10 Unique Foods For Strong Bones (By Experts!)

(This is a repost of an interview with Kelly; original article click here) Nutrition / Osteoporosis / May 19, 2017

Foods for Stronger Bones

You know about milk, cheese, and greens being crucial foods for strong bones.

But there are others you may have never thought of that could improve your bone density too.

That’s why we asked 10 experts the following question:

What unique (often overlooked) food do you recommend for strong bones?

It’s all part of our National Osteoporosis Month campaign to spread awareness of this “silent” disease.

Discover what foods you may be overlooking that can support your bones!

And while you’re at it, enter our giveaway to win a 6-Month Supply of AlgaeCal Plus and Strontium Boost below!

plain yogurt - foods for strong bonesLara Pizzorno

 

Lara Pizzorno, MDiv, MA, LMT.

Lara Pizzorno is the author of “Your Bones: How You Can Prevent Osteoporosis and Have Strong Bones for Life – Naturally” and a member of the American Medical Writers Association with 29 years of experience specializing in bone health.


# 1 Full Fat, Organic Plain Yogurt

Full-fat, organic plain yogurt from pastured cows. Dairy foods, particularly yogurt, deliver the widest range of beneficial nutrients for our bones – IF, and this is crucial IF, the yogurt consumed is full fat, organic plain yogurt produced from the milk of pastured cows.  

Plain yogurt (that meets these criteria) will provide not only calcium, but magnesium and zinc, plus small amounts of vitamin K2 (in the form of MK-4), vitamin A, and vitamin D (as most cow’s milk is now fortified with vitamin D, one cup of yogurt per day provides 200 IU of vitamin D3 along with 400 mg of calcium) — and a hefty dose of protein.

In addition, organic, full-fat plain yogurt from pastured cows will contain beneficial bacteria that protect the gut, greatly improving our digestion and absorption of all the nutrients bones require. And lastly, once established in our intestines, the probiotic bacteria provided by yogurt will produce the B vitamins we need to support a healthy cardiovascular system, nervous system, and energy metabolism – as well as healthy bones.

Low-fat yogurt, even if organic, will not contain the fat-soluble vitamins, K2 or A.  Non-organic yogurt, even if full fat, will contain pesticide residues, possible hormone, and antibiotic residues, GMO sugars & a variety of chemical additives – all of which may harm bone via a wide variety of mechanisms.

Many studies show a significant inverse association between consumption of dairy products and elevated markers of bone turnover (indicators of excessive bone loss) and a positive association between dairy food intake and bone mineral content.

protein powders - foods for strong bones

Christal Sczebel

Christal Sczebel, C.H.N., R.M.T.  

Christal is the owner & Nutritionist, Nutritionist in the Kitch Pure & Simple Nutritional Consulting.

She is a Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant (C.H.N.C.), Registered Massage Therapist (R.M.T.), and educated in Personal Fitness Training.


#2 Protein Powders

Protein powders have been popular for ages, but unfortunately, there are many on the market that contain additives and artificial ingredients. However, fortunately, there are protein powders available now that are made from Bovine collagen. These collagen peptide protein powders contain no added ingredients and dissolve wonderfully into many recipes. Collagen peptides are rich in amino acids which help to strengthen our bones and joints! Collagen peptides can be found in powdered forms in specialty grocery stores like Whole Foods or online (Amazon, etc.).

black beans - foods for stronger bones

Stacy E Davis

 

Stacy E. Davis, NCCAOM (Acupuncturist).

Stacy completed her Master’s of Science in Oriental Medicine in 2007 and maintains her NCCAOM certification as well as her licensure through the state of New Mexico.

 A Wyoming native, Dr. Stacy Davis has practiced acupuncture for 10 years.

 


#3 Black Beans and Kelp

In Chinese medicine, we look at vitality (what we call Jing) as coming from our kidneys. As we age, we use up our Jing, and we start to see signs that we associate with aging: graying hair, weak knees and back, and weaker bones.  Interestingly, in western medicine, the kidneys play a role in bone health as well; healthy kidneys turn vitamin D into an active hormone (calcitriol), which helps increase calcium absorption from the intestines into the blood. So, from my perspective, when I look to strengthen bones I look to strengthen the kidneys.

There are two foods I recommend, depending on other signs and symptoms a patient might have. The first is black beans. In Chinese medicine, when we look at food, we look at the “energy” of that food. You might think of this as the nature of the food. Most legumes are considered good for the kidneys because they are the pure Jing or vitality of the plant. When you eat beans you consume that vitality. Additionally, black beans contain about 135 mg of calcium per half cup serving.

Foods that are naturally salty are also considered nourishing for the kidneys, so the second food I would consider is kelp. The slightly fishy flavor of kelp can turn some people away, so I like to use kelp granules as a salt replacement on fish and eggs and in soup.

dried plums - foods for strong bones

John La Puma

Dr. John La Puma, M.D. F.A.C.P.  

Dr. La Puma has led clinical trials of nutritional interventions designed to improve obesity, hypertension, osteoarthritis, insomnia and diabetes, and pioneered culinary medicine.

His mission is to help you get measurably healthier with what you eat and how you live.

 


#4 Prunes

Prunes, or as their marketing board says, dried plums, are effective in both preventing and reversing bone loss in postmenopausal women. People who eat the most foods rich in vitamin C (such as citrus fruits and some stone fruits, like plums) have 70% less cartilage loss than those who eat the least and a threefold reduction in the progression of the disease.

Osteoarthritis (“wear and tear arthritis”), the most common type of arthritis in the U.S., is a painful degenerative condition that occurs when cartilage (which cushions bone joints) become cracked and pitted. It is estimated that 80% of the population will have osteoarthritis by the age of 65, although almost half of those people will not have any symptoms.

bone broth - foods for stronger bones

Kelly O Schmidt

 

Kelly O. Schmidt, R.D.N., L.D.N.

Fueled by passion and driven by greatness, Kelly educates and empowers her clients to reach their best health.

Kelly has been featured in Men’s Health, SELF, Glamour and more!

 


#5 Bone Broth

Hands-down, bone broth. Bone broth is one of the healthiest foods we can consume daily. Most importantly, bone broth is rich in two very special amino acids: proline and glycine, as well, it’s rich in vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants (especially calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus). Consumers can use bone broth in cooking vegetables, stir fry’s or even sip it like tea. I like to make a large batch of bone broth, freeze it in icecube trays and pop out a few cubes for cooking.

Continue to full article

Better Blood Sugars with a Paleo/Primal Diet?

Last month I had the pleasure to talk to Ginger Vieira with Diabetes Daily. The conversation was posted on their site, but If you missed it, enjoy the below. Here is a link to the original post as well. Have a healthy one!

 

Kelly Schmidt was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she 8 years old. Today, she follows a low carb, real food diet, uses a continuous glucose monitor and predominately an insulin pump.

Kelly-0001-300x200“I take months off from my pump going on shots from time to time (mostly during the summer). Of all the kids in my family (I am the youngest of 4), siblings and their children, I am the only one with type 1 diabetes,” explains Kelly.

Kelly is a registered dietitian, a dietitian nutritionist, and certified group fitness instructor. Her book, “Primal Eating and the Paleo Diet” is a guide for anyone interested in eating a diet focused on whole foods and fewer carbs. Learn more about Kelly’s work at PaleoInfused.com.

Ginger: Okay, first, let’s start with your own definition of the Primal/Paleo diet…

Kelly: Conventional wisdom tells us all food and food groups are healthy in moderation; however, the paleo and primal diet challenges this theory. For example, as nutrition research continues to grow out of its infancy, data is showing that foods that contain gluten-containing grains (including wheat, barley, rye and non-certified gluten free oats) can damage nearly every part of the body, including the brain, digestive tract, skin and pancreas.

paleo dietThe paleo and primal way of eating and lifestyle presents a nutrient-rich diet that affects every cell in the body, which can present itself in long-term health, a strong immune system, energy, glowing skin, and more. To paint a picture of what foods are allowed in a paleo lifestyle consider – all fruits, vegetables, quality protein from poultry, beef, game meat, all animals, seafood, eggs, nuts/seeds and healthy fats including olive oil, palm oil, avocado and coconut. Things that are purposely missing include – grains, man-made/vegetable oils, dairy, legumes, sugar and soy. One distinctive difference between paleo and primal, is a primal lifestyle includes more carbohydrate food sources, such as white potatoes and rice, but also high quality forms of dairy (full fat, grass-fed, raw, organic; read the book for more information!).

Ginger: And how do you feel it would benefit people with diabetes?

Kelly: If I had to provide a one word answer, it’d be “endlessly.” And this would be for everyone, not just those of us with diabetes. But getting to your question, the first and foremost benefit I see with this population is better blood sugar control, and being able to predict blood sugars verses chasing blood sugars. Follow this up with more energy, better sleep, weight loss and more. It’s not a magic bullet, but it’s a road in the right direction. We have to understand eating food dense in nutrients is great for our health, but it’s never good to overdo healthy food. Eating too much of anything is unhealthy and can cause inflammation, high blood sugars etc. Point being, eat when hungry, stop when satisfied.

Ginger: Has diabetes and nutrition ever been a struggle for you?

Kelly: While my diabetes is in great control now, I was a teenager and didn’t prioritize my diabetes or diet at times. Nothing extreme, but I certainly had a need for improvement on my labs, especially while I was in transition of living on my own in college. From my personal experiences in the last two plus decades, I more than understand the struggles and dedication needed for good blood sugar and my choices have come a long way. In life, especially with managing my diabetes, I am a student eager to learn on what I can improve regarding mental health, supplements, exercise, meds and diet.

Ginger: How did you become passionate about this approach to nutrition?

Kelly: Can I copy and paste my book here? I kid. Honestly it all began with the silver lining of being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, a disease that is so influenced by what we eat. From there I planned a way to pursue a career as a dietitian and once I got into the field, I had many personal experiences, predominately controlling blood sugars, which lead me to question conventional wisdom. In 2009 a friend nudged me to participate in a conference her company was doing the event planning for, and speaker after speaker had a common theme among their message and it was to eat more real food. That’s common sense, but wait, what did that really mean?

Fortunately I had some one on one conversations with the speakers and asked how they thought I could tweak my diet to improve my blood sugar. Immediately the response was hands-down, cut the gluten out of my food choices. I was paralyzed. I thought, “How could I do that when I have so much to watch in my diet already?” But I had nothing to lose, and I have never turned back from that weekend. From there I returned home up north, and cut the obvious gluten culprits from my food, and over time, became squeaky clean gluten free. Moving on, I dug further into what using food as medicine meant for me, and truly assessed how certain ingredients made me thrive verse spike my blood sugar, alter my digestion, mood, sleep, etc. Going through this personally, I was and am more than excited to help people learn that “feeling good,” has various meanings, and today I eat foods that I love, and love me back.

Ginger: What are the most common misconceptions people have about the Primal/Paleo diet?

Kelly: One big misconception I discuss often with people is that this diet is not meat only nor meat heavy. Yes, there is a focus on protein, as I believe it’s vital for optimal health, but the lifestyle encourages produce, micronutrients coming from fruits, vegetables and nuts/seeds, maybe even more so than animal protein. Generally the paleo diet is lower in carbohydrates than the Standard American Diet, but it still offers foods rich in nutritious carbs ie. Fruit, yams, taro, sweet potato, white potato, plantains, etc. It is also not a fad diet. I could jump on a soap box here, but it’s a lifestyle. If you really see what the “paleo” experts are eating, it’s not 100% compliant. It’s a template of paleo foods, and non-paleo foods that work for us individually. Did I just have some organic hummus? Yes, and it was delicious. At this point, I tolerate it very well, and above all I truly enjoyed it.

Ginger: Could a person who is drawn to certain aspects of the diet add some of it to their life without going full-blown, 100% paleo?

Kelly: Absolutely. A diet that is enhanced with more real food, replacing something processed, is always a win. And I indeed do not advocate a 100% paleo diet to many, if anyone. Food is pleasure and if we look at what we eat with a black and white frame of mind, we are missing the benefits of such nutrition. For example, I eat quite paleo, but I will enjoy cheese, rice, quinoa and few other items when I want. I just know what works well for my body and my health and progress a diet on this note.

Ginger: Are there certain common mistakes a person might make when they first start down this path?

Kelly: There are some common themes I see. One being, people will eliminate all non-paleo foods from their meals/snacks and next thing you know, they are significantly undereating. When taking on anything new, I advise to have a plan and eat beyond eggs for breakfast, salad with protein for lunch and chicken and broccoli for dinner.

Seek out whole real food, but also nutritious food with diverse nutrients i.e. organ meat, different forms of protein (go beyond poultry), sea vegetables, seafood galore, various fruits and veggies. There are so many veggies that people try when jumping to this lifestyle ie. Zucchini noodles, vegetable-based lasagna, eggplant pizza crust, plantains (my fav!!), and more. Another situation to note, is this diet will likely bring down someone’s total carbohydrate intake if they are coming from a standard American diet, yet, people also tend to, in addition, cut down on fat. No need to be fat phobic. This way of eating it about listening to what your body craves and finding a whole food source to fulfill that.

Ginger: Lastly, what are a few tips you might have for someone who is really interested in adopting this approach to nutrition?

Kelly: Do a little homework before jumping in. Know it’s something to move towards in making it a true lifestyle over time. No need to consider this as a diet you are going to go on, and then jump off once you hit a health goal. Not to plug my book, but I will, find a resource as such, and in the back I have also included a handful of other resources that can further help people including blogs, books and podcasts.

Ginger: Thank you, Kelly!