Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by loss of bone mass, deterioration of bone structure and increased risk of fracture. It is often known as the silent thief because if not prevented or if left untreated, bone loss can occur and progress without symptoms. Prevention of osteoporosis throughout a lifetime is essential, says womens health expert Dr. Cathy Carlson-Rink, N.D.
A lot of importance has been placed on getting enough calcium-rich foods in our diet. Dr. Carlson-Rink says some foods that are high in calcium, such as cows milk, are also low in magnesium (eight parts to one), which creates a magnesium deficiency and may contribute to the development of weaker
bones. The latest studies are revealing that balanced amounts of dietary calcium and magnesium result in a better accumulation and maintenance of bone density when compared to a diet emphasizing calcium alone. Diets high in magnesium, potassium, fruits, and vegetables, with adequate protein and limited amounts of junk foods show a better accumulation and maintenance of bone density among older adults.
Examples of bone healthy food choices include the following:
Calcium sources: Turnip greens, cheese, bok choy, salmon, kale, tofu, yogurt and sardines;
Both: Soy beans, almonds, sesame seeds, okra, hazelnuts, broccoli, lima, dates, beans, chick-peas, figs, artichoke and molasses; and
Magnesium sources: Quinoa, black beans, brown rice, cashews, whole wheat, bananas, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and oats and oat bran.
Herbs are also a food source that contains many nutrients. Alfalfa, chamomile, fennel seed, horsetail, nettle, oatstraw and red raspberry, to name a few, are great sources of natural calcium and many other minerals beneficial to bone health.
BONE HEALTHY RECIPIES
Cream of Broccoli Soup
2 cups milk (soy or dairy)
1 cup chopped raw broccoli
1 Tbsp. butter
1 cup vegetable stock
Blend in blender until smooth. Put in pot and bring to boil. Simmer for 20 minutes, garnish with your favorite veggies and serve.
2 cup cooked chick-peas (reserve water)
1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1Tbsp. each olive and flax oil
Salt, pepper and garlic to taste
Add chick-pea water to desired consistency if needed. Use as a dip for crackers, rice cakes and veggie sticks.
1 cup yogurt, 1/2 banana, 1/2-1 cup of frozen fruit such as blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries
Bone Building Trail Mix
1/2 cup of raw almonds, 1/2 cup raw cashews, 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds, 1/2 cup seedless raisins
Rice cakes with almond, sesame or cashew butter with fruit sweetened jam
Figs and dates
Not only is it important to have a balanced diet and life-style, but a good supplement as well. Nutrition, exercise and a quality supplement all work hand in hand to build strong bones throughout a lifetime. The supplement I recommend most to my patients is Floradix Calcium Magnesium says Dr. Cathy Carlson-Rink
Dr. Cathy Carlson-Rink is a Naturopathic Physician and Registered Midwife. Floradix supplements can be found in health food stores nationwide or visit www.florahealth.com. Readers wanting more information on bone health may request Dr. Carlson-Rinks free booklet Bone Health 101 by calling 1-800-446-2110 or visiting www.bonehealth101.com.