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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.