I have been doing a ton of research on bone health in the past 15 years after I was diagnosed with Osteopenia at the age of 48. Being small-framed, petite, and having gone thru radiation at the age of 40 surely leads to the onset of bone deficiency. I have been a pescatarian for about 35 years, and honestly, 80% of my diet was based on fruits and vegetables. My focus on my diet around having the energy to run, do marathons, get a good night’s sleep, and overall have a positive mental attitude. In time, I have found out I need a little more balance in what I put in my body. Today, at 63, I have osteoporosis in my hips. No turning back on improving this; however, there is a way to put a halt to it becoming worse. In my extensive research, I have put together my top favorite bone-healthy food ingredients that do not include meat which I am concentrating more on including in my daily diet. I love cooking and exploring!
More to come……
CALCIUM, magnesium and Vitamin D are essential for strong, health bones. Dairy is not the answer to getting calcium in your body. My 3 favorite calcium rich foods are:
* Sesame seeds- easy to sprinkle on a roasted vegetable dish, smoothies, salad, or even in your salad dressing. It is one of the richest sources of plant calcium!
* Chia seeds – Believe it or not, they contain more calcium than milk! Add to your favorite gluten-free granola or sprinkle on a fruit salad.
* Dark Leafy Greens – I have increased my daily intake here by including spinach and kale in my morning smoothies, along with my lunch and dinner salad.
* Collard Greens – not being from the south, collard greens is not something I normally cook. I include this in my diet a few days a week as it is a bone-building nutrient powerhouse! As I play around with recipes using this essential green, I will share!
* Raw Pumpin Seeds – love this! They are usually in my homemade gluten-free granola, which I snack on thru out the day versus a handful of nuts. A must choose raw unsalted pumpkin seeds as the heat damages the essential fatty acids and excess sodium associated with bone mineral loss.
* Turnip greens – Ok, I am so excited about Turnip more now than ever. Being Irish, I grew up on mashed turnips filled with butter. I have found so many other healthier ways to enjoy the beauty of the root vegetable. It is showing up at the local farmers market so cute and tiny, perfect for roasting, and the leaves are gorgeous. I will post a special blog on turnips and turnip greens! Just think, 1 cup of cooked turnip greens will yield 197mg of calcium which is nearly 200% of the daily value of Calcium.
* Bell Peppers – Filled with vitamin C, which is essential for collagen synthesis, collagen is the protein that makes up over a quarter of bone tissue and is responsible for strength and flexibility. I did not grow up with bell peppers in my diet. Today, I am rejoicing from the benefits and the rewarding flavor it adds to many dishes. Bell peppers is a must in your daily diet. One cum of raw bell peppers will provide your body with nearly 200% of Vitamin C.
* Seaweed – I am a lover of all variations of seaweed. I Love Nori wraps, adding Kelp to my soups and my new favorite is Atlantic Dulse which is a great natural salt supplement and filled with a wealth of minerals.