Non-Dairy Calcium: Building & Keeping Strong Bones

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Eat a Well-Balanced Diet
Calcium is very important, after all combined with phosphorous, it composes approximately 80% to 90% of the mineral content of our bones. However, there are many other vitamins and minerals which play a significant role in our bone health. These include Magnesium, Fluoride, Iron, Zinc, Copper, Sodium, Vitamin D, Vitamin K, and Antioxidant Vitamins (such as C & E). A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and beans is a simple and healthy way to obtain a wide array of bone-healthy nutrients.

Exercise is a Must!
Active people tend to keep calcium in their bones, while sedentary people lose calcium. Exercise puts calcium in its place.

Alcohol in Moderation
Alcohol is believed to weaken your bones by reducing the body’s ability to build new bone and replace normal losses. Of course, water is best, but if you must indulge, make sure you have no more than 1 or 2 servings of beer, wine, or liquor per day.

Cut the Caffeine
Several studies have shown a strong link between high caffeine intake and accelerated bone loss. If you need that jolt, try to keep it to one or two cups a day of caffeinated beverages.

Absorb Some Vitamin D
Vitamin D is crucial for your body’s use of calcium. Approximately 15 minutes of sunlight on your skin per day is typically enough to meet your Vitamin D needs. If you obtain little to no sun exposure, take a multi-vitamin that contains Vitamin D. See our Selecting a Supplement feature for some suggestions.

Keep Sodium Intake Low
By keeping sodium intake to between one and two grams per day, you will retain more calcium. Sodium hides in processed foods, so stick to whole and natural foods whenever possible.

Don’t Smoke!
Just in case you needed one more reason to quit the habit, there is a strong link between smoking and a higher risk of fracture and calcium loss.

Other Considerations…
Steroid medications, such as prednisone, and hormone imbalances have been indicated as potential causes of bone loss and fractures. If this may be a concern for you, consult your doctor.

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About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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