Many older women are now facing serious problems with osteoporosis. It is much better to prevent it rather than being in the position of trying to reverse it once it has happened.
“Mary” has lost a bit of height, as she found out at her last yearly gynecologic exam. This information struck terror into her heart, as this is how it all began for her own mother. Mary sees how terribly her mother suffers from severe back pain, and how hunched over she has become. She knows this is from the osteoporosis and the related collapsed vertebrae. Mary absolutely does not want to end up like this, and has decided she better get serious about doing what she can to prevent osteoporosis. She is motivated to find things she can do now.
Are you wondering, What Can I do for Osteoporosis Prevention?
There is actually much you can do to both prevent and reverse osteoporosis. Some of the most effective things to do include:
- healthy animal fats
- avoid processed foods
- no caffeine or alcohol
- do not smoke
- make yourself a priority
- osteopathic treatment
Sunlight is critically important, starting with the sunrise that sets your circadian clock. Morning sun prepares your skin for the mid day sun. Mid day sun is when you make vitamin D. Sunscreen interferes with your ability to benefit from the sun. It is far better to stay out until you turn pink, then cover up or get into the shade. You need sun on both your skin and into your eyes. Make sure to remove your glasses or contacts for some of your outdoor time.
Exercise is very important, especially weight bearing exercise and resistance training. This could be traditional weight lifting, but could also be gardening, moving dirt, moving boxes, jumping against gravity, or climbing hills or stairs. Anything that causes you to use your muscles, which pull on the bones, will then encourage the bones to grow stronger. Exercises that increase your balance are also important, such as standing on one foot, swinging, dancing, gardening, or even rocking in a rocking chair.
Nutrition is critical for osteoporosis prevention. The principles described in the book “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon are an excellent guide. Also, you can find excellent information on osteoporosis and nutrition at the website of the Weston A. Price Foundation. This site is an excellent source for understanding optimum nutrition based on sound principles. Specific nutrients that are critical to include in your diet are the fat soluble vitamins: vitamin A, D, E, and K2. The best food sources include liver, shell fish, fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, anchovies), fish eggs, butter and cream, egg yolks, and pork fat. For these foods to be healthy they need to come from pasture raised animals.
Healthy animal fats are critical sources of nutrition, as you can see. Avoid low fat foods. Eat only full fat dairy products. Butter, raw cream, and crème fraiche are excellent. Eat the skin with the chicken, choose fatty cuts of meat (and eat the fat), put butter on your vegetables, and add a high fat dressing to salads. Avoid vegetable oils, except some unheated olive oil. Healthy fats do not make you fat, they are nutrient dense calories. Eat less of other foods, and enjoy the benefit of how satisfied you feel.
Get plenty of minerals in your diet. The health of the soil affects the mineral content of our food, so local, organic and biodynamic are best. The best sources of minerals include raw milk products, bone broth and bone meal, sea foods and seaweeds, organ meats, meats, green leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Minerals require fat soluble vitamins (vitamin A, D, E and K2) for absorption.
All grains should be unrefined and be soaked, sprouted or sourdough. This will deactivate the chemicals naturally present in seeds that interfere with absorption of nutrients.
Make bone broth regularly, and include at least 1 cup every day, preferably some with each meal. This will help to improve your digestion and absorption of all of the nutrients in your diet.
Enzymes are very important, and can be obtained from raw animal products and lacto fermented foods. Examples are raw fish (sashimi), raw meat, raw milk products, raw egg yolks. Eat raw animal meats at your own risk, and make sure of the source. Lacto fermented foods include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchee, kombucha, and beet kvass. Make sure live cultures are present (not pasteurized). You will also get some enzymes from raw fruit and vegetables.
Your post-menopausal weight should be 10 to 20 pounds over your healthy pre-menopausal weight. Being too skinny or overweight are both not ideal. Do not desire to be too thin. Notice the societal pressure, and mentally reject these images from the media and people’s remarks. See yourself as strong and robust. Enjoy eating rich foods, and the invaluable nutrition and vigorous metabolism they provide.
Avoid all processed foods. Do not eat pasta, white bread, dry breakfast cereals, cookies or pastries.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol. And, of course, do not smoke.
See an osteopath who can give you osteopathic treatments . This will be a huge support to your vibrant health.
As you can see, all of this also requires that you make time for yourself. You are a priority. You are completely worth it, and the benefits of applying these principles will be increased health and happiness in all areas of your life. Not just healthier bones. Don’t waste any time beginning to implement these ideas for osteoporosis prevention.
To Your Vibrant Health!
Veronica Tilden, DO