(NaturalNews) Our western culture has an epidemic of poor health and degenerative disease. Some of the most common degenerative diseases today are weak-boned conditions such as osteopenia/osteoporosis. The most current science is showing that the dietary and lifestyle advice given to us by our national organizations is contributing to the epidemic. Fortunately, there are lifestyle and dietary patterns that can completely prevent and reverse these conditions.
One of the greatest myths we have all been raised to believe in America is that milk and dairy products provide the calcium we need for healthy bones. The notion is that if we do not consume these foods we run the risk of osteoporosis. The latest understanding is that most dairy products are actually some of the worst foods we can eat for building strong bones.
The current score board shows that most industrially advanced countries have the highest fracture rates, yet consume more dairy and calcium supplements than anywhere else in the world. Meanwhile, the people in much of Asia & Africa consume little or no dairy products and no calcium supplements, and yet their fracture rates are 50 to 70% lower.
Our blood stream has a very sensitive pH range of 7.365. If this range is thrown off as much as .1, it can be lethal to our body. When we consume a high proportion of acidic foods our body will pull and leach out alkaline buffering minerals like sodium, magnesium, & calcium. These will be pulled out of less critical tissues such as bone, muscle, & joints to stabilize the pH in the bloodstream.
Pasteurized dairy products from animals fed a grain-rich diet are very acidic and are inflammatory substances. Unless they are surrounded by an extremely alkalizing diet they will end up causing our body to leach out more calcium to boost the pH of the bloodstream. The net result is that we will lose more calcium than we gain in our bones. One exception is raw milk from grass-fed animals. This product is not as acidic and the nutrition is more bioavailable to our bodies.
The best foods for building healthy bones are fresh, raw fruits and vegetables. "When fruits and vegetables are metabolized they add bicarbonate, an alkaline compound, to the body," said lead author Dr. Dawson Hughes in a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism in 1990. "Our study found that bicarbonate had a favourable effect on bone reabsorption and calcium excretion. This suggests that increasing the alkali content of the diet may attenuate bone loss in healthy older adults."
Additionally, fruits and vegetables are rich in anti-oxidants. This is critical for repairing the wear & tear that oxidative stress puts on bone tissue. Some of the best bone building vegetables include dark-green leafy veggies such as kale, collards, spinach, mustard greens, etc. These foods contain loads of calcium and magnesium, iron, vitamin K and other critical trace minerals.
The health benefits of a low fat diet are another misconception that leads to the progression of bone degeneration. Strong bones are absolutely dependant on healthy fat sources from avocados, coconut, olive oil, nuts/seeds, and fish oils. These fats provide anti-oxidants, phytonutrients, & trace minerals. These are critical to reduce inflammation and provide a healthy membrane for every cell in our body (including bone cells).
Another lifestyle tip we have been incorrectly taught is to stay out of the sun. The sun may be our most important nutrient source in that it energizes our cells and provides us with Vitamin D. Healthy bone structure is absolutely dependent on healthy vitamin D levels between 60-100ng/ml.
Dr. David Jockers owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Ga. He is a Maximized Living doctor. His expertise is in weight loss, customized nutrition & exercise, & structural corrective chiropractic care. For more information go to www.exodushc.com To find a Maximized Living doctor near you go to www.maximizedliving.com
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