Bone Health without Dairy Calcium

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Dairy free Calcium and B rich foods.

Greens
Dark green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, collard and turnip greens, broccoli, lettuce, beet greens, and bok choy are the top sources of vitamin K, which is actually not a vitamin but an amino acid also called GLA or γ-carboxyglutamic acid. Nutritionists are only beginning to understand the role of vitamin K, which is important in the formation and proper functioning of a bone protein called osteocalcin. Vitamin K, by way of osteocalcin, aids the binding process of calcium and phosphorous into the bone protein matrix. Greens are a good source of calcium as well, so there’s a double-whammy benefit here. So instead you take calcium supplements which are lining your arteries with hard deposits and still getting a hip replacement, because it did not do any good.
Official serving sizes vary from a half to a full cup of greens; try one serving per day.
The darker the color of the greens, the more micronutrients they typically have, with spinach, kale, and collard greens among the most nutrient-dense.

Beans and Legumes
One of the most recent nutritional discoveries related to bone health is the importance of folic acid and other B vitamins. One recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that the bones of people with low levels of vitamin B6 and folic acid in their blood underwent structural changes, causing them to be weaker and more prone to fracture. Another study linked vitamin B12 to stronger bones. Scientists are still studying the connection but believe that B vitamins stimulate collagen production, which is essential to bone strength.

Foods high in folate and B vitamins include lentils, chickpeas, and all kinds of beans and legumes. Nutritionists suggest eating beans several times a week. That doesn’t mean just burritos and tacos or humus; Try sprinkling some kidney beans, fresh soybeans, or chickpeas. Fresh soybeans, known as edamame, make a healthy, folate-rich snack -that does not give you gas, as so many beans do.

Soy Milk
Here’s a secret: Calcium-fortified soy milk actually has more calcium in it than milk — up to 400 milligrams a cup. And recent studies show that the calcium in soy milk is as easily absorbed as that in regular milk. Tofu is also calcium-rich: One half-cup serving contains 250 milligrams, which is 25 percent of your daily needs. To get the recommended one cup a day, put half a cup on your morning cereal and another half cup in your coffee or Chai latte.

 

Almonds
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and protein, almonds are the superstars of the nut family, although many nuts contribute to bone health. One ounce, or approximately 23 almonds, contains 6 grams of protein and an unusually wide variety of minerals, including potassium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and copper — in addition to calcium. Recently nutritionists have begun acknowledging the important role minerals such as copper, potassium, and manganese play in oxygenating blood, which helps it carry nutrients to the bones.

 A large handful of 20 to 25 nuts makes a perfect afternoon snack and contains 20 percent of the magnesium your body needs each day. Walnuts are also high in bone-building nutrients and you can add them to baked goods.

Tofu
The calcium benefits of soy milk are even more concentrated in tofu, which is made from condensed soy bean milk curd and is typically fortified with additional calcium and magnesium during processing. The fermentation process that goes into making tofu also concentrates the amount of protein and vitamin K. Add a small amount of tofu to salads, stir-fries to add calcium, vitamin D, protein, and vitamin K into your diet without changing much about the way you eat. One half-cup has 253 milligrams of calcium; add it to a stir-fry or grill as an appetizer topped with peanut sauce. Always choose organic tofu  to stay away from Genetically engineered (modified) grain. Also it now easy to find a highly digestible tofu that is both non GMO and made from sprouted beans.

Apricots and Dried Fruit
Susan Brown, a leading osteoporosis nutrition expert, calls potassium “the hidden bone guardian,” with good reason. Potassium, she says, creates an alkaline buffering layer around bone that prevents metabolic acids from leaching minerals from bone and breaking it down. She points out that the suggested adequate intake of potassium for adults, 4,700 milligrams, is much higher than that of calcium.

Specific fruits, vegetables, and seeds are the best nutritional sources of potassium.  Bananas contain 400 milligrams of potassium, while a single apricot has 1,380 milligrams. Raisins, figs, dried fruit, wheat germ, and bran are all excellent sources of potassium.
Try one organic fresh apricot daily, in season. Otherwise top your cereal with a half cup of dried apricots (895 milligrams) or raisins (545 milligrams), or by snacking on five dried figs (666 milligrams).
Try making a delicious rice pudding with soy milk and  serve it stewed dried apricots.  Baked potatoes (must be baked, and in the skin) and avocados are great sources of potassium.

Wheat Germ and Seeds
One last  nutrient needed for strong bones is phosphorous. Most of us need to make some changes in our diets to get enough phosphorous. Wheat germ and bran are the best sources of phosphorous, with 1,200 milligrams in a single portion, so add them to your cereal in the morning. Foods high in phosphorous include pine nuts, also called pignolas, and sunflower seeds; add them to your salads or cereal, or snack on them. Sunflower seeds are extremely nutritious . A quarter cup sprinkled on a salad or eaten as a snack gives you one quarter to one third of your daily needs of folate and essential minerals and almost your entire requirement of vitamin E.
 Sprinkle just one tablespoon of ground flaxseed onto your breakfast cereal or stir it into yogurt adds 1,500 milligrams of omega-3, and minerals such as phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, and copper.

Make a trail mix with almonds, sunflower seeds, raisins, apricots, banana chips.

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