Unless you don’t believe in supplements as a vital part of healthy living then you are most likely, as a midife woman, taking a calcium supplement. You probably also do your best to eat foods that provide dietary calcium.
What else can you do to support the health of your bones?
Aside from weight bearing exercise, something most of you know about, here are a couple of food related ideas.
What to add and what to take out of your diet.
First I’m going to tell you what to include in your diet then I’m going to surprise you by telling you what to limit or eliminate.
According to findings published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables is one good way to ensure health, flexible bones.
Yet another reason to make sure you eat plenty of what the plant kingdom has to offer and not just because they contain calcium although most do.
The reason has to do with the acid/ alkaline balance in our bodies.
Acid and alkaline balancing act.
Now if you’ve never heard about the acid alkaline balance, or have, but figured that it was just one more thing the vegans cooked up to lure us over to the dark side, it’s time to listen up. The blood in our bodies can either be neutral in ph, acidic or alkaline and lifestyle pretty much determines whether we are in or out of balance.
Our bones rely on a slightly alkaline blood ph to maintain their calcium stores. Too much acid, whether created by what we eat, stress, or prescription drugs, has to be balanced out or serious damage can be done to the intestinal system to name one. Alkaline producing foods neutralize excess acid but if there is a shortage it’s calcium to the rescue.
Where is the greatest store of calcium in the body?
It’s in the bones of course.
Why is this important? Because the typical western diet is high in protein, processed foods, sugar and dairy products—all acid forming foods. You smart women probably enhance your alkaline reserves with lower amounts of processed foods and greater amounts of fruits and veggies than the typical American. BUT you have you bought in to the dairy council’s advertising that “milk does a body good?”
Dairy is an acid producing food.
If dairy is acid producing but it also contains calcium wouldn’t it be worth the acid to get the calcium? Yes as long as you are ensuring the alkaline reserves so you keep the calcium where you want it-in the bones. Bottom line is, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables if you like dairy to ensure your bones’ calcium supply won’t be depleted to keep your blood at its desired pH.
Foods to think twice about.
Here are a couple of foods to eliminate or use infrequently to protect your bones.
Soda-especially colas, have a high phosphoric acid content and must have calcium and some magnesium to be neutralized.
Dairy products-most have a very low pH-low pH means more acid. The lowest is found in sweetened yogurts and other processed dairy products like ice cream.
Proteins-almost all flesh foods are acid producers so if you are an Atkins follower-know that you have the potential for a health challenge in the form of osteoporosis down the road.
In no way am I saying you cannot eat meat, drink the occasional soda or eat sweetened yogurt or cheese. Just work to balance your pH by incorporating lots of fresh fruits and veggies. You might want to learn more about which foods are acid producing -for example citrus foods are not, contrary to popular belief-by picking up a book or googling acid/alkaline.
Your bones are living structures.
Bones are always releasing and resorbing–re-absorbing–calcium and the best way to keep them healthy is to give them the proper environment so they resorb and keep as much as possible by eating well, eliminating stress, and watching your intake of chemicals whether pharmaceutical or agricultural.
Oh, and don’t forget the weight bearing exercises!