your bone health and your overall health). Ideally, you'd get all or most of these nutrients, including vitamin B12, from your diet (with the exception of vitamin D). This includes:
- Plant-derived calcium: Raw milk from pasture-raised cows (who eat the plants), leafy green vegetables, the pith of citrus fruits, carob, and sesame seeds
- Magnesium: Raw organic cacao and supplemental magnesium threonate if need be
- Vitamin K2: Grass-fed organic animal products (i.e. eggs, butter, and dairy), certain fermented foods such as natto, or vegetables fermented using a starter culture of vitamin K2-producing bacteria, and certain cheeses such as Brie and Gouda
- Trace minerals: Himalayan Crystal Salt, which contains all 84 elements found in your body, or other natural, unprocessed salt (NOT regular table salt!)
- Vitamin D: Ideally from appropriate sun exposure (or a high-quality tanning bed), as it's virtually impossible to get sufficient amounts from food. As a last resort, you could use a supplement, but if you do, you may also need to supplement with vitamin K2 to maintain ideal ratios
6 Steps to Better Bone Health
Proper diet, regular sun exposure, and weight-bearing exercise can both prevent and treat weakening bones. Whole Body Vibrational Training using a Power Plate is an excellent addition especially for the elderly, but will naturally work for all ages. To sum up some of the most important points discussed above, the following guidelines can help you maintain, or increase, your bone strength safely and naturally, even in middle age and beyond. It's not just one strategy that works for building bone health but, rather, the combination that will be best:
- Avoid processed foods and soda, which can increase bone damage by depleting your bones of calcium. By ditching processed foods, you're also automatically eliminating a major source of refined sugars and processed fructose, which drive insulin resistance. It will also provide you with a more appropriate potassium-to-sodium ratio, which is important for maintaining bone mass.
- Increase your consumption of raw, fresh vegetables, ideally organic. If you find it difficult to eat the recommended amount of vegetables you need daily, you can try vegetable juicing.
- Optimize your vitamin D levels, ideally from appropriate sun exposure or a high-quality tanning bed. Vitamin D builds your bone density by helping your body absorb calcium. If you use an oral supplement, make sure you're using vitamin D3 (not D2), and that you're also increasing your vitamin K2 intake.
- Consider making your own fermented vegetables using a special vitamin K2-producing starter culture, or supplementing with vitamin K2 if you're not getting enough from food alone. Vitamin K2 serves as the biological "glue" that helps plug the calcium into your bone matrix. Also remember to balance your calcium and magnesium (1:1 ratio).
- Maintain a healthy balance between omega-6 and omega-3 fats in your diet by taking a high-quality animal-based omega-3 supplement like krill oil, an reducing your consumption of processed omega-6, found in processed foods and vegetable oils.
- Get regular exercise. Ideally, your fitness program should be comprehensive, providing the necessary weight-bearing activities for bone health while also improving your cardiovascular fitness and fat-burning capabilities with high-intensity exercises. Implementing weight training, including super slow weight training for high-intensity exercise, may be one of the best lifestyle changes you could ever make.