by Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP
When it comes to preventing osteoporosis, reducing chronic inflammation is one factor that’s often overlooked.
But it’s important to take notice — because you have a lot of choices when it comes to limiting the inflammation that can interfere with your body’s natural bone repair process. Left unchecked, inflammation can cause bone breakdown to outpace bone building — leading to brittle, osteoporotic bones over time.
My advice is to take stock of your lifestyle and eating habits now and look at small changes you can make. Whether you’re concerned about preserving your bones or you’ve already been diagnosed with osteoporosis or osteopenia, it’s never too late to influence bone health. And if you have symptoms of inflammation or any inflammatory condition — including osteoporosis — there are many safe, natural, and effective measures you can take today to change the outcome for your bones tomorrow:
1. Cultivate healthy gut flora. The GI tract is where we take in all the nutrients we need for day-to-day cellular function. Difficulty absorbing nutrients from food (malabsorption) means we miss out on essential nutrients — including those needed to prevent inflammation and osteoporosis.
The problem often stems from a lack of the “good” bacteria that help us digest food, absorb nutrients, and ward off troublesome pathogens like systemic yeast. You can help maintain friendly gut flora by:
- Eating plenty of fiber — the favorite food of beneficial bacteria.
- Incorporating “living” foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchee into your daily diet.
- Moderating your intake of red meat.
If you have digestive imbalances, taking a probiotic supplement regularly may help restore and maintain healthy gut flora. We formulated our own Super Biotic with both beneficial bacteria and a competitive yeast that sustains and supports your gut’s own natural bacteria.
2. Follow an anti-inflammatory, highly alkalizing diet. With the innate wisdom we see time and again throughout the natural world, an anti-inflammatory diet has everything in common with the bone-supporting alkalizing diet we recommend:
- Eat lots of alkalizing fruits and vegetables, adequate lean protein, and high-quality fats.
- Consider slow cooking and simmering foods in place of frying. These methods preserve the nutrients and reduce the oxidative stress caused by digesting deep-fried foods.
- Avoid trans fats and other low-grade oils.
- Limit red and processed meats, refined grains, and sugars, as these foods often have high levels of additives, including coloring, flavoring, and preservatives.
3. Eliminate gluten from your diet. Recent studies indicate a direct relationship between gluten reactivity and severity of osteoporosis. And whether you have outright celiac disease or mild to moderate intolerance of gluten, it amplifies your inflammatory response, which, over time, puts your bones in jeopardy.