- Eat a variety of vegetables, including dark leafy greens, daily.
- Avoid anything you are sensitive to – inflammation in the gut decreases absorption of nutrients
- Manage stress – digestion is dependent on the parasympathetic (aka “rest & digest”) state of the nervous system. This system is responsible for everything from stomach acid production, to enzyme production in the pancreas, to peristalsis in the small intestine. Thus, chronic high stress can lead to decreased nutrient absorption as the parasympathetic nervous system’s actions are inhibited.
- Be conscious of your acidic food/drink consumption: calcium is used as a buffer in order to keep our blood within its narrow life-sustaining pH range. Drinking acidic sodas or coffee leaches calcium from our bones in order to maintain pH.
- Weight-bearing Exercise: bones develop strength in response to gravity and pressure. Use it or lose it!
- Read this for a quick list of nutrients for strong, healthy bones.
- What about calcium? Here is a list of non-dairy calcium sources.
- Can’t I just drink milk? Read this and decide.
Certain prescription medications can cause bone loss, or decrease calcium absorption. This group includes corticosteroids like prednisone or Flovent (bone loss), and proton pump inhibitors, a class of medications for decreasing stomach acid, like Losec or Nexxium (decreased absorption). If you are taking such a medication, talk to your health care team about how to protect your bones.