Want Strong Bones? Ditch the Dairy and Employ These 5 Strategies

[ 0 ] September 22, 2015 |

Milk does a body good?

Fueled by celebrity endorsements and massive amounts of money, the dairy industry pushes a relentless campaign to convince you that unless you meet your skim-milk quota, you’ll never get adequate amounts of calcium.

You’d never know from those ads, but you can get all your calcium without ever touching a glass of milk. In fact, the dairy industry’s dirty little secret is that milk can negatively impact your calcium balance.

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I’m thrilled to hear more experts declare that, contrary to what many people believe, we don’t need dairy to be healthy, and for some people, eating it can be detrimental. For instance, researchers estimate about 75 percent of us are lactose intolerant. Dairy also made my list of 7 highly reactive foods in The Virgin Diet. About 70 percent of my clients test positive for dairy sensitivities. Among their many problems, dairy and other food intolerances can stall fat loss, trigger inflammation, and provoke symptoms like bloating, fatigue, and headaches. Most infamously, dairy can exacerbate acne and other skin conditions. Even more disturbing, studies connect dairy consumption with increased risk of ovarian and other cancers.

I mentioned milk can make you fat, and skim milk ironically is the worst; its higher lactose content raises blood sugar levels and can contribute to insulin resistance.

Perhaps most shockingly, dairy can be bad for your bones. Because of its acidity, dairy might actually contribute to osteoporosis. That’s a big price to pay for a little calcium. Maintaining strong bones requires a host of nutrients, not just calcium. I’m telling you to skip the milk, but I also don’t want you swallowing a bunch of cheap tablets to get your calcium intake.

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So how can you maintain strong bones and prevent osteoporosis?


Try adding some kale to your diet

For one, take a synergistic bone-support supplement that provides calcium plus other vitamins and minerals (including vitamin D and magnesium) in the correct ratios to promote bone density. Combine that high-quality supplement with the right nutrient-rich foods and you’ll have a powerful bone-support strategy no matter what your age. Here are other ways to make sure you keep your bones strong:

  1. More greens. People tend to overlook leafy green veggies as an excellent calcium source. A cup of cooked broccoli rabe, for instance, offers over half your RDA for calcium. Collard greens, kale, and spinach also provide good amounts of calcium. Combine these green leafy veggies with some good fat like olive or coconut oil so your body absorbs the bone-healthy vitamins D and K.
  2. Create balance. When you over-consume acidifying foods, including dairy, caffeine, and sugar, you increase your risk for bone loss. I know you gave up those nasty diet sodas long ago, but tell your friend who still guzzles them: the phosphoric acid in soft drinks can leech calcium from your bones. Meat can also be acidic. That’s why I want you to eat plenty of leafy greens and other alkaline foods. Did you know, however, that grains constitute 70 percent of the acidic foods in our diet? Consider a gluten-free diet and you’ve knocked out that problem.
  3. Get some sunshine. Vitamin D helps your body absorb and maintain calcium. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that exposing yourself to the sun about 10 minutes of sun, 2 – 3 times a week, coupled with a vitamin D supplement can create healthy bones and optimal immunity. If you avoid the sun or live in a sun-limited climate, you’re probably not making adequate amounts of vitamin D, so supplementation becomes even more crucial. I recommend getting a 25-hydroxyvitamin D test and working with an integrative physician to get your D levels to 60 – 100 ng/ml. Once you reach those levels, I recommend supplementing with 2,000 – 5,000 IUs of vitamin D daily and continue to get your levels checked regularly.
  4. Get more omega 3s. The omega 3 fatty acids in wild salmon and other fish reduce inflammation, normalize lipid levels, and boost your mood. These essential fatty acids can also improve bone health. Worth noting too: salmon and other fish provide one of the few food sources of vitamin D. Remember, your bones are constantly breaking down and remodeling, and omega 3s assist that process. If you don’t eat wild fish at least 3 times each week, consider a high-quality essential fatty acids supplement. Tossing some flaxseed and chia seeds into your morning protein shanutske makes another smart way to get these healthy fats.
  5. Go nuts. Along with protein and fiber, raw almonds and other nuts pack a synergistic blend of crucial bone-building nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, zinc, and manganese. Zinc, for instance, helps your body form optimal bone structure and strength. Likewise, magnesium improves bone mineral density, and low amounts of this crucial mineral can interfere with your body’s ability to process calcium.

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Category: Health, Nutrition, Views on the News, Weight Loss, Women's Health

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About JJ Virgin: JJ Virgin is the premiere voice of scientific reason in the world of nutrition and wellness. She is one of the nation’s foremost celebrity nutrition experts, public speaker and media personality. Her 25 years in [...]
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