June 19, 2013 by Dr. Sana Keller
There seems to be an ever-growing fear of our bones becoming weak as we age. This is a valid concern, yet one that has many safe, healthy options. So if you’ve decided you would rather not take ‘osteoporosis drugs’ (like bisphosphonates) due to the many potential major side effects, here are some SAFE and EFFECTIVE options. I think you’ll agree that it doesn’t have to be costly and potentially dangerous to maintain
BRISK Walking—It’s a great time of year to get outside for a walk! Walking inside on a track or in a shopping mall is another simple option. Weight-bearing exercise, such as brisk walking helps keep our bones strong. You should be walking briskly enough that you can still chat a bit if you’re walking with a friend, but your breathing should be audible. If not, kick up your speed a notch or two. Check your posture while you’re walking: head up, shoulders back, tummy firm, walking as ‘tall’ as you can. An added bonus: Exercise, such as brisk walking can also help lower stress levels, since increased stress can cause increased steroid production by the adrenal glands which promotes loss of bone strength.
ALKALINE On The Inside—Maintaining a slightly alkaline environment (bioterrain) internally helps prevent calcium being used as a buffer for high acid levels (to balance the pH in our bodies), thus allowing it to be used for important functions like bone health. Foods that tend to promote increased acidity (not good–this is the list to avoid or at least minimize!) include sodas/carbonated beverages, sugar, refined carbohydrates (think processed foods), excess protein, excess caffeine, excess alcohol, and dairy products (yes, dairy—due to its acidifying affect which can leech calcium from our bones).
GREENS Every Day—Since we want to minimize acidity in our bodies, eating green vegetables ( actually a wide variety of colors, but lots of greens!) helps promote a healthy internal alkaline environment. Make a mixed greens salad (no iceberg lettuce–it’s just crunchy water) a part of your evening meal routine, of course with a healthy dressing, such as olive oil, lemon juice or vinegar of choice, and your favorite herbs.
SUPPLEMENT Daily—Vitamin D, Vitamin K, Magnesium, Zinc, and Boron are all needed along with Calcium for healthy bone formation. Current Calcium recommendations are 1000 mg for those under age 50 and 1200 mg for those over 50. Keep in mind that this includes the calcium from healthy foods in your diet (like all those good veggies you’re eating), so supplements should contain less than this amount, depending on your dietary calcium intake. Consuming too much calcium can increase your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.
HOMEOPATHIC Remedies—Silicea, Calcarea carbonica, Calcarea phosphorica, and Phosphorus are homeopathic agents that have been found helpful in slowing Bone loss and maintaining bone mass (without side effects!).
Photo credits: bigteaparty.com & thecheswickcliniccork.com