People are always saying that the best way to keep your bones healthy is to consume lots of calcium, and that the best way to get calcium is to drink milk and consume other dairy products. Is this assumption correct?
In the following article, we’ll explain another perspective on calcium, and suggest another food with huge benefits for bone health: prunes.
The truth about calcium
When we talk about bone problems, such as osteoporosis, we are generally flooded with facts about how good calcium is for your bones. And while it may be true that this mineral is crucial to our health, there are other minerals that are equally important because they help our bodies absorb that calcium. That’s why your first step shouldn’t be to go running to foods with added calcium, but to eat a balanced diet, choosing different foods that provide the calcium and other nutrients that your body needs. Prunes are one of those foods.
You’ve probably heard that your body can have an acidic or alkaline pH, and that most of us generally lean toward the acidic side because of poor eating habits (like consuming sugars, fried foods and refined sugars), other vices (such as smoking and consuming alcohol), negative emotions, stress and pollution.
Well, this excess acidity causes your body to steal calcium from your bones, eliminating it through the urine in an attempt to compensate your pH.
This is where we see the first benefit of prunes: they are great at alkalizing pH.
Plus, prunes are also rich in potassium, magnesium, boron, copper and iron, as well as vitamins A and K, indispensable nutrients when it comes to bone health and preventing the loss of bone mass. Strangely enough, they do not have any calcium, but a number of research studies have shown that eating prunes on a daily basis can decrease your risk of suffering from bone diseases.
Prunes (or even fresh plums) are nutritious and great for preventing constipation, which is why you should try eating a few each morning.
How should I eat them?
The healthiest way to eat prunes is to soak them overnight in half a cup of water. Eat them on an empty stomach the next morning, and also drink the remaining water.
Ideally, you should eat between 3 and 5 prunes per day.
If the idea of eating prunes doesn’t sound appetizing to you, you can also mix them with other ripe fruits or vegetables. You can also incorporate them into breads or cakes; their sweet juiciness will help replace some of the sugar in your favorite recipe.
Complete your diet
You should also try out some of these equally beneficial foods, which are great for bone health thanks to their high vitamin and mineral content, especially calcium, and which are easier to absorb than dairy products or foods with added calcium:
- Sesame: This product has more calcium than milk and is much easier to absorb. You can eat raw sesame seeds, or try eating sesame as gomashio (ground sesame seeds toasted with salt), sesame oil, or tahini (sesame paste). You can also mix tahini with water, lemon, cinnamon and honey for a delicious sesame beverage.
- Maca: This food has tons of calcium and iron, and is great for keeping your hormones balanced. People with uncontrolled hypertension or a sensitive immune system should read up on maca before taking it.
- Cooked carrots: They have a much higher calcium content when cooked than when raw.
- Horsetail: Rich in selenium. You can drink two or three cups per day.
- Saltwater: A natural supplement with a number of benefits that can be found in natural food shops. We recommend taking one tablespoon before each meal.
A smoothie for your bones
Try this delicious recipe to strengthen your bones:
- Mix one tablespoon of sesame seeds with a cup of water in a blender for at least one minute.
- Strain the resulting sesame milk and remove the fiber (which you can use for another recipe).
- Pour the milk back into the blender and mix it with three previously soaked prunes.
- Add a bit of cinnamon.
That’s all you need to do for your smoothie, which is a delicious breakfast or snack option that will keep you and your family healthy.