Food plays a key role in the treatment of osteoporosis
A proper diet can help prevent osteoporosis or delay its onset.
In general, we can say that a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D promotes the absorption of this mineral in the bones or prevents the loss of it,favoring its absorption. This is the reason why you should include at least three servings a day of foods rich in calcium.
The main source of calcium is milk. But whole milk has a lot of fat so not very suitable from certain age. It is best not to give it up and take skim milk. Its derivatives should also be skimmed.
Dried fruits are very rich in calcium, to such an extent that them can be used like substitutes of milk by those people who have intolerance to the lactose or those people who choose an ovo-lacto vegetarian diet and do not wish to eat oily fish which is also very rich in calcium.
Ingestion of these fruits is a good way to maintain bone health by preventing osteoporosis. For the young, the consumption of these foods can help strengthen bones and promote proper growth.
Among the richest food in this mineral we would highlight the almonds (240 mg / 100g) maca (220 mg /100g) Brazil nuts (170 mg / 100g) hazelnuts (140 mg / 100g) or pistachios (110 mg / 100g). Therefore, except in problems of obesity, people with osteoporosis should consider the option to introduce nuts into their diet.
There are some edible wild herbs herbs rich in calcium. Among them, amaranth or pigweed (Amaranthus) is one of the best. It can be eaten boiled or you take its broth. Purslane (Portulagaoleracea), another wild grass, with various medicinal properties can be added to salads and provides a good dose of this mineral. Other herbs rich in calcium are marjoram or basil.
Another important mineral that should not be overlooked is the magnesium is also involved, along with potassium in bone formation. Although it should be taken in a proportion of 50% compared to calcium, is also very important for the formation of teeth. Thus, while the lowest dose of calcium is set at 700 mg daily, magnesium one is 350 mg daily. Magnesium-rich foods include: oats, lettuce, asparagus, wheat, pumpkin, potatoes, peaches, peas, lentils, plums, hazelnuts, nuts.
Note: Raw bran used to activate the depositions inhibits the absorption of calcium!!! It is better to eat foods such as whole grains (oats are richer in calcium than wheat)
Vitamin D in the osteoporosis
The main function of vitamin D is to set the dietary calcium in the bones and prevent its dissolution in the blood, going to the muscles and nerves. If this occurs, each time bones have less calcium and become weak and brittle.
Vitamin D can be found in foods of animal origin: Milk, eggs, butter, margarine, cod liver oil, fatty fish (sardines, herring, salmon, tuna, etc.) Vitamin content in these products is very high, so that today we tend to add it in many of them. Each liter of fortified milk typically has 400 IU of this component. Cheese and yogurt do not usually carry it , so that they practically do not contain it. Vitamin D in food is known as vitamin D2 or ergocalciferol.
Plant foods contain negligible amounts of this vitamin. To fill this gap many packaged cereals have been added with vitamin D.
A way to acquire vitamin D without resorting to animal foods is to take it by means of supplements.
Protein and osteoporosis
Protein is needed to keep bones and muscles in good condition. However, it has been shown that excess animal protein it is not useful for osteoporosis.
Quite the contrary, a very high meat intake contributes to the softening of the bones since it expels the calcium through the urine.
The substitution of these proteins by plant proteins is a good resource to provide these nutrients that help to balance the level of estrogen in menopausal women who are most affected by osteoporosis. Of all the vegetables the most prominent is soybean
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa), like soybeans, is rich in genistein. The best way to eat it is through its sprouts
Omega 3 fatty acids and osteoporosis
Omega 3 fatty acids help prevent osteoporosis by a dual mechanism. On the one hand, it prevents the removal of calcium through the urine and, moreover, it increases its absorption. Foods rich in this component are oily fish (sardines, mackerel, herring, tuna, etc.).
Other animal foods containing these fats are eggs and butter. Those who prefer to acquire these components from a vegetarian diet will have to do it through canola oil and nuts (walnuts are particularly rich in these acids) or seeds such as those of hemp or flax.
Foods to avoid in osteoporosis
The following foods are not suitable for osteoporosis:
- Diets rich in animal proteins that produce the expulsion of calcium through urine or highly acidic foods diets.
- Coffee, tea, or cola. The caffeine in these drinks causes calcium loss from the body that is expelled expel through urine.
- Carbonated beverages. In the same way that some treated meats as ham or pâté, they contain phosphate-wasting calcium.
- Salt because , along with the protein contributes to calcium loss, by inhibiting the absorption of vitamin D. Also avoid canned foods because they have too much salt.
-Bran, because it inhibits the absorption of calcium.
- Vegetables with oxalates . These include spinach or beet. Oxalates do not let our body to absorb all the calcium so it is wise to eat these foods with moderation.
- Abuse of fruit and fruit juices: Fruit are highly recommended, because they contain many vitamins and minerals , as well as carbohydrates, that are essential for health. However, the abuse of foods high in sugar can decrease the absorption of calcium (More information on the problems of excessive consumption of fruit in fructose properties)