As a few of my older family members are afflicted with problems relating to their bones I have been very curious about bone health. How are we able to maintain healthy bones until old age? If calcium is not the only answer, what other factors improve bone health or causes its degeneration? Here’s what I found:
photo credit: Day Donaldson
1. Consuming milk does not guarantee bone health
You might be surprise that milk is not the panacea to osteoporosis or can it guarantee good bone health. China and Japan – two countries in which people drink little to no milk – suffer much lower fractures than milk-loving countries like the United States or Scandivania.
2. High intake of salt and animal protein cause calcium to be excreted in urine
The more we lose calcium in urine, the less available is calcium for bone building. Modern eating habits like high intake of salt and animal protein increases calcium excretion.
3. Exercise helps bone health
Physical activities stimulates bone-building
4. Tea, onions and parsley
There appears to be factors in tea, onions and parsley that slow bone deconstruction significantly.
5. Vitamin D helps to absorb calcium from food
Vitamin D helps efficient absorption of calcium from our food. Hence it is often added into milk and other food.
Bone health does not depends only on calcium levels in the body. A lot of factors affects it such as physical activity, hormones, trace nutrients (e.g vitamin C, magnesium, potassium and zinc) and other unidentified substances.
The conclusion? The best insurance against bone health is nothing more than frequent exercise and well-rounded diet.
(source: ‘ On Food and Cooking’ by Harold McGee’)