Hold Your Head Up: 12 Tips for Super Strong Bones
Until you hear a doctor say you’ve got the beginnings of osteoporosis as Gwyneth Paltrow did a few years back, few of us give much thought to the health and strength of our bones. We forget that strong, resilient bones are essential to healthy, joyful living and being able to do the things we love, be it walking the dog, lifting our babies, dancing the night away or all of the above!
With weak bones a far too common problem, particularly among women, and osteopenia and osteoporosis (bone loss) rates on the rise, we all need to remember to support the structure that supports us every day with a constant supply of nutrients, plus regular, weight-bearing exercise to stimulate growth and strength.
What else can you do to keep bones healthy? Start by incorporating these 12 tips into your daily routine and preserve your bone integrity for years to come:
1. Power up your plate with plant foods. Achieving “8 a day” (vegetable & fruit servings) produces a more alkaline physical environment favorable for bone health.
2. Pour on some extra virgin olive oil. It is a mega food for the bones as indicated by research on the Mediterranean diet.
3. Go green! Sip on a green smoothie, stir up some Swiss chard or kale, or enjoy a raw green salad. Greens are rich in vitamins and minerals that support bone strength.
4. Give sea vegetables a try. They contain a blend of bone strengthening minerals such as boron, magnesium, calcium and more.
5. Soak up some rays. This will boost your vitamin D intake. Just a few minutes of incidental sunlight can perk up the bones. For a tasty calcium/vitamin D pairing you can also try some tasty sardines.
6. Enjoy some fermented organic soy foods. Fermented soy foods such as tempeh are packed with bone-friendly phytoestrogens.
7. Snack on some fresh fruit (a sweet source of boron) and raw nuts/seeds (calcium, magnesium, zinc).
8. Avoid bone robbers such as excess alcohol, caffeine and sugar.
9. Perk up your meals with herbs and spices for added flavor and minerals instead of dousing them with salt, which is a calcium mugger.
10. Avoid a product if it is loaded with sodium. Scan your food labels for high sodium. This competes with calcium at the cellular level.
11. Consider a better bone check up especially if you’re at risk including: bone density scan, bone resorption assay, vitamin (D, K, B12) and mineral levels (calcium, magnesium).
12. Move, lift, play. Stay active with weight bearing and strength building exercises whether it’s in a yoga class, circuit training workout or playground!