I’m happy to have Dr. Joel Fuhrman here to share about which foods are good and bad for bone health and preventing osteoporosis. Because of the milk industry, so many people believe that milk builds healthy bones, but Dr. Fuhrman is here to explain why that just isn’t true:
Preventing Osteoporosis with Excellent Nutrition
By: Joel Fuhrman, M.D.
Bone health is directly linked to nutrition. Certain foods promote breakdown of bone and osteoporosis. Other foods, such as beans and vegetables, supply your body with the nutrients necessary to build and maintain healthy, strong bones and prevent osteoporosis.
The worst foods for bone health:
- Animal protein and other high protein foods leave acidic residues in the blood, and the body responds by dissolving bone to release basic calcium salts to neutralize the acid, which results in loss of calcium in the urine. Many studies have found animal protein intake to be associated with low bone mass.[i],[ii]In contrast, plant protein intake is associated with decreased hip fractures in the elderly.i Natural plant foods do not leave an acidic residue in the blood or promote urinary calcium excretion.[iii],[iv]
- Saltpromotes the excretion of calcium in the urine.[v] (Careful here! It’s okay to have a small amount of good quality salt, like from miso or shoyu, but most people go way overboard. Check out The Kind Diet or for more info on salt. – AS)
- Caffeine also contributes to urinary calcium loss. High caffeine intake is associated with increased bone loss and osteoporotic fractures.[vi],[vii]
- Soda, including diet and decaffeinated soda, is associated with bone loss.[viii],[ix] Soda consumption increases parathyroid hormone (PTH) in the blood, which increases blood calcium concentrations by stimulating bone breakdown. This increased blood calcium is then excreted in the urine.[x]
The best foods for bone health:
Studies show that individuals with the highest consumption of vegetables have the strongest bones.[xi],[xii]
Whole plant foods are the best foods for bones:
- Beans, seeds, and greens. A diet full of natural plant foods provides the calcium required to build strong bones. Green vegetables in particular are rich calcium sources. For example, one four-ounce serving of steamed kale has just as much calcium as one cup of milk. Broccoli, bok choy, spinach, sesame seeds, and garbanzo beans are also excellent calcium sources. Furthermore, the body absorbs over 50% of the calcium in green vegetables, compared to only 32% of the calcium in milk.[xiii]
- Green vegetables are high in vitamin K, which is a crucial component for maintaining healthy bones.[xiv]
- Nuts and seeds are rich in magnesium, an essential mineral for the formation of bone tissue.[xv] They also help maintain adequate calorie and protein intake, to maintain muscle and bone mass without having to rely on high acid-forming animal products.
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Please share this with your veg and non-veg friends and family!
Do you have more questions about this?
Post them in the comments and I’ll try to answer in a future blog.
Dr. Fuhrman is a best-selling author, nutritional researcher and board certified family physician specializing in nutritional medicine. Learn more by visiting his informative website at DrFuhrman.com and his blog at Diseaseproof.com, and following Dr. Fuhrman on Facebook and Twitter.
Photo source: flickr.com / akeg