The American diet traditionally consists of acid-forming foods: grains, sugar and processed meats. The pH of your blood must be exactly 7.365 and you can only withstand a fluctuation of 0.1 in either direction before the consequences are lethal. Just think for a moment how delicate a balance that is.
Acid-forming foods tend to lower the bodies pH, and one natural defense you have is to buffer the pH change with Calcium. The more acidic your body, the more you leach calcium from bones, teeth and other tissues. This is the real cause for osteoporosis and other weakening diseases – not old age. How can you help your body heal? Make these 5 changes to your diet to strengthen the health of your bones and your overall wellbeing.
Change #1: RAW/FERMENTED dairy products.
Animals fed a diet rich in grain produce dairy products that are very acidic and promote inflammation in the body. Drinking a glass of pasteurized whole milk in cereal at breakfast followed by a cup of fruit syrup, some sweetened yogurt with granola at lunch, and a cheeseburger for dinner does not, shall we say, contribute to optimal bone health.
If you chose to consume dairy, one simple switch you can make in your diet is to swap the pasteurized dairy you consume with raw milk from pastured animals. The nutrition in this milk is more bioavailable to our bodies for absorption and is not as acidic. Raw dairy is also high in magnesium, Approximately 60% of magnesium is concentrated in the bones, making it the richest source of magnesium in the body.
NOTE: Raw dairy is only available as RAW CHEESE in NC.
Change #2: Consume DARK GREEN leafy vegetables
Fresh and raw vegetables are some of the best building blocks for healthy bones. The Endocrine Society in 2008 published a study on vegetables and calcium in the bones. The study’s lead researcher, Dr. Dawson Hughes, said, “When vegetables are metabolized they add bicarbonate, an alkaline compound, to the body.. Our study found that bicarbonate had a favorable effect on bone reabsorption and calcium excretion. This suggests that increasing the alkali content of the diet may attenuate bone loss in healthy older adults.”
Antioxidant rich vegetables repair damage to bone tissue that oxidative stress causes. Dark leafy greens are loaded with essential bone health vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamin K and many trace minerals. Add veggies such as collard greens, arugula, swiss chard, kale, spinach and mustard greens into your diet daily for optimal nutrition. These greens help fight inflammation and provide the body with essential phytonutrients to rebuild and maintain cells in the bone.
Change #3: Pasture Raised Farm Eggs
Pastured-raised eggs are a compact source of antioxidants containing 13 essential nutrients contributing to bone health. Unlike conventionally raised eggs, which receive synthetic vitamin D as an alternative supplement instead of the natural vitamin D, pastured chickens receive from sunlight, eggs provide choline, riboflavin, folate, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin D, protein and healthy fats. However, most of these vitamins and minerals are contained in the yolk of eggs. Specifically, bone marrow nutrition requires proper biotin levels to function effectively of which egg yolk contains the greatest concentration of this bone health nutrient.
Change #4: Drink Bone Broth Regularly
Bone broth is an excellent source of nutrients for all the bones in your body. Depending on the bone’s size, certain bones such as your humerus contain more bone marrow and require a different supply of nutrients. Bone broth made from grass-fed animal bones are rich in healing nutrients like collagen, gelatin, chondroitin sulfate, proline, glycine, magnesium, calcium and many others essential for bone health. Collagen protein is especially necessary for the health of connective tissue, including cartilage, joints and bone. Supplementing your diet with bone broth and collagen protein is a great way to increase the density of nutrients in your bones and reverse deficiencies which lead to degenerative bone diseases. You can find my favorite bone broth recipes on our recipes page.
Change #5: Consume Sea Vegetables
Sea vegetables are the ocean’s superfood, providing us with an abundance of nutrients and minerals. Some of the most readily available nutrients contained in sea vegetables like seaweed, also called marine algae, are iodine, folate, selenium, magnesium, calcium, beta-carotene, choline, niacin, iron and vitamin K. Sea vegetables also help to buffer the bloodstream’s pH, which is critical to aiding in the maintenance of proper bone density. Here are some of the top sea vegetables you can add to your diet: Kelp, Nori (commonly found as wraps for sushi), Dulse, Irish Moss & Sea Palm.
Bonus Bone Health: Natural Vitamin D Creation
The strength of your bones is primarily a reflection of the diet you consume. However, other lifestyle factors also contribute to bone health. The “dangers” of the sun have caused many people to avoid sun exposure or slather on toxic sunscreen to reflect not only the sun’s rays but also prevent our body from absorbing natural vitamin D. Healthy bone structure is dependent on vitamin D and the energy that stimulates our cells. This nutrient which is critical to hormone production is much more dangerous to avoid than to be out in the sun. Your body can make approximately 10,000 IU of sulfonated vitamin D3 for you with only 12-15 minutes of skin exposure to the sun at peak UV hours (12-2pm). Remember: if you put sunblock on you are also blocking the ability to create vitamin D.