Greetings! It's been a while since our last newsletter. So where have we been? Lecturing, consulting, researching, etc. But at last we are on the web and don't have to snail mail to our loyal Health's Kitchen fans. Our on line newsletter will be here for everyone.
In reviewing the old newsletters, I find that much of the information was ahead of their time. So here's the new one about another "Medical Mythtake" – Bone Density .
The procedure is to have a bone density test. If the test indicates that the bone density needs to be improved, a biophosphanate such as Fosamax will be prescribed to improve the density of the bone, which it will. BUT does that mean that the bone has become stronger? The medication increases the density of the bone by preventing the old bone cells, (osteoclasts), from sloughing off. It does not build new bone cells, (osteoblasts) This makes the bone brittle. Think of the difference between an old dry twig and a fresh green one. Even if the old twig is thicker it will snap easily while the green one will bend. So you need to build osteoblasts yourself, because there's no meds for that.
First: Weight bearing exercise will stimulate the production of osteoblasts. We all know the benefits of walking, but do you know about Spinal Thumps? Rise up on your toes and bump down hard on your heels, up to 40 times about twice a day. The astronauts do that because there's no gravity in outer space and they lose bone. The first astronauts couldn't even stand up after they landed back on earth. Now they have bicycles and exercise machines on space ships.
Second: How about the raw materials to build the bone? We've been told calcium is the main ingredient, but calcium is a very tricky prima donna . It's digestibility depends partly on what it's combined with. If it's carbonate, forget it! That's chalk. Your best bet is calcium lactate or calcium citrate. Digestibility also depends on the availability of your digestive juices. Hopefully you haven't messed up your gut lining with antacids, aspirin. or NSAIDs ( see Spring 1995 Newsletter)
So let's say your calcium has been digested and absorbed. Will it go into the bones? Not if your system is too acidic. Instead it will go into the soft tissue where it doesn't belong.
Remember when you learned about pH in 7th grade? When you get a urinalysis check the report for pH. It should be between 6.5 and 7.0. Or check it yourself with pH paper. (You can get pH paper from the Heritage catalog if you can't find it anywhere else.) You may need to adjust your diet to achieve the proper acid/alkaline balance. (If you send a SSA envelope to: Health's Kitchen, PO Box 630003, Spuyten Duyvil Station, Bronx, NY 10463 we will be happy to send you an acid/alkaline food chart.).
And that's just the calcium! We haven't even mentioned magnesium and the rest of the minerals that hang out with calcium: manganese, zinc, boron and more. Where do you find them? Once again – eat your veggies, especially the dark green leafy ones*.
This is Part I. In Part II , next newsletter, we'll discuss Vitamin D, the Jeeves to the prima donna calcium.
*Here’s a recipe from Health’s Kitchen Southern Cooking program that will not only give you the calcium and magnesium, but iron as well.
Sauteed Greens (Kale, Spinach, Mustard Greens, Dandelion, etc.)
Wash greens, trim stems and soak in iced salted water. Drain, but do not dry. Place in large pot and cover greens with a pot cover that doesn’t cover the pot but fits inside the pot and place over very low heat until completely wilted, turning occasionally. Drain and chop. Heat a little unrefined oil and sauté some minced garlic until it sizzles. Add greens. Season to taste: (sea salt, umeboshi plum vinegar, nutmeg, lemon, chili oil, pepper, etc.)