After my second child was born, I learned that my
body did not respond well to dairy products. At first,
just anecdotal evidence, then lab tests confirmed a
cows milk allergy.
As someone in the healthcare field who sees the
effects of osteoporosis and fractures everyday,
this really concerned me. How could I build my bone
mass up without milk or cheese?
Fortunately, education and investigation showed me
that milk products are not the most important bone
building product in my grocery cart.
In fact, one Harvard study actually states the
following: “It is unlikely that high consumption of
milk or other food sources of calcium during mid-life
will confer substantial protective effects against hip
or forearm fractures”.
With that being said, we all do still need calcium in
our diets. It contributes to healthy blood pressure
and heart function, brain and nerve signalling, and
prevents diabetes through the control of blood sugar
My point here is to say that calcium is not the end all,
be all of bone health. Especially not in the form of
cow’s milk. Calcium contributes to bone health in
combination with many other vitamins and minerals.
So, what vitamins and minerals do you need to load
up on to prevent bone loss and build new bone?
It’s true that calcium is necessary for bone
development as well as strength. However, calcium
is not only found in dairy products but also white
beans, broccoli almonds, greens, sesame seeds.
2. Vitamin D3
Without this vitamin, calcium can not be absorbed
by your body. The best from of vitamin D comes
from the sun. We need 20 minutes a day of sunlight
on exposed skin. Too cold or cloudy? Your doctor
may test your levels, as many people require
supplementation. Food sources are minimal but
include eggs and salmon.
When vitamin D3 enters our body, magnesium
must convert it to be usable. This is also an area of
frequent deficiency. Magnesium is in highest
amounts in spinach, but also potatoes, black beans,
almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, and avocado.
In addition, Boron allows proper metabolism of
all of the above nutrients. In this way, Boron
prevents the formation of weak bones. However,
as a trace element, we only need Boron in small
amounts. It is in chickpeas, almonds, beans, legumes,
prunes, and raisins.
Zinc is important for bone healing. It promotes
production of collagen proteins that build new bone.
Zinc is plentiful in pumpkin seeds, beef, cashew s,
chickpeas, mushrooms, and chicken.
Manganese has a special role in formation of bone
cartilage and collagen, as well as bone mineralization.
It is found in whole grains like rye, brown rice, and
buckwheat. When we replace whole grains with
refined flour, our intake becomes insufficient.
6. Vitamin K
We often overlook Vitamin K. However, it
synthesizes bone tissue and binding of calcium to
the bone matrix. It’s essentially the glue that sticks
the calcium to bone to make it stronger. Vitamin K
is plentiful in green leafy vegetables, peas, green tea,
broccoli, brussel sprouts, hard cheeses, and
Lysine may be a surprising contributor because it is
an amino acid. It helps in the production of collagen,
a protein that is a basic building block of bones,
cartilage, and tendons. Lysine is present in protein
rich foods such a meat, poultry, legumes, or eggs.
With all this being said, the best foods you can fill
your grocery cart with for stronger bones are those
that contain several of these nutrients.
The best choices:
- flax seeds
You will get the most benefit for your buck with
greens. For example, Swiss Chard has a powerhouse
supply of calcium, vitamin K, and magnesium. Also,
one study found that by eating 1 cup of spinach a day,
a woman’s chance of breaking a hip could be cut by
almost 1/3 due to improved bone density.
In conclusion, osteoporosis currently affects over 44
million American’s. Fortunately, there are natural and
highly effective ways you can boost bone density,
primarily through your diet (or supplementation if
Let us know how we can help you improve your bone
health through exercise or nutrition. We are happy to
answer further questions through e-mail: