There are some strong misconceptions with how one develops osteoporosis today even among the medical community. Medical doctor Michael Klaper gave very clear steps one can take for strong bone health in an interview on The Vegetarian Health Institute. If you think he gave a list of foods high in calcium, you would be wrong. Read a summary of the interview for the shocking answers:
Dr. Klaper feels a plant-strong diet has plenty of calcium and the real focus should not be on adding calcium to the diet, but rather limiting foods that are acidic to the body. Foods acidic to the body cause the body to steal calcium (and other minerals) from the bones to neutralize the acid. Don’t mistake “foods acidic to the body” with “acidic foods.” For example, lemons which are acidic foods, are NOT acidic to the body (they are alkalizing to the body).
Acidic foods to limit in the diet may include:
- Sugar, meat, cheese, milk products, eggs, wheat/grains, soy, walnuts, Brazil nuts, peanut butter, salt, alcohol, beans, chocolate, coffee
Dr. Klaper made a strong point to say don’t stop eating beans, walnuts, etc. as they have great health benefits, just don’t overdue any of these foods. The goal is to have a healthy balance incorporating many alkaline foods to compensate any acidic foods you might be eating.
Alkaline foods to increase in diet may include:
- Dark greens, lots of veggies, fruits, lentils, all seeds especially pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews, green tea, oats, quinoa, wild rice
Another interesting note from Dr. Klaper is that he feels a bone density test is not always the best indicator of osteoporosis. Bone strength is a better test. If a doctor diagnoses osteoporosis from a bone density test, consider this.
Other than limiting the acid foods, weight bearing exercise is probably the next best thing to keeping bones strong and healthy. Walking is a great way to build bone strength. Even better, walking with 1 lb weights in both hands will add to the intensity of the weight bearing. Lifting some light weights is also an excellent means to build bone strength. Some exercises that are not considered “weight bearing” would include swimming and bicycling although they have other great benefits. If you get to a point where it is hard to get out of a chair by yourself, you may have issue with bone strength.
I found a food alkalinity chart online as a reference for readers to ensure a healthy balance of alkalinity in their body: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_ABPbigk6EWA/Sf9kKHmQ12I/AAAAAAAAAmA/En1moyS72YQ/s1600-h/Jaffe+Acid-Alkaline+Food+Chart.JPG
Source: interview with Dr. Michael Klaper from The Vegetarian Health Institute at: http://www.veghealth.com/audio/27osteoporisis886.php