- Exercise. This is one of the best ways to stave off osteoporosis. Choose strength training exercises, such as weight lifiting, because they’ll help strengthen and build bones.
- Limit Protein. Protein is good to help with calcium absorption, but high protein diets also cause calcium to be excreted in the urine. So, limit the amount of protein you consume.
- Non-fat Milk and Milk. According to Dr. Elson Hass and author of Staying Healthy With Nutrition, non-fat milk decreases calcium absorption. In fact, he objects to milk (non-fat to full fat) because its fortified with synthentic vitamins. So, avoid milk, and opt for low-fat calcium products, such as yogurt and cheese that do not have the same synthetic fortifications.
- Phosphorus. Phosphorus competes with calcium for abosorption, and phosphorus is more easily absorbed than calcium. High phosphorus levels mean reduce calcium levels and calcium being pulled from your bones. Yeast products and soda pop are high in phosphorus, which competes with calcium for absorption. To learn more about high phosphorus food sources read Phosphorus Foods. You want at least 1:1 ratio between calcium and phosphorus, although 1.5:1 ratio would even be better.
- Salt. If you eat too much salt, it can cause a decrease in calcium absorption, so watch your intake.
- Supplements. If you decide to take calcium supplements, take them between meals or better yet take them at bedtime because your stomach will likely be more acidic, which helps with calcium absorption.
- Vitamin C. Take calcium within two hours after you take vitamin C or opt for foods high in vitamin C, as this vitamin helps the body absorb calcium.
- Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, and the sunshine is the best way to get vitamin D, which is why it’s referred to as the “sunshine” vitamin. If you decide to get your vitamin D from the sun, you need just ten minutes of sunshine each day to meet the daily requirement. However, studies have shown people over fifty-one are less able to produce vitamin D on their own, so if you’re over fifty you should consider taking a supplement as you need 400 IU daily. If you do take a supplement, choose one such as calcium aspartate or calcium citrate because they’re better absorbed by the body. Besides sunshine and supplements, you can also get vitamin D from your diet. Check out the chart below for the best vitamin D sources.
Best Sources of Vitamin D
|Source||Serving Size||Daily Value|
|Cod Liver Oil||1 Tablespoon||340%|
|Salmon, cooked||3.5 ounces||90%|
|Mackerel, cooked||3.5 ounces||90%|
|Tuna Fish, canned in oil||3.0 ounces||50%|
|Milk, nonfat, reduced fat, and whole
|Margarine, fortified||1 Tablespoon||15%|
|Cereal, fortified||1 cup||10%|
|Egg, including yolk||1 whole||6%|
|Liver, beef, cooked||3.5 ounces||4%|
|Swiss Cheese||1 ounce||4%|