Updated: Aug 20
Hello Dear Reader, as it is being reported almost everyday that obesity is going to be a major concern worldwide (obviously after current pandemic situation) and people are worried to understand how to remain in category of Healthy weight and most importantly. What is the way to increase Bone Health. Let's find out in this blog about plant based foods which helps us to achieve Healthy weight along with keeping our Bones Healthy.
The important mineral to keep our bones in shape is Calcium and usually we think that old people should worry about it to keep away from osteoporosis and risk of fractures. Friends, Calcium is an essential mineral that helps our muscles to contract and supports our heart to not miss a beat, helps in blood clotting and yes most important it helps our Bones to get in Healthy shape. Calcium also keeps you away from gaining weight since the more Calcium in your diet the more likely you'll burn off energy rather than store it as fat.
It's hard to get enough calcium on any diet, much less on a plant or non dairy products. Recommended daily intake of calcium is around 1200mg to 1300mg, which equals two to three portions of dairy products. So what to do in a age where osteoporosis or Bone Health becomes risk. That time we realise that Calcium intake should be of our most important priority. It has been published that the more calcium we have in our fat cells, the more likely it will burn off as fuel.
So what to do?? Friends, the good news is that it's actually possible to get enough Calcium, if we know where to look, to build bone strength and prevent weight gain. What do you think? Go to Supermarket!! :)
First of all, we may be able to lower those ambitious 1200mg daily intake, let's read how, In a review article by Harvard Medical School, the recommended daily value was challenged and the calcium intake that is advised is between 500mg to 700mg daily. So this goal is seems to be more achievable with one or two meals portions of calcium rich foods per day.
Let's look at few examples of one portion of plant based dairy replacement :
225 grams of frozen collard greens or edamame
1 Cup of fortified milk
Half cup of Paneer or tofu prepared with Calcium
There are foods such as oranges, dried fruit, nuts (especially almonds) and broccoli that contains smaller amount of calcium and when you track your daily intake it adds up quickly. Recent studies indicates that a plant based diet can provide adequate amount of calcium and Vitamin D.
One research shows that plant based diet may lower the risk of osteoporosis, even in postmenopausal women. What is interesting is that when it comes to bone strength, fruit consumption impart a greater benefit than vegetables, which makes long term ketogenic diets that exclude fruits a less healthy diet choice. The exact mechanism is still in research but it may involve the interplay between phytonutrients, pre and probiotics and immune and inflammatory responses in the body.
There may be a query that ARE THERE ANY RISKS INVOLVED IF ONE STICKS TO THE LOWER RECOMMENDED AMOUNT OF DAILY CALCIUM INTAKE?
Studies have shown that increased calcium intake generally does not increase Bone Strength or prevent osteoporosis fractures, although it may reduce the development of atherosclerosis. There is, however a critical level of 400mg, below which the risk of vertebral fractures increases.
Interestingly, weight bearing exercise is an often overlooked and major contributor to bone health. Regular exercise, in fact, significantly reduces the risk of developing vertebral fractures, irrespective of Calcium intake above the 400mg thresold.
Supplementing calcium intake can do more harm than good, since calcium supplements, particularly above 500mg a day were found to increase Coronary Artery Calcification, with a higher risk of CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE particularly myocardial infarction. So while eating more calcium does not appear to increase risk of heart disease, taking it in supplement form does.
In addition, calcium supplements, especially when combined with Vitamin D supplements, may increase the risk of kidney stones. So how to get your calcium on a plant based diet?
Here are the 7 best sources of Calcium on a Plant Based Diet
Green Leafy Vegetables such as collard greens and kale
Soy based products
Legumes such as edamame, chickpeas and white beans
Calcium fortified plant based milk and yogurt
Calcium fortified breakfast cereals
In order to maintain healthy bones, add daily exercise to your routine, preferably outdoors. Most importantly avoid habits that damages your bones, such as smoking, alcohol abuse and high consumption of soft drink.
Friends, please don't forget to comment on this article, it motivates me to put more facts in public domain, let's together stay healthy and stay away from diseases.
Therapist Anurag Sharma, is certified Health Life and Nutrition Coach. I am Diploma holder in Nutrition and Health. I am also certified counselor for Nutrition needs during and after Cancer treatment. Currently associated with KMC Cancer Institute. I am also virtually available for Free consultation on issues related to Lifestyle Disorders and Healthy Weight management. Let's connect