Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Superfoods for Super Bones

For the past couple of weeks, we have been discussing how the nutrients found in certain foods can help combat some of today's deadliest diseases. One disease that many people don't consider - but which has been shown to severely shorten the lifespan of elderly people afflicted with it - is osteoporosis. This degenerative bone disease leads to falls, broken bones, decreased mobility, and ultimately, increased mortality.

Many people believe that the primary cause of osteoporosis is a lack of calcium in their diet.  However, in the overall picture, calcium is only a small piece of the puzzle.  Though calcium supplements may sometimes help, there are other dietary concerns that need to be examined.

Soft drinks on shelves in a Woolworths superma...
Soft drinks. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Actually, the primary dietary cause of osteoporosis is now believed to be the eating foods that are highly acidic in nature, such as refined white sugar, refined white flour, high-fructose corn syrup, soft drinks, cookies, candies, sweets, desserts, and anything containing processed sweeteners. The over-consumption of these products causes the pH level in your blood to become very acidic. In an attempt to counterbalance this, your body reaches out for any calcium and magnesium it can find, and releases those into your bloodstream in an attempt to keep the pH level at a healthy balance. 

Therefore, with every soft drink, candy, cake and goodie you indulge in, you are robbing your skeleton of its bone density. The calcium and magnesium the body harvests in an attempt to counteract this acidic environment gets passed through your kidneys, (where it can also contribute to kidney stones) and exits your body through your urine. To prevent losing your bone mass to dietary causes, simply avoid consuming any white flour, processed sugars, added sugars, soft drinks, sweets, candies, breads, or any other ingredients that are made with refined carbohydrates (which your body typically treats as sugars). 

cabbage rolls
Cabbage rolls (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In addition, certain superfoods, like broccoli, cabbage, celery and other dark green leafy vegetables help keep the pH balance in a healthy equilibrium.  You need to get plenty of calcium and magnesium from healthy sources such as organic, plant-based vitamins (don't overlook the magnesium - it's just as important as calcium for bone health, if not more so). You should also consider supplementing your diet with various sea vegetables, which are naturally alkaline. Those include seaweed, kelp, and many others. Sprouts are also an awesome superfood choice.

By now you've probably noticed some common themes; eat lots of naturally healthy fruits and vegetables - particularly green and brightly colored ones, as well as other healthy whole foods, and avoid processed foods - particularly processed oils and sugars. By making just these few simple modifications in your daily diet, you can significantly reduce your odds of succumbing to some of today's deadliest diseases. Remember - your health is up to you! Make healthy choices for a healthier you. And be sure to keep an eye on our main blog for lots of helpful tips on living a healthy, holistic lifestyle.

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