Acidic Diets and Osteoporosis

Acidic diets and osteoporosis

The United States has long pushed dairy products as the primary source of calcium, but oddly enough, it is the people of the United States and other countries with high dairy intakes who have the highest rate of osteoporosis, hip fractures, and other debilitating diseases.  For example, dairy consumption used to be rare in China and so was osteoporosis.  However, this is changing as their diets are becoming more “Westernized.”  The reasoning is that when you eat foods that are highly acidic such as processed foods, fast foods, grains, sugary foods, coffee, sodas, animal proteins and dairy products this will cause the tissues to become overly acidic.  The body will automatically counteract any acidic state by constantly leaching calcium and other minerals from your bones in order to neutralize the excess acid, and it is this leaching process. Over time, this may lead to structural weakness in your bones and teeth.  This is the leading cause of osteoporosis, it is not from any lack of dairy products in the diet.

Acidic diets contribute to osteoporosis

Many people mistakenly believe that dairy products should be their main source of calcium, however this is not true.  There are many non-dairy sources of calcium which the body can utilize to build strong bones.

Non- dairy sources of calcium include:

  • 2 oz of sardines with bones = 240 mg of calcium
  • canned salmon 1 oz = 77 mg
  • collard greens — 1 cup = 357 mg
  • kale — 1 cup raw has about 90 mg
  • blueberries/Blackberries — 1 cup = 42 mg
  • broccoli (raw) 1 cup = 34 mg
  • bok choy (cooked) 1 cup= 158 mg
  • okra — one-half cup cooked has 90 mg
  • pinto beans 1/2 cup cooked  has 45 mg
  • sesame seeds 1 T =88 mg
  • chia seeds 1 oz = 177 mg
  • figs–  5 have about 68 mg
  • black strap molasses 2 T= 400 mg
  • almonds 3 ounces = 210 mg of calcium
  • orange — 1 medium = 52 mg
  • dates- 5 dates = 75mg
  • Look up the nutritional values of food

What you can do to build strong bones:

  1. Eat fresh, raw, whole foods (preferably organic) that are rich in minerals, giving your body the materials that it needs to be healthy.
  2. Eating leafy green vegetables and juicing wheatgrass.
  3. Eat foods high in silica- this would include cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, horsetail, nettles.
  4. Eat foods high in magnesium- raw cacao, oat bran, freshly ground flax seeds, Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, sesame seeds, squash, pumpkin are all good sources.
  5. Use unprocessed sea salt such as pink Himalayan salt as it contains 84 trace minerals.
  6. Drink plenty of spring water with fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice which although acidic before digestion, will leave behind an alkaline ash following digestion and will help to balance the pH.
  7. Optimize your vitamin D levels with 20- 30 minutes of sun exposure or with D3 supplementation as nearly everyone is deficient
  8. Vitamin K2 – helps bind the calcium to the bone. This is found in leafy greens, fermented foods, raw cheese or with Vitamin K2 Supplements.
  9. Magnesium which supports a healthy immune system, and helps to keep your bones strong.
  10. Boron is said to be the missing nutrient in regards to building strong bones
  11. Vitamin C also helps to build strong bones.  Dr Thomas Levy describes osteoporosis as “scurvy of the bone” and recommends that it be addressed with vitamin c supplementation.
  12. Weight-bearing exercises should be done regularly
  13. Minimize consumption of sugar and refined grains.
  14. Take a high-quality Omega 3 Fatty Acid Supplement, such as unrefined hemp oil.
  15. Make sure you are getting enough sleep each night
  16. Find ways to relieve stress
  17. If you do eat meat, make sure that it is organic and preferably free-range
  18. If you continue to drink milk, raw would be the best choice, or from organically-raised, pastured animals.  Locate raw milk in your area
Some calcium supplements are made of limestone

Some calcium supplements are made of limestone

Don’t take calcium supplements that are made from ground limestone

When looking for a calcium supplement, look for those which do not contain calcium carbonate, calcium malate, and calcium citrate as these contain ground-up limestone.  This inorganic or “elemental” calcium is not bound to the natural co-factors such as amino acids, lipids and glyconutrients and this does not allow the body to utilize it in a biologically appropriate manner. Lacking the appropriate delivery system, the calcium may end up going to places you do not want  such as in the breast tissue, in the joints in the form of arthritis or gout, the development of kidney and gallstones, the laying down of arterial plaque, and the development of bone spurs.

Best forms of calcium–  while enhancing bone strength is important, it should be done with a form of calcium that is made from bio-available materials that also includes all of the co-factors needed to assimilate the calcium such as vitamin D3, magnesium, and k2 which helps to direct the calcium into the bones where it is needed, not to deposit it in the fatty tissues of the breasts.  Natural plant-based calcium can be found in products such as Raw Calcium.  The next best form of calcium supplement that is easily assimilated is Calcium Orotate with Magnesium Orotate   Additionally, if strong bones is your intention, then take a look at supplementing with Boron which is one of the most important supplements for improving bone density.  Read more about boron here.

Additional Resources

Read more about acid/alkaline balance

Read more about vitamins and minerals

Read more about vitamin D3

  Garden of Life Vitamin Code RAW Calcium, 120 Capsules

  Life Extension Boron 3 Mg 100 vegetarian capsules

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