If you’re worried about maintaining bone health and preventing osteoporosis you’re not alone. It has been suggested that osteoporosis affects up to 10% of the population of western nations at any given time.
Despite what advertising might commonly say, there is far more to bone health than just drinking milk. In fact, the high levels of vitamin A in milk, have been associated with increased risk of osteoporosis and lowered bone density.
Here are our top five dairy free foods for building good quality, healthy bones.
Tip 1 – Use Omega 3 Fats to Build Bones
There are many advantages for including a good quality fish oil supplement in your daily diet. Did you know though, that omega 3 fatty acids can also help to improve bone density and prevent the progression of osteoporosis?
A high level of inflammatory agents in the body, increases the activity of the cells responsible for the break down of bone. This leads to reduced bone density, and a diagnosis of osteoporosis. Regular use of an omega 3 supplement helps to lower overall inflammation and can slow down the activity of these cells.
Results from fish oil supplementation are quite fast. Supplementation with as little as a teaspoon of fish oil per day, can show results on the biomarkers for osteoporosis in as little as 4-6 months.
Tip 2 – Enjoy Blueberries In Your Smoothie
Stuck for something to add to your shakes for that breakfast on the run? Why not add blueberries?
Antioxidant rich blueberries are also a great source of osteoporosis fighting phytonutrients. In a number of studies blueberries, and other members of the berry family, have been shown to reduce the risk of osteoporosis as we age. Much of this protection comes from their valuable role in supporting hormones during and after menopause.
Make sure to choose organic, blueberries to avoid many of the pesticides and other chemicals that are commonly used during growing.
Tip 3 – Onions Bad For Your Breath, Good For Your Bones
Who doesn’t like onions, they are good for so many different things; sautéed onions and garlic can make any meal a masterpiece. You might not realise it, but onions are also exceptionally powerful osteoporosis fighters!
Onions, are one of the highest food sources of quercetin. This nutrient has been shown to reduce the activity, and to promote the death of cells known as osteoclasts. One of the functions of osteoclasts is to break down and remove bone as part of the remodelling process.
Increasing dietary sources of quercetin makes sure that bone is being replaced faster than it is being broken down. This helps to increase bone density and prevents osteoporosis.
Tip 4 – Harness the Energy of Bees
We all know how busy bees are don’t we? What if we could harness that energy to improve our bone health?
Bee products, including bee pollen, royal jelly and propolis are powerful superfoods that can really enhance your overall health. Osteoporosis and increasing bone density is no exception. In a number of different studies, bee pollen has been shown to help offset bone density loss due to the affects of ageing.
Bee pollen is a perfect accompaniment to blueberries from tip one and can be easily added to smoothies and shakes. Most health food stores stock bee pollen.
Tip 5 – Maca, Bone Booster from Peru
This root vegetable from Peru is an absolute must have for anyone seeking to reverse osteoporosis and improve bone density.
Maca, a super food jammed packed with nutrients, has long been used in natural health and traditional medicine for maintaining health and wellbeing as we age. Acting as a hormone balancer, maca helps to prevent the symptoms of osteoporosis commonly associated with menopause.
The Importance of A Healthy Lifestyle
While diet is an important part of preventing osteoporosis and preserving bone density, it is not the only part. A complete osteoporosis prevention strategy has to include regular exercise and sensible sun exposure.
Consult with your natural health provider today about other effective strategies that can help you.
Marianne Fernance is the founding Naturopath for Brisbane Naturopath Passion4Health.
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