5 Tips for Better Bone Health

Osteoporosis is not your fate. Petite women have a higher risk, but smart choices can impact the outcome. Keep those bones strong, cause you have things to do and places to go!

These top 5 tips may surprise you:

Got Milk campaigns would have us believe that calcium comes from dairy alone. You’d never know from those ads that you can obtain all your calcium without ever touching a glass of milk. In fact, the acidity in cow’s milk can impede absorption of calcium.

For years, we were told to UP our calcium. Now, we know that calcium works in concert with other key nutrients. In fact, we need magnesium, vitamin D and K, as well as healthy fats, to absorb and utilize the calcium.

Consider these instead:

1. Go Green. Lactose intolerance, food sensitivities, and increased risk for ovarian cancer are three reasons to reconsider cow’s milk and stock up on calcium-packed leafy greens. A cup of cooked broccoli rabe offers over half your RDA for calcium. Other excellent calcium sources include collard greens, Swiss chard and kale. Combine these green leafy veggies with some healthy fat like olive or coconut oil so your body absorbs the bone-healthy vitamin D, K, and calcium.

2. Favor Fish. Wild salmon and other cold-water fish reduce inflammation, aid in calcium absorption and improve your mood. The omega 3 fatty acids in fish can also improve bone health. Your bones are constantly breaking down and remodeling, and omega 3s assist that process. Flaxseed and chia seeds, tossed on salads and veggies or mixed in smoothies provide a vegan alternative in getting these healthy fats.

3. Savor the Sunshine. Vitamin D helps your body absorb and maintain calcium. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that exposing yourself to about 10 minutes of sun, two or three times a week, supports bone density and optimal immunity. If you live in a sun-starved environment (any latitude north of Los Angeles or Memphis in the winter), you need to bump up your D supplementation. In Idaho, we lack sufficient UV rays from November to March for our liver to metabolize vitamin D3.

4. Are You Nuts? Along with protein and fiber, nuts pack a synergistic blend of crucial bone-building nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, zinc, and manganese. Zinc, for instance, helps your body form optimal bone structure for optimal strength. Likewise, magnesium improves bone mineral density. In fact, insufficient magnesium, can interfere with your body’s ability to process calcium.

5. Bring Back Balance. Your body constantly maintains a narrow balance of acid and alkaline. If you prefer heavily acidic food – such as cheesy dishes, sugary desserts and beer and cocktails, you want to find balance with alkaline foods. Alkalizing minerals bring pH back into balance, and your biggest source of these minerals lies within your bones. When you over-consume acidifying foods, including dairy, caffeine, and sugar, you increase your risk for bone loss. Just as bad, the phosphoric acid in sodas (even diet ones and sparkling water) leeches calcium from your bones.

Alkalinizing foods like leafy green vegetables, low sugar fruits, and fibrous foods like lentils all help balance your acid load.



Article written by Margi McDaniel on behalf of the National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP).  NANP’s mission is to unify the holistic nutrition profession, educate and serve our members and protect the holistic nutrition professional’s right to practice. We aim to accomplish this by building integrity and credibility through a national certification process based on high educational standards and a rigorous code of ethics.  For more information about NANP, please visit www.nanp.org.


Margi McDaniel is Master Nutrition Therapist who specializes in hormone balance, adrenal exhaustion, and stubborn weight loss.  She works closely with her clients to identify the metabolic roots of their conditions and helps them address these conditions with a powerful combination of clinical nutritional, targeted supplementation and compassionate counseling. To learn more about Margi, visit www.margimcdaniel.com.

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