What’s the number one supplement you need for your bones?
Most people I talk to will say calcium, of course. In fact, more than half of women over 60 take calcium supplements. I get it. They don’t want to break a bone. And they don’t want to have osteoporosis.
But instead of getting harder bones, they may be getting hardened arteries.
You see, a brand new study in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that calcium supplements may significantly raise your risk of plaque buildup in the arteries and even heart damage. [i]
The study looked at 10 years of CT scans, and diet and supplement records from 2,742 people. They found that people who took the most calcium as a supplement had a 22 percent increase in their risk of coronary artery calcification.
In other words they had more hardening of their arteries.
The researchers suggested that when you take a calcium pill, it may not make it to your skeleton. It may collect in your tissues.
I learned that for myself - the hard way. After taking calcium supplements I found a big lump on my thigh. “Oh, that’s just a calcium deposit,” my doctor said. Yikes!
You see excess calcium accumulates in cells, tissues and organs. It calcifies and hardens wherever it lands whether it’s your arteries, heart or brain.
The study showed people who got their calcium through food – even if they got over 1,022 milligrams per day -- had no increased risk of heart disease over the 10-year study period.
The researchers said "There is clearly something different in how the body uses and responds to supplements versus intake through diet that makes it riskier."
I don’t take calcium supplements any more. Instead I get my calcium the way nature intended – from my food.
And it’s better for my bones. According to a study from the University of Washington, women who get their calcium from food have higher bone mineral density than women who just take supplements.[ii]
When we eat whole foods, we get other essential bone-building vitamins and minerals (there are about 20!).
It’s the synergy of all those nutrients working together that makes for a healthy skeleton.
And your body recognizes calcium from food. It can absorb it better than a supplement.
Here are some of my favorite food sources of calcium.
|Yogurt (organic plain) 1 cup||400 mg|
|Sardines with the bones, 3 oz.||325 mg|
|Black-eyed peas, 1 cup||211 mg|
|Canned salmon with bones, 3 oz.||181 mg|
|Tahini, 2 tablespoons||128 mg|
|Collard greens (cooked), ½ cup||125 mg|
|Almond butter, 2 tablespoons||111 mg|
|Raw chopped kale, 1 cup||100 mg|
|Hummus, ½ cup||62 mg|
|Navy beans, ½ cup||61 mg|
|Eggs (2)||50 mg|
So what will you feed your bones - a chalky white pill or real bone-building foods?
Do you love Hummus?
How are your bones?
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Thanks for stopping by.
From my bones to yours,