A Conversation with My Doctor
This information is general knowledge about nutrition and bone health but it’s part of conversation specific to my medical history and nutritional needs. Always consult your health practitioner for nutritional needs specific to you.
My last doctor’s appointment was to have my blood work done for my thyroid levels (more on that later!) but, my thyroid wasn’t the only thing we talked about.
We chatted about health and fitness overall and the doc commented that I seemed to be particularly concerned about my bone health and osteoporosis. That would be correct. I’m high risk beyond my control. Wouldn’t you be concerned too?
Our conversation quickly turned to bone health. I knew that what you eat and don’t eat can make a huge difference in bone health but, as it turns out, I still had a lot to learn.
It was a lot of information! Fortunately for me my doctor is used to me taking notes. What I’ve learned about nutrition and keeping your bones strong:
- Protein seems to always come up when talking about nutrition. About 45 to 50 grams of total protein is enough to support bone health for most people which is much lower than I thought (of course, the specific amount depends on the person)
- Confirmed my belief that dairy free diets are not bad.
- Confirmed my food first approach to calcium (and all other nutrients) intake then supplements, if needed.
- Spinach is high in total calcium but it’s also high in oxalates which, as I understand it, binds to calcium which greatly limits how much of the mineral can be absorbed from food (that doesn’t mean eliminate the nutrient dense veggie from your diet).
- Your body absorbs smaller calcium in smaller increments best.
- How well you body absorbs nutrients is just as important as the nutrients themselves.
- Nutrients of fruits and veggies play a vital part in healthy bones, it’s also their alkalinizing effect in the body may also help protect against bone breakdown.
- Excessive caffeine can interfere with calcium absorption.
Now what? Testing for nutrient levels with a focus on:
Magnesium – stimulates bone calcium absorption (Sources: nuts, seeds, whole grains, spinach, potatoes
Vitamin K – supports bone forming proteins (Sources: asparagus, kale, swiss chard, spinach and prunes)
Potassium – neutralize metabolic acids that can weaken bones (Sources: sweet potatoes, bananas, lentils, beans, dried apricots, avocados
Vitamin B12 – low levels of B12 have shown to accelerate bone loss (Sources: nutritional yeast, milk, cheese, yogurt and soymilk)
Vitamin C – helps stimulate bone building cells called osteoblasts (Sources: kiwi, strawberries, red bell peppers, kale broccoli, tomatoes
I’m confident in how much I get of most of these. If I had to pick one that I might need to supplement it’s Vitamin B12. We’ll see what the tests show.
As you know, this stuff fascinates me. There were times during the appointment I felt more like a study than a patient!
Do you take notes when you talk to your doctor? Is this new information to you?
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