If your bones are feeling a little slouchy, you may not be giving your body the nutrients it needs. Learn how to increase bone health.
What’s the deal with women and bone health? Well, in general, as we age we can lose bone strength for a variety of reasons. We may eat less food (and therefore less of the nutrients our bones need), or we may not be able to absorb the nutrients as well as we used to. As we get older our stomachs tend to be more acidic which will slow absorption of calcium, a critical nutrient our bones need. Women in particular are more at risk because of menopause. Menopause causes our bodies to change hormone production, and some of these changes can lead to nutrient loss. Because of this, it’s important that our sources of calcium are rich in nutrients and are easy to absorb. Dairy products are acidic and can actually cause our body to take nutrients out of our bones to neutralize it, exactly the opposite effect that we want! The good news is that we don’t need to rely on dairy for our calcium. The plant world very nicely supplies us with all the calcium our bodies need for strong bones, and we get the added benefit of all the other nutrients plants supply.
Best foods to eat for bone health
Dark leafy green vegetables
These are probably the best addition you can make to your daily diet. Not only are they an excellent source of calcium, they are like a daily multivitamin containing most of the vitamins and minerals you need. Try beet greens, collards, kale, or bok choy.
In addition to being an excellent source of calcium, seaweed has the added benefit of being a great source of iodine which is needed for optimal thyroid health. Keeping your thyroid healthy means you’ll have plenty of energy and strength to get you through the day!
They have plenty of calcium and other minerals which are needed for bone strength. They are also high in monounsaturated fats which promote heart health. If you are missing your glass of milk, almond milk is a great substitute, and it’s easy to make your own.
Black beans are great for bone health; they also provide us with a good source of protein and fiber. Sometimes the sugar in beans can cause internal gas. If that’s the case for you, try rinsing your beans before cooking in fresh water. You can also cook beans with seaweed and spices such as kombu, fennel, cumin or ginger to reduce gas build up.
For such a little seed, they provide quite a lot of calcium! It’s easy to add some to any salad, baked good, or dinner to increase the calcium content of the meal. They also have the added benefit of having lots of zinc, an important mineral that supports our immune system.
This is a true superfood. Hempseeds are loaded in all the vitamins and minerals we need for healthy bones, but it has a lot more that! It’s a great source of protein, essential fatty acids, and its shell is a form of insoluble fiber, which helps clean out our digestive tract.
In addition to eating the above foods, here are a few other things you can do for bone health.
1. Lower your salt and sugar intake. Excess of either can cause calcium loss.
2. Get outside for some vitamin D, which is needed for calcium absorption.
3. Exercise with bone jarring movement such as hopping, running or using the elliptical trainer. This helps keep your muscles and bones strong.
Maintaining bone health doesn’t have to difficult. With a little attention to our diet and lifestyle, we can keep our bones healthy for a very long time.
Orange Salad with Pomegranate Dressing
- ½ cup arame (seaweed), soaked
- ½ cup fresh orange juice
- ¼ cup pure pomegranate juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 bunches baby arugula or mixed greens
- 3 oranges, segmented without membranes
- 1 avocado cut into small cubes
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup chopped parsley or mint
Rinse arame and soak in a bowl with water for about 20 minutes. Drain and gently squeeze out any remaining water. Discard soaking water.
Toss together olive oil, orange juice, pomegranate juice, dijon mustard, honey, and cider vinegar.
Transfer arame into a bowl with arugula and orange slices.
Top with pumpkin seeds.
Delicious Knowledge by Marni
Arame is a sea vegetable that is loaded with calcium and other minerals such as magnesium, iron, and iodine. It is subtle, soft, and stringy and makes a wonderful condiment for soups, salads, stir-fry’s, and sandwiches or wraps.