Strong bones for Yummies!
The period following menopause is crucial for bones. It’s when thinning accelerates but that doesn’t mean osteopenia or full blown osteoporosis is around the corner. It merely signals a time to make adjustments. Osteoporosis prevention is possible and even reversible with the right plan. Adopt a weight bearing exercise program and take a long look at your diet, it’s one of the best lines of defense. Eating the right foods can give you maximum bone strength and boost bone density at any age.
Trust me I speak from experience. When I was 40 my doctor suggested a bone density test to establish a baseline as both my parents had osteoporosis. Much to the complete surprise of both of us results came back indicating osteoporosis in three places. Yikes! I was referred to an endocrinologist. Now, many years later I have strong healthy bones and no osteoporosis. I take calcium and vitamin D supplements, have been on a regular exercise program for 20 years and (most importantly) use food as bone building medicine.
TOP 12 FOODS FOR STRONG BONES – There’s something for everyone and lots of ways to create bone bonuses by combining several top foods.
- Yogurt – use in smoothies, and in place of sour cream or heavy cream
- Milk – if you don’t like it straight up blend in smoothies or try almond milk for a *bone bonus
- Cheese – enjoy in moderation to avoid excess fat
- Eggs– vitamin D is in the yolk so eat egg whole!
- Sardines – I love sardines spread on fresh crusty artisan bread, add to pasta, salad or pizza
- Salmon – *bone bonus – add grilled to dark leafy salad, sprinkled with pumpkin seeds
- Tuna – *bone bonus – add grilled to dark leafy salad with pumpkin seeds, add quartered hard boiled egg
- Spinach and all dark leafies -*bone bonus – top dark leafy salad with poached egg or shred and add to frittata. Try raw kale soup
- Seeds – (pumpkin, sunflower and sesame) *bone bonus – add to smoothies and all salads
- Nuts – (walnuts, almonds pistachios) *bone bonus – try raw collard wraps
- Beans – (pinto, black, white and red kidney) *bone bonus – add black beans to frittata
- Soy – (tofu and tempeh) *bone bonus – try vegetarian pho (below)
VIETNAMESE VEGGIE PHO — Pho is a popular Vietnamese noodle soup traditionally made from beef and oxtail bones that are simmered for hours. This version is vegetarian/vegan and is perfect as a world class BONE BUILDER as it includes 3 top bone foods- tofu, dark leafies and sesame seeds! The best part is that it is super easy to make! Here’s what you need:
For soup: Two thumb piece of ginger cut in half length wise, 1 medium onion halved, 1 tbsp each fennel seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns, cardamom seeds, 4 cloves, 1 cinnamon stick, 3 star anise, *sea salt, rice or soba noodles, chopped raw veggies ( ie kale, spinach, bok choy, broccoli, asparagus, mung beans, mushrooms), 1 block medium firm tofu (drained). *taste to add salt I use 1/2 tsp.
For garnish: lime, thai basil (regular basil works), mint, sriracha sauce, hoisin sauce, green onions, sliced red chilies, sesame seeds (I use black sesame seeds).
Method: Char onion and ginger over open flame on stove top or barbecue OR pop under broiler (takes about 5 minutes to char this way).
Assemble spices and bundle in cheese cloth. Add 12 cups of water- bring to a boil and simmer for an hour (it will reduce to half). Strain. Cook noodles, cube tofu put aside. Place noodles, tofu and veggies in a large soup bowl and cover with hot broth. Set garnishes out on a plate and let everyone choose what they like. *Flavours in broth get considerably richer if refrigerated a day before using.