Jason Wrobel, your favorite celebrity chef, TV personality, and vegan author, shares his top five nutrients for strong bones.
Maintaining bone density and strength throughout your lifetime is of critical importance to your long-term health and wellbeing. Rely on these five nutrients along with weight bearing exercise and overall nutrition.
Magnesium is your number one supplement for strong bones. This mineral is used throughout the body, enhancing bone strength, mood, and even sleep. It stimulates the hormone calcitonin, which draws calcium out of your bloodstream and soft tissues and puts it back into your bones. Proper magnesium supply is then essential to calcium retention.
Number two is vitamin D3. D3 is most readily manufactured in the body with exposure to direct sunlight. A little sunlight goes a long way, so no need to burn yourself. Just fifteen to thirty minutes gives you all the vitamin D3 you need for the day. Use sunblock if you expect anything more. Vitamin D3 is actually an oil-soluble steroid hormone that helps regulate bone metabolism, calcium, and neuromuscular function. You can also get D3 from a cream, spray, or capsule that comes from algae and lichen. Vitamin D3 does not come from many vegan sources other than these. Vitamin D2 can be found from mushrooms, but it is the less absorbable and usable form of this essential nutrient.
Vitamin K2 comes in third. Current research suggests it may be as important as D3 for calcium absorption and assimilation. Natto, an ultra-fermented soybean, has the highest levels of natural K2 found anywhere. Nattokinase, an enzyme found in natto, helps with heart function.
Fourth, we have boron, used to build bone health and treat osteoporosis.
That brings us to strontium as our last nutrient to highlight. Strontium is found in dark leafy green vegetables and has been found to help with bone health.
Many of these nutrients and more, like silica, can be found in healthy foods like cacao, cruciferous vegetables (Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli), dark leafy greens, nuts, and seeds. It’s important to focus on getting as much nutrition as possible from the whole foods you’re eating, but where that isn't possible, make sure to supplement that diet with the fuel your body needs to function..
Don’t forget to exercise. Resistance and weight bearing exercises encourage bone maintenance and health. Weight training, swimming, climbing, hiking, walking, pull-ups, push-ups, and anything that challenges your bones and muscles to grow can help work against gravity!
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