Preventing Osteoporosis by Daphne Lambert

Osteoporosis is thinning of the bone. The bones are composed of a skeleton of connective tissue around which minerals in crystalline form are laid down. In osteoporosis, there is a reduction in both the amount of connective tissue and the mineral content of the bone. This results in fractures of the hip, shoulder, ribs, vertebrae, forearm and wrist. In Britain, osteoporosis has increased six times in the past 30 years. Cross-cultural studies show us that throughout the world, most individuals do lose bone mass as they age. This bone however, though lower in mass, should be able to withstand the stresses and strains of daily activity. In osteoporosis, bone loss goes beyond that of normal ageing. Osteoporosis is not a simple disorder many factors contribute including lack of sunlight exposure and low vitamin D levels, high caffeine, alcohol & sugar consumption, high protein diet especially if the protein is high in the amino acids methionine & cystiene, an acid-forming diet, environmental chemicals, the use of various prescription medications, lack of exercise and chronic stress.


A lack of adequate nutrients can have a major impact on bone health this could be related to an individual making poor food choices or someone suffering from a physical condition that affects the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, whatever the cause when there are insufficient nutrients for long periods of time bones will suffer. Key nutrients include:


Calcium

All researchers agree that adequate calcium is essential for development and maintenance of bone health. But how much is adequate? The amount of calcium needed will vary depending on a myriad of other factors from digestive health to physical activity. Calcium depends on other nutrients to do its work, and so just increasing calcium without other bone-building nutrients is not the answer. Green leafy vegetables, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, kale, collards, and mustard greens are a good source of calcium as well as a broad range of vitamins and minerals that are important to maintaining healthy bones, including magnesium vitamin K1, and boron.


Magnesium

Magnesium is responsible for many biochemical processes within the bone. Magnesium is essential for the conversion of vitamin D to its biologically active form. Good sources of magnesium include almonds, whole grains and green leafy vegetables.


Vitamin K1

Vitamin K1 is the form of vitamin K that is found in plants. It has an important role to play in anchoring calcium molecules and holding them in place within the bone. Good sources of vitamin K are green leafy vegetables, cauliflower, broccol.


Boron

Small amounts of this trace element can greatly enhance the absorption of calcium. Good sources include kelp, dulse, apples & green leafy vegetables.


Manganese

This trace mineral is essential for the mineralization of the bones as well as the production of cartilage and connective tissues. The best source of manganese in the diet is from whole oats, blackberries & raspberries.


Vitamin D

Adequate Vitamin D levels are critical for us to absorb calcium in our intestines. Without enough vitamin D, less than 10% of ingested calcium may be absorbed. The body's use of vitamin D is enhanced in the presence of magnesium and boron. Good sources other than sunlight are eggs and oily fish. There are 2 types of vitamin D Vitamin D2 (ergocalciterol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciterol). D3 is the same type produced by your body when exposed to the sun and is by far the most important. Research shows D3 is over 80% more potent in raising and maintaining vitamin D concentrations and produces 2 – 3 fold greater storage of vitamin D than does D2 in addition D3 is also converted into its active form 500% faster. D2 can be found in mushrooms but wether D3 can be found also in mushrooms is of major dispute. Research by Paul Stamets indicates that sundried shiitake mushrooms also contain vitamin D3


Nutrients work together in the body here is a salad that contains plenty of the nutrients necessary for healthy bones


Potent Bone Builder Salad

serves 4


200g shiitake mushrooms sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves finely chopped garlic

1 tablespoon grated ginger

handful chopped parsley

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoons light miso

3 tablespoon olive oil

1 head of broccoli broken into small florets

1 handful soaked pumpkin seeds

Handful of dulse soaked and chopped

18 soaked almonds finely sliced

4 handfuls of green salad leaves

4 handfuls sprouted alfalfa

4 tablespoons hulled hemp


Gently cook the shiitake in the oil. Mix the garlic, ginger, parsley, cider vinegar, light miso & olive oil together. Stir in the shiitake and broccoli and leave to marinade for 30 minutes. Mix in the pumpkin seeds, dulse and sliced almonds To serve - Divide the salad leaves between 4 bowls add a handful of alfalfa to each bowl and top with the broccoli mixture and finally the hemp seeds. Brilliant if you can find a sunny spot to roll up your sleeves and enjoy this salad. Alternatives Replace the hemp with a soft boiled egg or a fillet of oily fish

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