Happy Friday to all!
Who doesn't love this day? A big debate raged in our office yesterday where the big winner actually came out to be Thursday. I don't know about you, but I really enjoy the lack of cortisol flooding my system as my Friday rolls into the weekend. I leisurely take my time with my workouts, getting laundry done (extremely relaxing for me), cooking, reading, and lying about – doing nothing at all. It's actually a blessing to not have the internet at home or a DVR beckoning me to "relax" in front of it. Take a cue from Mother Nature and get outside this weekend! Temps in the 40's and sunshine to bathe in. Grab the kids, spouses, pets, neighbors…and grab a few moments in the sun. A soccer game or a nice hike at the Conservancy (don't forget to bring carrots for the horses and yourself!) is a great way to increase your activity while enjoying some family time.
Back to today. Meeting at noon! I heard through the grapevine that another rendition of flour-less banana bread is on its' way! J
We had a great question come in after the email on supplements. This one deals with the intake of Calcium. My basic reaction is the same as before. If you're eating the right foods (and variety) then you actually don't need to supplement and choice-supplementation (only one or two) tends to cause imbalances to other parts of the system. Enter the all-knowing Mark Sisson. From a very early post on his site we find a reader question about dairy intake and calcium. (there doesn't appear to be a thing this guy HASN'T written about…) He'll do a better job explaining it that I will so let's leave it to him. See below.
Nutrition Tip of the Day: The take-away from the article below comes from these three lines: Get your calcium from alkaline-forming foods like leafy greens, nuts, broccoli, sweet potatoes and calcium-rich fish like wild salmon and sardines. Eat a diet high in antioxidant fruits and veggies. Go low to moderate on carbs to help maintain hormonal balance, and eliminate grains (phytates in grains can bind to calcium and decrease absorption). Reduce , which can encourage calcium excretion, and limit , which can decrease bone density and strength over time. Continue to eat the foods that you have been learning about and the calcium issue will take care of itself.
See you all at noon!
And it's not just about isolated nutrients. As part of the intricate homeostatic mechanisms, the body routinely takes calcium from the bones to counterbalance any increase in acidity. As a result, an alkaline environment is important for calcium absorption. (Diets high in are especially problematic in this regard.) An "alkaline" diet includes copious amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables. The potassium in those fruit and vegetables helps regulate acid load. Beyond the questions of acid/alkaline, produce appears to protect in other ways too. A study out earlier this year suggests that the protective antioxidant properties of fruits and veggies (found in their natural pigments) help , presumably by reducing the oxidative stress that contributes to bone breakdown.
As to the dairy, it's true that dairy products offer among the highest amounts of calcium in any food. However, dairy is acid-forming, which counters the alkaline ideal for absorption. showed that Buddhist nuns who ate a vegan diet and consumed less than 400 mg of calcium daily had the same bone density as non-vegetarian women who consumed 1000 mg of calcium each day. I'm hardly backing a vegan diet by mentioning this study. Nor do I think it's the best designed research out there, but it's another illustration of the non-necessity of dairy in a healthy diet. As mentioned, most of the world is testament to that (and let's not forget Grok's prior two million years of dairy-free living). On a timely note,
Ultimately, bone health depends on a number of factors – a constellation of nutrition, activity, and various hormone factors.
If you're still concerned about calcium intake, you can always consider a good supplement that includes not just calcium but vitamin D3 and magnesium. In terms of additional therapies for those at risk, that an aspirin regimen can help treat osteoporosis by balancing bone formation and re-absorption rates. Of course, talk to a trusted physician about these possibilities in your overall treatment plan.