With millions of people suffering with bone diseases like osteoporosis, osteoarthritis and other debilitating conditions, our bones need help.
But, taking isolated vitamin and mineral supplements like vitamin D and calcium, don’t actually support the health of our bones (or our body) in the long run.
By now, I’m sure you’ve all read the latest medical science about calcium supplements promoting calcification of the soft tissue and contributing to higher rates of breast cancer, heart attack, hypothyroidism, kidney stones, gallstones and type II diabetes.
If you’re currently taking calcium supplements, do your body a favor and stop!
And, the latest trend of high dosing with Vitamin D is also problematic. Especially, if you take it longer than three months at a time.
Excess vitamin D promotes higher risk of fracture, calcification of the arteries, heart attack and stroke, internal bleeding, increased risk of urinary tract infection, kidney or urinary stones, muscle pain, respiratory tract infection, and stomach problems (constipation, cramps, diarrhea, upset stomach, and vomiting).
If you’ve been high dosing with vitamin D, remember to get off it every few months and give your body a break… otherwise your body will begin to break.
Any time we take isolated nutrients for long periods of time we run the risk of throwing our body out of balance.
We simply are not designed to eat and/or absorb isolated nutrients. We have many enzymes, acids, and bodily processes, that work harmoniously together helping the body absorb what it needs and then it discards the waste.
There are much better, and more delicious ways for you to nourish your bones with the right nutrients without putting your body at risk for other diseases.
First and foremost, the bones are not just made of calcium. This is a myth that has been perpetuated far too long.
Our bones are not only strong enough to keep our structure intact, but they are flexible as well. And, most folks don’t realize this.
When our bones lose their strength (hardness), and when they lose their flexibility (softness), they are more likely to suffer from fractures and breaks. It’s a balancing act to keep the right amount of both hard and soft elements to properly nourish our bones.
Bones can become more brittle (hard and dry) with age as the organism dries out. So, it’s imperative to keep the water element fluid and flowing throughout the body. In Traditional Chinese medicine the water element is governed by the kidneys.
Interestingly, it’s well documented in modern medical science that when someone has kidney disease, they often suffer with high rates of bone disease. Kidney health is essential to bone health!
According to the National Kidney Foundation, “Healthy kidneys change vitamin D from sunlight and the foods you eat into active vitamin D that your body can use. When kidneys fail there is a short supply of active vitamin D. This causes calcium and phosphorus to get out of balance. When the blood phosphorus level goes up and blood vitamin D level goes down, your body makes too much parathyroid hormone (PTH). High PTH levels cause calcium to move from your bones into your blood. As calcium leaves your bones they become weaker, more brittle, and are more likely to break. Some calcium may also end up in the heart and blood vessels. This may cause or worsen heart disease.”
As you can see, this is where modern science and ancient healing wisdom agree. Kidney health is essential to bone health.
With that being said, one of the best ways to support your bones is to ensure that your kidneys are getting what they need to function optimally.
Below are some of the various foods and herbs that support healthy kidneys:
- Black beans (and all beans)
- Bone soup
- Goji berries
- Solomon seal root
The foods and herbs above are not isolated nutrients. They are not simply calcium or vitamin d. They are foods that contain a wide variety of nutrients and they require some preparation on your part. And, then of course, some eating.
If you want to truly nourish your bones, I’d highly recommend you ditch the supplements and get into your kitchen to cook up some traditional bone building foods.
Try this Nourishing Bone Stock, Beans and Collard Greens Stew – your bones will thank you for it!
Andrea Beaman is a internationally renowned Holistic Health Coach, Natural Foods Chef, Speaker and Herbalist. Named one of the top 100 Most Influential Health and Fitness Experts, she is also a recipient of the Natural Gourmet Institute’s Award for Excellence in Health-Supportive Education and a Health Leadership award from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Since 1999, Andrea has been teaching individuals and health practitioners how to harness the body’s own preventative and healing powers using food, herbal remedies and alternative medicine.