Build strong bones with these eight simple diet and lifestyle tips. These are the keys to maintaining strong and flexible bones naturally, without dangerous drugs. And without dairy!
1. Eat dark green leafy vegetables like kale, collard greens, and Swiss chard every day to mineralize and alkalize your body.
2. Eat sufficient protein to build the collagen matrix of bones. That’s the 35% that gives you flexibility so bones bend and don’t snap.
3. Spend 20 to 30 minutes a day in the sun (without sunscreen) and/or take a vitamin D3 supplement so that calcium is absorbed well and deposited to the bones and teeth.
4. Do some type of weight-bearing exercise that also stretches tendons and muscles for bone-building. In addition to walking and lifting weights, good weight-bearing exercises include yoga and Pilates.
5. Quit smoking.
6. Cut down on alcohol and caffeine, which are very acidic and can weaken bones.
7. Drink more green tea. Green tea combined with a daily tai chi practice was recently found to improve bone health in post-menopausal women.
8. Build strong bones with homemade soup stocks made from bones. A great source of bone nutrients are the minerals found in the bones of other animals. We access those nutrients when we make soups that cook for hours. Slow cooking draws out the minerals from the bones and makes them available in a stock.
Cut chicken into several large pieces and place in a large stainless steel pot with water, vinegar, carrots, onion, celery and kombu. Let stand 30 minutes to an hour.
Bring to a boil and remove any scum that floats to the top. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6 to 24 hours. The longer the stock cooks, the richer it will be.
About 10 minutes before finishing, add the parsley, which adds additional minerals.
Remove chicken pieces with a slotted spoon and reserve for other uses such as chicken salad or sandwiches.
Strain stock into a large bowl and refrigerate until fat rises to top. Skim off the fat and discard. Store stock in the refrigerator or freezer.
Adapted from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
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