Most people have heard about a connection between bone density and osteoporosis. But what if I told you it’s far more complicated than that? There are so many pieces to consider, and one factor that’s often overlooked in the prevention of osteoporosis is reducing chronic inflammation. It’s important to take a look at Osteoporosis and inflammation, because inflammation can interfere with your own body’s natural ability to repair bone mass. Over time, this leads to brittle bones that are common in osteoporosis. There are many things you can do to prevent osteoporosis and help limit the damage caused by chronic inflammation. Let’s look at them together.
Prevent Osteoporosis – Maintain Your Bone Health
Let’s look at some of the small changes you can make in your lifestyle and dietary habits to help maintain your bone health. Whether you are concerned about maintaining bone health, or you’ve already been told you have osteoporosis or osteopenia, it’s always a good idea to take good care of yourself. Symptoms of an inflammatory condition, including osteoporosis, can be managed in safe and natural ways which are effective. Changes you make today help shape your future!
Nurture Healthy Bacteria
Your gastrointestinal system is the source of nutrition for the daily functioning of your cells. If your cells are having trouble absorbing nutrients from the foods you take in, you are at risk for inflammation and osteoporosis.
Part of the problem we often have with absorption begins because we don’t have enough of the “good” bacteria that helps in digesting food and absorbing nutrients. This necessary bacterium also helps us to fight off substances like systemic yeast. Some steps you can take to help keep maintain good levels of gut flora are:
- Get plenty of fiber in your diet; friendly bacteria love fiber.
- Add foods to your diet like yogurt, kefir, kimchi and sauerkraut. These are “living” foods.
- Try to gradually decrease your intake of red meat.
- Try taking a probiotic supplement on a regular basis if you have digestive troubles. This can help restore the natural bacteria in your GI system.
Pursue a High-Alkaline, Anti-Inflammatory Diet
An anti-inflammatory diet has a lot in common with an alkalizing diet that supports bone health. Consider these suggestions:
- Try adding extra servings of alkalizing fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and high-quality fats to your daily diet.
- Try cooking foods slowly or simmering, instead of frying. Foods retain more nutrients when they are cooked slowly; deep-fried foods are more difficult for our bodies to digest.
- Try to avoid red meat and processed foods. Other things to limit in your diet are refined sugars and grains as these often contain high amounts of additives, artificial colorings, flavorings and preservatives.
Remove Gluten from Your Menu
Research has shown a direct link between gluten reactivity and bone health. Whether you have been diagnosed with celiac disease or just have a mild intolerance to gluten, it sets off an inflammatory process which places your bone health at risk.
It’s much easier to implement a gluten-free diet these days. There is such a wide variety of alternatives available; many stores even have whole sections dedicated to gluten-free foods. There is an extra benefit in eating gluten-free: since many foods which contain gluten are acid-forming, removing these will naturally lead you in the direction of a more alkaline dense diet.
Sometimes we don’t realize a certain food is making us feel sick until we eliminate it. Food sensitivities and allergies place our bone health at risk by stimulating the body’s inflammatory process. To help identify foods you may be sensitive to, experiment by removing a suspected substance from your diet for two weeks. Then reintroduce it and see how you feel.
Add Omega-3s to Your Diet
I really can’t overstate the importance of these fatty acids. They stop inflammation and reduce the risk of complications in many areas of our health, including our bone health.
Foods which are especially rich in omega-3s include wild-caught Pacific salmon, mackerel, flaxseed and walnuts. It’s easy to include these in your diet to reduce inflammation. You may also want to think about taking a high-quality omega-3 supplement.
Nature provides us with Vitamin D through sunlight, but not everyone spends enough time in the sun to reap the benefits. It’s been estimated that up to a billion of the world’s population is Vitamin D deficient!
Vitamin D is important for many reasons, not just bone health. Having low levels of this important vitamin has been linked to diabetes, increased risks of cancer, and heart disease – all of which have include inflammation as a component.
Vitamin D is important in helping our bodies absorb calcium and also aids in the removal of old bone tissue. I recommend you take 2,000 IU of supplemental Vitamin D3 daily to ensure your health.
Vitamin K has been somewhat of a mystery until relatively recently. We now know that there is a whole family of these K vitamins, and they help limit the loss of calcium from the kidneys, and help to retain several of the proteins needed for bone production. Certain plant foods contain vitamin K1, and some traditional fermented foods contain vitamin K2 (sauerkraut, natto and kimchi). Most of us don’t get enough Vitamin K in our diet.
Research has shown low magnesium levels to be associated with decreased bone mass, which leads to brittle bones. Include foods high in magnesium, such as spinach, almonds, avocados and soy, in your diet. Taking a good multivitamin with minerals, including magnesium, is also a good idea.
Inflammation can cause a whole host of problems, including having an impact on your bone health. But you don’t have to let inflammation disrupt your body’s natural balance as it processes healthy bone tissue. You can calm inflammation, support your bones, and feel healthy and whole today and in the future.