Let’s Talk About Calcium and Bones

calcium_vitamins

Finding good sources of calcium in your diet can be challenging for some.  With food intolerances on the increase, dairy is up there as one of the top foods that some people need to avoid.

Luckily, there’s a variety of milk alternatives on the market, but with dairy being the traditional source of calcium for many, making sure there’s enough calcium in your diet for healthy bones can be tricky.

Throughout our life, our bones are being constantly broken down and rebuilt.    It’s when this process goes wrong or is inhibited in any way, that we develop problems with weak bones.

Here are some other things to avoid to help ensure your bones are healthy and strong:

1.  Smoking – one of the worst things you can do to your body on so many levels……  But did you know that cigarette smoke can deplete your body of estrogen which inhibits the osteoblast cells in your bones (the ones that are continually rebuilding your bones)?

2.  Gluten – you don’t have to be Celiac to have a gluten sensitivity.   In fact, you may be gluten sensitive and not even know it.  Chronic inflammation in your digestive system is not only uncomfortable, but will cause you to have problems absorbing vitamins and minerals such as calcium and magnesium needed for healthy bones.

3.  Reflux medication – many people I see in Clinic are taking these medications as a bandaid to the real cause of GERD and stomach acid problems.   These medications work by stopping the cells in the stomach from producing hydrochloric acid – shutting down stomach acid will shut down the absorption of important bone minerals such as calcium and magnesium, as well as altering other digestive functions that are necessary for good health.

4.  Contraceptives (pills, injections and implants) – the contraceptive injection of progestin (commonly known as Depo-Prevera) clearly states the warning that the drug causes significant and possibly irreversible bone loss.   Irreversible bone loss is something that will cause significant problems in the future for many women.    Implants and some mini-pills have progestin in them as well.    Find out what you are putting in your body.

5.  Anti-depressant medication – studies have shown that people who take SSRIs have lower bone mineral density.    It seems that serotonin suppresses the osteoblast cells that build up bones and people on SSRIs have a raised level of serotonin.    If you are taking an SSRI, it is something you need to be aware of.

6.  Low Vitamin D levels – you would be surprised at how many people have low Vitamin D levels.   Yes, even I did!  Get your levels checked – it’s a simple blood test.   Having good, not just sufficient, levels of Vitamin D in your body is essential for good bones, as well as helping to prevent other disease, including cancer.

Non-Dairy Sources of Calcium

Did you know that the best sources of calcium  can be found in good wholesome food such as:

  • green leafy vegetables
  • broccoli
  • kale
  • sardines
  • tinned salmon (make sure you eat those soft little bones)
  • eggs
  • nuts and seeds

By eating a variety of whole foods you’ll easily be getting a good level of calcium.

With your health in mind,

Catherine x

 

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