Your diet is of utmost importance. Nutrition, along with weight bearing exercise and supplements are keys to reversing bone loss.
So how can your daily food and drink affect Osteopenia or Osteoporosis?
If you eat a highly acidic diet, your body will need to remove calcium from your bones and teeth where it is stored
in order to keep to keep your body chemistry balanced and prevent you from developing an overly acidic condition.
Recently a number of authors have claimed that the rise in the number of people with Osteopenia and Osteoporosis is a direct result of the changes in the diet of those living in the developed world over the past 75 years.
There was a time when people ate a more alkaline diet (vegetables, especially green leafy ones,fruits and dairy products). Today many people have switched to a more acidic diet (meat, fish, soft drinks, grains, legumes, nuts).
Some researchers say that this acidic diet means our bodies need to leach calcium from its storehouse in our bones and teeth in order to buffer the acidic state and return to our bodies to our normal slightly alkaline state. These researchers often point to countries where people still eat a more alkaline diet. They do not have the number of cases of Osteopenia and Osteoporosis as we do.
So pay attention to your Diet for Osteopenia . Why spend time and money on drugs, supplements and gyms if your time at the dinner table or at the fast food shop will undermine your treatment plan?
How can I tell if my body is 'acid' or 'alkaline'?
This is not difficult. Most health food stores or pharmaciessell something called stock PH paper. You'll want to buy: "narrow range pH paper measuring pH 4.5 to 7.5 or pH 4.5 to 8.5."
You can use one of these ph strips to measure your alkaline/acid balance. Here's what to do:
Swallow your saliva and then gather a bit more of it and swallow that too.
Now insert a ph strip in your mouth so your any remaining saliva touches it.
Remove the strip and watch it turn color. A colorof blue indicates a healthy alkaline ph of 7.4, If the strip doesnot turn blue, use the color chart that comes with the ph stripsto see what your ph is.
Remember, a ph lower than 7.0 is acid and your body will need to counteract that acid state by pulling calcium from your bones or teeth. If your daily food choices are making your body acidic, and you have Osteopenia or Osteoporosis,you might consider making some changes. Add 'alkaline foods' and cut back on the 'acidic foods'. (see the list of foods given above)
If you have Osteopenia or Osteoporosis, keep some of these pH strips to measure acid/alkaline balance in your medicine chest, right beside the thermometer to measure body temperature. Check your ph on a regular basis until youfind that your Diet for Osteopenia is paying off in a more alkaline body.
But there are other things you can do by way of Diet for Osteopenia?
You can add foods that have been show to be good for bone building to your diet.
Diet for Osteopenia - Aero Garden: you organic salad maker
Can a diet for Osteopenia or Osteoporosis be the only treatment I use?
I have no research evidence that diet alone can reverse bone loss once it has begun.
There is research about bone density exercises and some supplements increasing bone mass as well as research done by drug companies to show the effectiveness of their medications. But if your daily diet is causing your body to be in a state of acidosis so that you are leaching calcium from your bones tokeep your body in balance, your eating patterns are certainly working against your bone building program.
Anyone with Osteopenia or Osteoporosis who wants to reverse boneloss should think about a diet for osteopenia or osteoporosis. If you want to retain and rebuild bone you can not be eating in a way that causes your body to leach calcium from your bones to keep your body chemistry in balance.
If you have Osteopenia or Osteoporosis, it is wise to cut back on acid forming foods (meat, fish, grains, legumes, nuts, soda pop, caffeine ) and increase alkaline foods (vegetables, fruit, dairy). It is also wise to get dietary calcium fromyour food.
Note: I am not advocating that you become vegetarian. We know that fish, in particular, has many beneficial health benefits. It is a question of balance. Be sure that vegetables, fruit and dairy (if you are not lactose intolerant) are a significant part of your diet. And you might consider buying some ph strips so you can check the results of your eating.
What foods are good sources of calcium?
You can get 400 milligrams of calcium in: 3 and 1/2 oz of Sardines WITH BONES; 1 cup of Yogurt, plain low-fat; Tofu processed with calcium salts (Do read the label since tofu varies widely).
You can get 300 milligrams of calcium from 1 cup of Milk; 1.5- 2 oz of hard cheese; 1/2 cup of part-skim ricotta cheese; 1/2 cupSalmon, canned WITH BONES; 6 ounces Collard greens ; 1 CUP Soy milk; (Check labels since brands vary); 1 cup Calcium fortified orange juice.
You can get 100 milligrams of calcium from 3/4 cup of Cottage cheese; I cup cooked broccoli, 1 cup navy or pinto beans;1 small Taco; 1 English muffin; 1/3 cup Almonds; 4 dried figs.(One of my favorites are dried figs which come into the stores in late Fall. I often buy 10 packages! And they are my between meal snacks or I add them to fruit salad)
Now, one of the big things about getting your calcium duringyour meals is to be sure that you do not eat foods that willblock calcium absorption at the same meal. If you do, you maybe eating calcium but it may never get into your system.
What foods interfere with the absorption of Calcium?
Oxalates (such as spinach, sweet potatoes and beans) and Phytates (such as whole wheat bran, beans, nuts and soy isolates) interfere with the absorption of calcium. So, for example, eating a piece of hard cheese alone or in a salad may be fine but eating a cheese sandwich or cheese on beans could be problematic.
Also, it is important to remember that protein and sodium boost the amount of calcium excreted in urine, while vitamin D reduce the amount excreted in urine.
Caffeine reduces the absorption of calcium and cigarette smoking may decrease the absorption of calcium so a cigarette after yourmeal may reduce the usefulness of a calcium rich meal.
Additional articles about Diet for Osteopenia
You may wish to read these related articles about Diet for Osteopenia or Osteoporosis: