“Where do I start?” is a common question – so here is a quick and easy guide to a few key absolutes for healthy bone growth. Reading the science – the why behind the what – will give you a deeper understanding of the beautiful interplay of nutrients and your body, but this guide will get you on the road right away.
Quick Start For Bone Health
Absorbing nutrients requires the presence of enzymes from whole foods such as raw vegetables, fruits and natural/raw dairy (from a licensed farm always). Calcium absorption also requires vitamin D. Transporting and depositing calcium requires the presence of vitamin D, magnesium, and importantly vitamin K2, so they all need to be present in your body at the same time.
Whenever possible obtain vitamin D from sunshine and sunned mushrooms. Vitamin D3 is the form your body can use, vitamin D2 it must transform. We make vitamin D3 from sunshine, and sunned mushrooms contain both forms but mostly D2.
Calcium won’t make it to the bones unless a directional molecule is activated – and it needs vitamin K2 to do so. Two forms of Vitamin K2 facilitate mineral transport – MK4 and MK7. Whenever possible obtain vitamin K2 from Gouda cheese, or pasture raised eggs; and if you’re adventurous try natto.
Obtain magnesium from nuts, seeds and chocolate, and magnesium spray.
Have these nutrients when you consume calcium – say along with a tablespoon of unsulphured high-calcium blackstrap molasses. And remember that vitamin K2 and vitamin D are both fat-soluble vitamins, so need to be taken with fat.
Use 1/2 teaspoon of organic apple cider vinegar on freshly steamed or lightly boiled calcium-rich greens, and on calcium-rich salad greens such as arugula and watercress.
Many calcium-rich green plants – those we tend to cook as well as those we traditionally consume raw – may contain compounds that bind calcium and render it unavailable for absorption. The vinegar helps to release the calcium.
Before you cook with mushrooms, leave them gills up for 2 days to dry in the sun.
They produce vitamin D, just like your skin does. If you don’t eat them right away dry them a day or two longer and store them; the vitamin D will be fully potent for at least six months.
Consume 1 tablespoon Plantation or Golden Barrel-brand unsulphured blackstrap molasses most days.
One tablespoon = 20% daily requirement for calcium. Molasses – or a mix of molasses and pure maple syrup – makes a tasty substitute for syrup. Aim to eliminate from your diet any food containing high fructose corn syrup.
Make bone health herbal vinegar.
If I had to choose only one bone-health food, it would be bone health vinegar. Soaking calcium- and nutrient-rich herbs in vinegar releases all the minerals and other nutrients so they are fully available to your body. One tablespoon will give you 350-400mg of calcium; but, unlike a calcium pill, it will also contain most of or all of the other nutrients needed to get that calcium to the bone.
Drink nettle tea every day.
Nettle is one of the most nutritious herbs on the planet. A cup of nettle tea is full of nutrients vital to bone health, and will boost your overall natural energy. Try a cup a day for two weeks and see.
Choose sourdough and rye breads – and maybe make your own.
Most grains contain a compound that binds with minerals and impedes mineral absorption. However when grain flour is combined with a culture, the minerals are released and become free for absorption. That is why for bone health we recommend you stick to sourdough and rye breads whose recipes require a starter culture.
There’s no way around it – pressure on the bone causes healthy bone turnover and strengthens bone. And actually, some yoga poses, which we describe on this web site help to spark bone building. Other great exercises for bone health include tai chi, qi gong, and dancing.
A healthy gut full of good bacteria is a must in order to absorb all the nutrients you need for healthy bones. Yogurt and other popular fermented foods such as sauerkraut, pickles, kim chi, kafir, and last but not least natto – along with certain foods like asparagus and onions called probiotics – keep your gut healthy and increase your ability to absorb what you need to build healthy bones.