5 Ways To Optimise Bone Density

The Dairy Industry has done brilliant marketing over the years to convince everyone that they need dairy for calcium to maintain healthy bones, but even though milk and other dairy products do contain calcium, and other nutrients they inflame the gastrointestinal tract and many people just don't absorb the nutrients. There have also been scientific studies that show Countries with high dairy consumption the rates of osteoporosis are actually higher.

Dairy products do deliver a dose of calcium and fortified vitamin D, but it's not that simple when it comes to nutrients for bone density. Bone health is complex and multifactorial, incorporating genetics, gender, age, and lifestyle factors such as exercise and overall dietary intake. A wide array of nutrients play powerful roles and work synergistically to keep bone mineralization functioning in a healthy way. In addition to calcium and vitamin D, other crucial characters include protein, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, soy isoflavones, and vitamins B12, C, and K. As it turns out, the nutrients found in plants can more than meet your daily requirements.

Here are 5 ways to optimize your bone health:

1. Exercise against resistance consistently. Perhaps the most effective way to maintain bone (and muscle) mass is to incorporate resistance training into your daily movement protocol. Lift weights, or use resistance bands, bodyweight exercises and always do exercise that you enjoy, do this often to maintain good bone density. Pilates and Functional Strength and Movement training are also great options.

2. Ideally, we get our vitamin D from the sun. Oddly, however, the majority of the world’s population is not getting enough of it these days. Vitamin D ensures better calcium absorption, Ensure your vitamin D blood levels are adequate via a blood test. you only need about 20 minutes sun a day, but if levels are still low, consider supplementing until your blood levels are up to par or during the winter months.

3. Alkalize your diet. Alkalizing your diet may support a healthy environment for your bones. This means eating ample servings of fruits and vegetables, herbs, seeds, legumes , and “pseudograins” (e.g. buckwheat, quinoa, wild rice) as a foundation of your diet. Fruits and vegetables themselves have been shown to have positive effects on bone metabolism because of their overall high content of potassium and vitamin C.

4. Consume adequate calcium from plant sources. Yes, dairy contains calcium. However, remember that you can consume calcium until the cows come home (no pun intended), but what matters most is how much calcium is actually absorbed. Excellent plant sources include leafy green veggies such as bok choy, kale, broccoli, cabbage, and watercress, calcium-set tofu, dried figs, pumpkin seeds,  sesame seeds and tahini, tempeh, almonds and almond butter, oranges, beans, and fortified plant milks and orange juice.

5. Avoid processed foods. Processed foods – especially sodas and sugars – promote poor bone mineralization. Besides impacting bones directly, crowding out nutrient-dense, whole plant foods for nutrient-poor processed foods increases the potential damage. Stick to a minimally processed diet based on vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices to achieve nutrient requirements and reduce your risk for chronic diseases, including osteoporosis.

Download our Calcium Info Pamphlet Here


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John Cawley

John Cawley

John Cawley is the founder of Plant Based Life. John is a Personal Trainer that believes every weakness can be turned into a strength and is passionate about instilling this belief with all clients. John has a lot of experience in helping clients who have had injuries, and is dedicated to helping everyone keep moving and leading a healthy lifestyle, with a big focus on movement, mobility and functional training.