Taking care of our bones is crucial for maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. Whether you’re looking to lower your risk of osteoporosis or support your bones if you’ve already been diagnosed, there are plenty of strategies you can adopt. In this blog post, we’ll dive into important non-dairy sources of calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, protein, phosphorous, fluoride, and potassium–all important nutrients that impact bone health. We’ll also explore the role of exercise, hormones, and how certain medications can affect the strength and density of your bones. At Cambiati Wellness Programs, we recommend avoiding or limiting dairy for a variety of reasons.
Luckily, there are many plant-based sources of nutrients to help maintain bone health. Here are some key foods to incorporate into your diet:
- Calcium: Include dark leafy greens such as kale, collard greens, and bok choy. Fortified plant-based milk, tofu, tempeh, and almonds are also excellent sources.
- Magnesium: Opt for foods like spinach, Swiss chard, pumpkin seeds, black beans, and cashews.
Protein: Ensure an adequate intake of plant-based protein sources such as legumes, tofu, tempeh, quinoa, and hemp seeds
- Vitamin D: While it’s challenging to obtain sufficient vitamin D from food alone, incorporating fortified plant-based milk, mushrooms, and exposure to sunlight can help.
- Phosphorous: Incorporate foods like lentils, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, and quinoa to boost phosphorous levels.
- Fluoride: Although we recommend avoiding fluoridated water or using toothpaste with fluoride, certain teas and seaweed are natural sources.
- Potassium: Enjoy bananas, sweet potatoes, avocado, spinach, and white beans to meet your potassium needs.
Weight-Bearing Activities: Engaging in regular exercise is crucial for maintaining strong bones. Incorporate weight-bearing exercises such as walking, jogging, dancing, or hiking into your routine. These activities stimulate the bones, helping to improve bone density and reduce the risk of fractures. Additionally, strength-training exercises using resistance bands or weights can further enhance bone health.
Hormones and Bone Health: Hormones play a vital role in bone health. Women going through menopause are particularly susceptible to bone loss due to decreased estrogen levels.
Maintain hormonal balance by following a healthy lifestyle, incorporating exercise, and ensuring adequate intake of essential nutrients.
Medications and Your Bones: Certain medications like Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) and Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) may affect bone health. If you’re on these medications, consult with your healthcare provider to assess potential risks and develop a plan to offset any negative effects. They may recommend calcium and vitamin D supplements or alternative treatments.
Conclusion: Taking care of your bones is essential for a healthy and active life. Whether you’re a vegan or not, focusing on nutrient-rich foods, engaging in weight-bearing exercises and strength training, and understanding the impact of hormones and medications can help support your bone health. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and guidance. Prioritize your bone health today and enjoy a vibrant life for years to come!