You know what they say about getting to the root of a problem. That’s where you find the solution. And root vegetables are exactly where you find one of the solutions for weak bones.
Root vegetables are the part of the plant that grows underground. Our grandmothers and all the mothers who went before them relied on these roots for solid nutrition during long cold winters.
The simplest roots that we grew up with are potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, radishes, turnips, parsnips, beets, and rutabagas. But there are plenty of others like ginger, horseradish, turmeric, daikon radish, burdock root, Jerusalem artichokes, celeriac, kohlrabi, jicama, and more.
Because these vegetables grow deep in the ground, they absorb vitamins and minerals from the earth. And they also have special benefits for your bones.
Your bones need a good balance of acid and alkaline foods.
Our blood maintains a pH balance in a very narrow range. The food we eat can disrupt that balance. That’s because some foods form acid byproducts when we digest them while others form alkaline byproducts.
Acid-forming foods include most processed foods, sugar, coffee, alcohol and grains. Most high-protein foods, such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy, most beans and peas are also acid-forming.
When the pH balance shifts even a little to the acid side, your body starts sucking alkalizing minerals like calcium out of your bones to reduce acid levels.
Before that happens add some root vegetables to your diet. They are high in alkalizing potassium and help keep your pH in the healthy range.
2. Boost Your Carotenoids
Root vegetables are great sources of carotenoids like beta-carotene. Your body converts beta-carotene to vitamin A. That’s important because your bones need vitamin A for their remodeling process. Good choices for beta-carotene are sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, and other orange and red roots.
Root vegetables are also high in vitamin C. That helps build the collagen matrix of your bones – the part that keeps them flexible, so they bend instead of break.
4. Beat Stress
It’s true that sugar and processed carbohydrates give you quick energy. But it is also nervous energy. If you are already feeling anxious, sugar will just make things worse.
On the other hand root vegetables grow deep into the ground. They have a strong downward energy - exactly the opposite energy as the processed foods that crowd most supermarket shelves.
Root vegetables are great for grounding us when we feel unfocused, nervous, stressed or over-stimulated. And as you know by now stress is a big factor in thinning bones.
5. Zap Your Sugar Cravings
When you eat too much sugar, your body becomes overly acidic and starts leaching calcium out of your bones and excreting it. If you do it enough, you’ll be losing lots of calcium and your bones will be weaker.
Excess sugar also depletes your body of phosphorus, a mineral that is important in helping your bones absorb calcium.[i]
When you slow roast root vegetables the natural sweetness helps satisfy your sweet cravings.
Try this delicious roasted root vegetable recipe. It’s one of my favorites and my "bone" clients as well![hr]
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From my delicious bones to yours,
[i] “The Health Hazards of Drinking Coca Cola and Other Soft Drinks.” The Organic Consumers Association https://www.organicconsumers.org/old_articles/school/cocacola021605.php (Retrieved 6/16/15)