8 Factors To Help You Naturally Increase Your Bone Density
Written by: Lilla Bessenyei
Osteoporosis is a silent and deadly epidemic in our modern society.
In the U.S., approximately 10 million people are affected and 80% of them are women. Patients over the age of 50 have a higher risk of mortality following hip fractures, which can be a connotation of osteoporosis. Females after menopause are especially affected.
Increased acidity and sugar consumption plays a HUGE role in the development of osteoporosis. We started the attack against our bones during childhood with drinking soda and eating tremendous amounts of sugar. No wonder so many children have broken bones in their early childhood! In addition, the Standard American Diet (SAD) is lacking the necessary nutrients.
Some of the risk factors for developing osteoporosis include:
- Lack of exercise
- Sitting too much
- Excess alcohol consumption
- Decreased amount of UVB radiation
- Caffeine – for every 150 mgs of caffeine (that’s about a cup of coffee), 2-5 mgs of calcium is excreted in the urine and 3 cups of coffee daily can increase the risk of osteoporosis by 86%
- High sodium foods
- Consuming too much animal protein
- Excess phosphorus intake (soda is an example)
- Problems with liver or kidney
- Menopause (in women)
- Chronic inflammation
So how can YOU decrease your risk?
1. Get More Calcium
Everybody knows this, but only a few people realize that it is not about the calcium you eat but what you can absorb and utilize.
Your kidneys must work properly as well, because if they don’t, you can lose lots of calcium through urine.
The best sources of calcium are leafy green vegetables, nuts and seeds.
2. Vitamin D
A little known fact is that the majority of society is lacking this vitamin. Vitamin D helps absorb the calcium from your intestinal track. It is also crucial for your immune system to work properly.
Besides this, you need to have a healthy liver and kidneys to produce calcitriol, which is the hormonally active metabolite of vitamin D.
Consider spending more time in the sun, supplementing with vitamin D and detoxing your liver and kidneys (juicing is great for this!).
Magnesium plays an important role in stimulating your parathyroid gland to produce more calcitonin, being an essential cofactor in 80% of your cellular enzymes, converting vitamin D to calcitriol and forming new calcium crystals in your bones.
It’s estimated that 80% of the population is deficient in magnesium, so chances are you’re one of them and don’t know it!
You can find magnesium in dark leafy greens (especially in spinach). Eat more salads, quality whole grains, soaked beans and definitely drink more green juice.
Like magnesium, zinc is also essential for numerous biochemical mechanisms. It activates genes involved in protein synthesis, stimulates osteoblasts and the production of osteoblasts (those cells that build up your bones), suppresses outrageous activity of osteoclasts (the cells that break down your bones), balances out osteoblast and osteoclast production and helps vitamin D get into your cells. In addition, it can be found in hydroxyapatite crystals, which build up your bones.
Eat more spinach, pumpkin seeds, watermelon seeds, nuts and raw cacao.
5. Vitamin K2
It is not the same as vitamin K1, which can be found in plants. Vitamin K2 not only helps bones take up calcium, it lowers the risk of heart disease. If you’re lacking this vitamin, increased vitamin D and calcium consumption won’t give you any benefits, on the contrary, it can manifest in inappropriate calcification and increased risk of heart attacks. However, in the company of K2, these three make a powerful combo to rejuvenate your bones.
Natto, some types of fermented vegetables and cheese are high in this nutrient.
6. Healthy Stomach Acid Secretion
Studies have shown that decrease in gastric acid may disable calcium absorption through the intestine.
Drinking a small amount of lemon juice or mixing 1 Tbs of apple cider vinegar with 1 ounce of water (more if needed) half an hour before your meal can boost gastric acid production.
7. Alkalize Your Body
Your body always aims to stay in a specific pH range. Your metabolic processes perform their best in alkaline environments. To regain the proper pH balance, alkaline mineral salts of organic anions are used to neutralize excess acidity.
Green juices are a powerful weapon against acidity. Also, eat more raw fruits and veggies and work towards eliminating processed foods, refined sugar and caffeine.
8. Balance Out Your Hormones
Lack of estrogen after menopause in women often leads to osteoporosis.
Mint tea can be helpful in this case.
Lilla Bessenyei is a pharmacist and writer. It has been through her own experience that she realized that health and happiness start with what you put in your body and mind - including your thoughts. She is an avid researchers and has learned a lot about health and medicine. In her studies, she found that cultivating healthy emotions were just as important (if not more so) as a healthy diet. She is a fitness junkie, enjoys the numerous benefits of a vegan diet and enjoys helping people discover true health and happiness.
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