Natural Ways to Increase your Calcium

Build a strong foundation to support your body through the years with calcium.

Did you know that Fosamax, a popular drug used to increase bone mass in individuals who have been diagnosed with low bone density, has been linked to increased cardiovascular health risks?  Several studies have claimed that taking Fosamax can lead to blood clots and irregular heartbeat.  A study of 719 individuals taking the drug demonstrated an 86% increased risk of irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation) versus those who have never taken the drug.  Because osteoporosis can seriously decrease the quality of life and Fosamax has shown to be effective in increasing bone mass, doctor’s caution that risks need to be assessed before the drug can be prescribed.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could just pop a pill for any ailment without negative side effects and never have to eat a vegetable again? I am waiting for the study that says that french fries help you loose weight!

Because we don’t live in a perfect world we need to come up with ways we can fight the odds of losing bone mass.  Your body stops building its calcium stores by the time you reach the ripe old age of 30.  The bank account has reached its limit but you must replace what you withdraw to reap the benefits of having strong bones or your account will have a negative balance.

Whether you are a Fosamax user or not everyone can benefit from Nutritiongal’s top 7 ways to increase your bone mass.

1.) Do weight bearing exercises at least 2-3 times per week.  You don’t have to start taking protein supplements and bench pressing 200 Lbs to increase bone mass. Simple resistance training such as doing push-ups, using a kettle ball or elastic band will help. You can Google resistance exercises or check in with your personal trainer to get a fitness plan designed especially for you.  It’s never too late to start and you will be amazed at how easy it can be!

2.) Decrease caffeine intake.  Did you know that caffeine depletes your body’s calcium stores? If you take vitamins be sure to take your calcium supplements after you have had your morning dose of caffeine.  Better yet, swap out your usual caffeinated beverages for decaffeinated beverages.  If you choose to drink decaf coffee be sure to look for Swiss Water Decaf, which is decaffeinated with water rather than cancer causing nitrates, found in standard decaf coffees.

3.) Increase your intake of leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables. Broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale and asparagus are the most popular cruciferous vegetables. Cruciferous vegetable and leafy greens are loaded with calcium and decrease acidity in the stomach.

4.) Decrease your intake of animal products such as dairy and red meat. Contrary to popular belief, high consumption of animal products results in higher acidity in the stomach. Your body must deplete its calcium stores in order to balance this acidity.  The alkalizing nature of vegetables means that your body isn’t depleting its calcium stores to balance the acid in your stomach.

5.) Eat Almonds.  Almonds are not only delicious and versatile but they are loaded with calcium and essential fats to help regulate your body’s metabolism. Cook them in couscous, or add them to cereals and yogurts. Almond butter is a wonderful spread to add to sandwiches and desserts. Make your own creamy almond milk at home or buy some at the store to add to cereals and smoothies.

6.) Sardines are your friends! Did you know that canned sardines contain 688 mg of calcium per 80g serving? That’s more than twice as much calcium as a hunk of cheese?  Not only are sardines delicious but they are also rich in Omega 3’s which are essential for heart health.  They are great in Greek salads or on toasted bruchetta.  You can get creative with this canned gem.

7.) Try Figs! Remember those dried, purplish vegetables in the snack section of your nearest grocery store? Time to stock up if you enjoy the flavor.  Just four figs contain 500 mg of calcium!  They also contain potassium which is great for maintaining sodium balance in the body.  Whether you like them dried or fresh, figs are delicious in most cereals, yogurts or just by themselves.

Check out this complete list of calcium rich goodies to add to your diet!
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Nutritiongal – AADP Certified Health Coach
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