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The use of calcium alone does not eliminate the progression of osteoporosis; however it has been shown to slow down its onset. This is especially so if the intake of calcium is combined with other preventative measures such as the intake of vitamin D and regular weight bearing exercise. The recommended daily allowance of calcium for a person is 800mg a day; however it is recommended that for people at risk from osteoporosis that this is increased to 1000mg a day in premenstrual women and as high as 1500mg per day in postmenstrual women, Although calcium supplements are readily available, it is relatively easy to increase the levels of calcium in your diet by eating foods that are rich in calcium to help overcome calcium deficiency.
By including three to four dairy products a day in your diet your consumption of calcium can be easily increased, milk, cheese, butter and yoghurt are very good sources of calcium (cheese alone can contain up to 800mg per cup), and are also a good source of lactose, this substance greatly helps in the absorption of calcium into the bones.
If you need to control your weight in order to ease the pains of osteoporosis it is recommended that you choose low fat versions of dairy products such as skimmed milk, though relatively fat free half a pint of skimmed milk still contains approximately 30% of the recommended daily amount of calcium and 25% of required vitamin D. This has a twin benefit in that vitamin D helps the intestines to absorb calcium.
Soft drinks and convenience foods should be avoided if possible to prevent calcium deficiency; these drinks often contain large amounts of phosphorous; this element results in loss of calcium from the bones.
Although caffeine in coffee has been shown to play a role in calcium loss, coffee has other health implications too, such as beneficial stimulatory and antidepressant properties. Coffee has also been shown to help reduce the likelihood of type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.
In addition to dairy products there are many other foods that are rich in calcium and should therefore be ate in the battle against osteoporosis, these include fish that is eaten with bones such as tinned salmon and sardines and green vegetables. Orange juice is often fortified with calcium and should be added to your diet if necessary. Seeds and Nuts such as almonds and brazils , and sunflower and sesame seeds are also a rich source of calcium, be aware that other types of nuts such as cashews, peanuts and pecans are not as rich a source of calcium, though they do contain more than many other food sources.