Millions of people in America suffer from osteoporosis and even more suffer from osteopenia, or low bone mass. While many serious bone problems don’t become apparent until one reaches middle age or older, improving skeletal health at any age can have serious benefits. After all, skeletal health is essential to a long and fulfilling life.
Fortunately, there are quite a few ways you can keep your bones strong. In fact, one of the best ways to take care of your bones is with the paleo diet. Learn how the paleo diet helps with skeletal health and discover what you need to do to make sure your bones stay in top shape.
Most people think of calcium when it comes to strong, healthy bones, and many are told from a young age that they need to drink their milk to keep their bones strong. Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple. Although it makes up a large part of bone material, calcium alone isn’t enough to actually increase your bone density. In fact, the amount of calcium in your diet doesn’t really affect bone fragility in any significant way.
In order for the bones to benefit from your calcium intake, the mineral is going to need some help. The primary factor in absorbing calcium properly is vitamin D. This vitamin is the only way for your body to actually process the calcium in your diet. Even if you take calcium supplements, they won’t be effective without the help of vitamin D. Similarly, vitamin K2 helps drive calcium to the right place. Without this, you may experience calcium buildup in your arteries rather than your bones.
Only about 65 percent of bone material is actually made up of minerals like calcium and phosphorous. The rest of it is made up of protein. In order to keep that aspect strong, you’ll need protein in your diet. Specifically speaking, you need to make sure you’re getting plenty of collagen in your diet, as that’s the primary protein you’ll find within bones.
When many people think about skeletal health, they concern themselves primarily with strength. This is why calcium is such a popular solution for bone problems. The truth is, however, that calcium and other minerals only address half the problem. In fact, many people with fragile bones don’t have any mineral problems at all. If you want durability with your bones, you’ll have to include protein, specifically collagen, in your diet as well
Plenty of supplements are available that can help you get close to the recommended amounts of vitamins, minerals and protein, but the best solution can be found within the paleo diet. Milk and other dairy products may not have a place with paleo eaters, but there are other great ways to get all the calcium you need. You’ll find calcium in a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and seafood. Among the best are kale, blackstrap molasses, salmon, bok choy and almonds.
When it comes to proteins like collagen, the paleo diet is especially effective. Collagen-rich foods include seafood in general, bone broth, and organ meat. While seafood is popular in many diets, the latter two collagen sources are among the paleo diet’s specialties. The nose-to-tail eating model, a principle of paleo eating, encourages consumption of all parts of the animal, including the more uncommon parts that also happen to be rich in the collagen proteins your bones so desperately need.
Find Nutritious and Delicious Superfoods
Finding the minerals and nutrients necessary for the paleo diet and skeletal health is easy when you work with Paleo Angel. In addition to providing education about the paleo lifestyle, we also offer superfood power balls that fit strictly within the guidelines of the paleo diet and the Autoimmune Protocol. Learn more about the nutritional benefits of the paleo diet and browse our selection of power balls yourself.