Do you have strong bones or is your acidic diet wearing them out?
Some health conscious individuals are surprised to learn that the foods they eat regularly (wheat, cheese, caffeine) may be weakening their bones. Our blood is slightly alkaline (the opposite pH to acid) and that is where our body prefers to be.
Acid Alkaline Diet
In order to balance the acidity of a poor diet, the bones may leach calcium to balance the body pH. Foods like strong cheese, wheat, meat, caffeine, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, soda drinks and dairy may weaken bones over time. The body does better choosing more alkaline foods.
Calcium Rich Foods
To maintain strong bones we need a good supply of calcium and contrary to popular belief, dairy may not be the best source. Diary is on the acidic side of the food chart and it is also not the easiest form of calcium to absorb. Humans are designed to drink milk from human mums and cows drink milk from cow mums. Dark leafy greens, seeds and seafood are better calcium rich foods than milk.
Further Reading: Good non-dairy sources of calcium
Vitamin D Foods
Of course we also need vitamin D for strong bones. Think of the sun as food for your bones. Sunlight stimulates the production of vitamin D and you need at least 20 minutes outdoor time every day without sun screen.
Fish oils are a perfect source of vitamin D provided you know that your source of fish isn’t full of mercury. This is the one supplement I think we all need. A teaspoon a day of high quality fish oils is what I recommend. Get the best quality fish oils you can afford – don’t go budget here. I prefer liquid (many are flavored and make them more easier to stomach).
Further Reading: Foods high in Vitamin D
Weight-bearing exercise is absolutely crucial to strong bones. Riding a bike and swimming are great for your heart but they are weightless so don’t help your bones get any stronger. Fast paced walking with good arm swing and even velcro weights around the ankles (only 1-2 kg) work for weight-bearing. Running, if you are under 35 (too hard on the joints over 35), weight-lifting, martial arts and dancing are all fantastic weight-bearing exercises.
Your posture is crucial to the health of your bones. If your body is out of its symmetrical alignment than there is uneven pressure and stress on your joints and this can lead to wear and tear (osteoarthritis) in those joints. Learn about your posture and create a daily habit by following a posture routine that’s easy and effective.
Posturecise Crash Course – A simple 3-step formula
Choose one thing to take on this week and put it into action. Stop fizzy drinks or cut caffeine down to under 4 a day or have one 20 minute faced passed walk; read The Posture Doctor; put 3 new alkaline foods on your shopping list or decide to have a week free of alcohol (eek – ya, that’s the hardest one for sure)!