As more and more people decide to eliminate dairy from their diets, you may think that an osteoporosis epidemic may be on the horizon in the near future. Because really, without milk products, how are you supposed to build strong bones? It can be utterly confusing, which is why we’ve come up with a list of alternative methods to maintain and build bone health. Here are a few of the ways this is possible.
Even if you do get enough calcium in your diet, without vitamin D your body can’t absorb it. That’s why sunshine is vital to building strong bones. Sunshine is the main, natural source of vitamin D. For fair skinned people, all you need is 10-20 minutes of it a day. However, the darker your skin is, the more sun time you’ll need. If your skin is very dark, you could need as much as a couple hours of sun for your body to produce an adequate amount of this important vitamin. In this case, an alternative source of vitamin D may sound more appealing. Supplements are a popular choice. To see if you’re low on vitamin D, you can get tested by your doctor.
Of course, if you’re going to oust dairy from your diet, you will need an alternate food source to get calcium. This is where nuts come in. Almonds and other nuts provide a good dose of calcium, zinc and magnesium. While many people are afraid to eat them for fear of getting fat, this doesn’t have to be the case. Eat nuts in moderation and you’ll be just fine. Try a handful every day to get a solid dose of the vital minerals your body needs to build strong bones.
Another forgotten source of calcium and other bone supporting minerals are leafy greens. In fact, a cup of broccoli rabe provides more than 50% of your recommended daily allowance for calcium. But this is not the only leafy green that serves up this vital mineral. You can also get it from kale, spinach, and collard greens.
Lifting weights does more for your body than just build muscle mass. It also builds strong bones by increasing your bone density. And it’s not just weights that build bone density. Really, any kind of exercise that puts stress on your bones will signal your body to create more bone material. This works in much the same way your body builds muscle mass. The more you work your muscles, or bones in this case, the stronger they become.
Exercise can also boost the amount of calcium in your body. A study performed by the University of Toronto demonstrated that exercises like dance, jogging or walking improved levels of calcium in the upper thighs and upper body. However, it should be noted that if you have osteoporosis, be careful of how hard you push yourself. Too much exercise or stress on your bones can cause a fracture, so it’s wise to speak with your doctor before starting an exercise program.
If you’re looking for a way to better your diet and better yourself in the process, get in touch with our nutritional experts. We’ll help ensure you keep your bones healthy, along with the rest of your body as well.