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Not Your Everyday Bone-Boosters

Posted Sep 25 2012 7:50am

Bone-boosting starts when young
Photo credit: freshhealthyvending.com
It is commonly known that if you want to ensure strong bones, calcium is the boss. Now roughly, bones are half mineral deposit (calcium phosphate) and half proteins (mainly collagen), surrounded by muscular tissues. This physiology description is probably not new – however, when it comes to bone health, everyone seems to focus on calcium from milk, labne and cheeses. Little do they know that bone boosting goes beyond dairy consumption. Thus, what we need to focus on is how to absorb bone boosting nutrients, how to maintain their deposition and finally how to ensure bones a solid environment to sustain us through adulthood.

Absorption in the Intestines
To start with, vitamin D is much needed to ensure proper calcium absorption in the intestines. However, vitamin D is not widely spread in food so make sure to have fatty fish, sardines or tuna. In fact, canned sardines, with their tiny edible bones, can provide you with ample of vitamin D and calcium so make sure to have these bones too!
Recent research from Spain shows that consumption of olive oil, part of a Mediterranean diet, may strengthen the bones by being a vehicle for fat soluble vitamins, such as vitamin D. Consequently, this may increase the concentration of osteocalcin, a biomarker of healthy bones.

Sneak Peek on the Inside 
Given that bones are half proteins on their inside, consuming adequate amounts of dietary proteins is a must. On the other side, make sure to have enough vitamin C, such as citrus fruits (kiwi, oranges, berries), broccoli, green leafy veggies and bell peppers, to sustain healthy collagen formation. Vitamin K is needed as much to promote protein formation in the bones’ matrix. Green leafy vegetables such jews mallow (mloukhiye), chard, spinach and asparagus can provide your bones with this vitamin.
On the other hand, calcium is needed for mineral deposition. Yes, it can be found in milk and dairy products, but you can also get what your body needs from cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, nuts especially almonds, soy products like tofu and soybeans, beans, peas and sesame seeds. 
Bone is boosted with regular exercise Photo credit 
Furthermore, keep in mind that high sodium intake has been shown to increase the calcium excretion in the urine, therefore, decrease your salt intake especially from processed and junk food and increase potassium in your diet from potatoes, bananas, dried fruits, beats, orange, tomatoes and beans for it may counteract this calcium excretion mechanism. 

Cushion your Bones
Your bones lay within muscular tissues that cushion and protect them so have adequate proteins, magnesium and vitamin D. Strong muscles are resilient, thus bones within them are less likely to break upon shock.
Last but not least, bone health is sustained with regular physical activity, especially weight bearing ones such as jogging, running, rope skipping and jumping  – practically anything that exerts gravitational force on your bones!
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