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Supporting bone health is more than just eating dairy products or taking a calcium supplement. In fact, calcium supplements, unless properly balanced with other vitamins and minerals can cause calcification where we don’t want it.
Whole Foods Diet to the Rescue!
Below is a list of vitamins and minerals that will help build strong bones and prevent osteoporosis.
Vitamin D3 helps the body absorb calcium. The best source of vitamin D3 is appropriate sunlight exposure. In areas further away from the equator, which experience cold winters, a vitamin D3 supplement might be necessary.
Calcium is best if it comes from food as it is better absorbed and utilized. Some good sources of calcium are: raw milk cheese from grass-fed cows, leafy greens, carob, sesame seeds, molasses, tahini, almonds, almond butter, canned salmon (with the bones), sardines and dried figs.
Vitamin K2 directs calcium to the skeleton, moving calcium into bones and teeth preventing it from being deposited where we don’t want it (organs, joints, arteries), and removes calcium from arteries and soft tissues. Vitamin K protects blood vessels from calcifying and building up in coronary arteries. Some good sources of vitamin K2 are: leafy greens, lacto-fermented foods (fermented vegetables, natto), eggs and butter from pasture-fed animals, vitamin K2 supplements. A deficiency of vitamin K2 can produce vitamin D supplement toxicity.
Magnesium and calcium should be in a ratio of 1:1. Some good sources of magnesium are: raw cacao, chlorophyll rich foods, seaweed, leafy greens, spinach, chard, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds. Magnesium can also be absorbed in an Epsom salt bath.
Phosphorus- some good sources of phosphorus are: pumpkin seeds, salmon, brazil nuts, lean beef and lentils.
Silica- some good sources of silica are: leeks, green beans, garbanzo beans, strawberries, cucumber, mango, celery, asparagus and rhubarb.
Trace Minerals-some good sources of trace minerals are: unrefined Himalayan crystal salt and sea salt.
Vitamin C-some good sources of vitamin C are: peppers, brassicas (cabbage family plants), guava, papaya, kiwi,orange and strawberries.
Vitamin A- some good sources of vitamin A are: sweet potato, with skin, pumpkin, carrot juice, carrots, squash, butternut and Swiss chard.
Vitamin E- some good sources of vitamin E are: dark leafy greens, spinach, almonds, sunflower seeds and avocados.
Decrease mineral binding phytic acid in grains and legumes. If including grains and legumes in the diet, make sure they are soaked or fermented and properly prepared for proper digestion.
Weight-bearing and strength training exercise help to keep bones strong as we age.
Avoid processed foods which are devoid of many vitamins and minerals necessary for strong bones and teeth. Processed foods may fulfill our caloric needs but often leave us overfed and undernourished because of their lack of nutrients.
Just take a bath
This is going to be a simple post. Just take the time to have a hot bath once a week. Soak for 15-20 minutes and relax. A hot bath can make you sleep better, ease muscle tension and improve circulation. Throw in some Epsom salts and essential oils to improve the therapeutic affects.
Epsom salts for magnesium
Epsom salt baths help us detox and replenish magnesium stores. The magnesium will easily be absorbed through the skin. Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in our bodies and many of us don’t get enough. We need it for normal muscle function including the heart muscle (normal cardiac activity). Other than Epsom salt baths, the best way to get magnesium is from a dietary source, by eating fresh vegetables, particularly leafy greens, grown in healthy, mineral rich soils. Magnesium and calcium need to be balanced 1:1 in our bodies. Too much calcium has been associated with heart attack, stroke and sudden death. For strong bones, magnesium, calcium, vitamin D and Vitamin K2 all have to be present. This is why it’s best to get our calcium from food sources over supplements. Nature has a way of keeping nutrients in balance.
Taking a hot bath is an easy way to a long list of health benefits. So go take a hot bath!