Archives for Bone Health

What’s the 3rd most common deficiency? … Yup, it’s calcium!

Download my free calcium guides “The Real Deal About Calcium and Your Bones”, and the Calcium Food Chart & Tracker right here.       I’ve said it before (1), and I’ll say it again: We are NOT getting “all the nutrition we need from our food”. We simply are not. Theoretically we can.  Philosophically we should.  Realistically we are not. Yes, I’m talking mostly about developed countries.  Countries where most people have access to a variety of foods all year long. Study after study shows a pattern that is not serving our health; and we’re not just talking people who have health issues that are known to affect nutrient absorption and metabolism, or those people who may be taking medications that affect nutrient status.  This is common amongst the population in general.   Most common deficiency – Vitamin D   Did you know that vitamin D deficiency is SO predictable in the UK in winter, that a mathematical model has been created?(2,3)   Vitamin D is a topic for another post, but know it is hands down the most common nutrient deficiency in Canada (4,5) & the US (6).  It’s also common in the UK(2,3), and in fact much of the world!(7,8)   Second most common deficiency – Magnesium   Magnesium, the mineral needed for over 300 biochemical reactions in your body(9) is often quoted as being the second most common deficiency in many of the developed nations.(3,5) Magnesium is central to the chlorophyll molecule, so it’s necessary for all green plants. Guess what that means? We’re not eating enough green plants!(10) And green plants have more nutrition than just magnesium!  They’re amazing powerhouses of multitudes of nutrients including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals.   Third most common deficiency – Calcium   And this is where I want to help.
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Do you get enough calcium?

Honestly, even as a nutritionist I didn’t know exactly how much calcium I got in a day.  Did I even get my 1,000 mg?  I had a rough idea. So, I decided to start tracking it.  And, you know what?  I was kinda surprised! There were days where I only got 600 mg.  Even though I eat a variety of whole foods, including dairy. Now, as someone who specializes in supplement science, I certainly know the benefits of wise and strategic use of supplements; but, one of the downfalls of supplements is that even if their “active ingredients” contain a variety of nutrients, you’re still usually missing out on health benefits of phytochemicals, antioxidants and fiber that you get from real food.  Not to mention the synergistic actions when certain nutrients are paired up, and even the ratios and forms of nutrients that can be impossible to replicate in a supplement. Don’t get me wrong, multivitamins can be great for many people, but they don’t hold a candle to eating a variety of nutrient-dense whole foods every day. NOTE: “Antioxidant” supplements haven’t proven themselves to have the health benefits of actually eating antioxidant-rich foods.(1) The bottom line is that, supplements are intended to “supplement” the diet.  This means what you eat and drink should be your first focus; then if you need extra amounts of certain nutrients, you can strategically supplement with them. You may know that in addition to supplement science, bone nutrition is my focus. I wrote about that here.  So in honour of World Osteoporosis Day on October 20th, I’ve created a free 9-day GET ENOUGH CALCIUM challenge. If you: Want to learn which foods are high in calcium (including dairy-free options); Would like loads of awesome calcium-filled recipes; Want to learn about your health and how
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Doctor recommending an x-ray, mammogram, bone density test, or CT scan? Here’s what you need to know (and do).

                What made me even care about x-ray exposure anyway?   My 6 year old daughter broke her elbow a few weeks ago.  Ouch! She’s an avid climber.  She loves climbing rocks, trees, snow banks, etc.  She’s had wall climbing lessons. After she learned about Mt. Everest, she wanted to practice.  So, when we’d walk home from school in the winter she’d climb every snowbank on every front lawn (up the bank, down the shoveled driveway, up the next bank, etc.).  All. The. Way. Home. Every. Day. A few weeks before she broke her elbow, she was up so high in our neighbour’s maple tree that we couldn’t see her between the leaves. I reminded her of that yellow-painted line 8 feet up in the climbing class.  That’s the line where you’re not allowed to go above unless you’re properly harnessed and have a belayer.     “Don’t go higher than the 3rd branch” I said; and she got down just fine. She loves climbing! And she’s good at it. We have a tree on our front lawn that is on a slope, so the ground on one side of the tree is higher than the other.  She always gets on and off the side with the higher ground (see the little wooden “step”?).     Except a few weeks ago when she lost her balance.  🙁 We were all getting ready to go out for dinner and ended up at the Emergency Department of the children’s hospital instead. Of course, they needed to take x-rays to see if there was a break, where the break was, and what kind of break it was.  Of course, diagnostic x-rays are low dose, and rarely have side effects.  Of course in the vast majority of
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