Heavy on dairy, processed meats, carbonated drinks and salt, our diet leaves us prone to more diseases than it protects us against. If you’re worried about osteoporosis, arthritis or dental decay, you need to build your calcium levels to ensure strong bones.
While supplements are a good way to go, popping a pill every day may not be the perfect solution for the forgetful lot of you. Packed with enhancing compounds, here are five herbs that will shore up your bone and dental health, while strengthening your entire skeletal structure.
This age old elixir is rich in antioxidants and protects against cancer, heart issues and diabetes; it also keeps your bones strong and healthy. One cup of dandelion contains about 10 percent of your daily recommended calcium, which is essential for strong bones and teeth. Also rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C and Luteolin, this herb protects your bones from age-related damage, and against toxic free radicals that are associated with loss of bone density and weakness. Add some dandelion greens to your salads, or make a soothing tea or infusion.
A nutrient-dense herb, nettle is rich in calcium, magnesium, iron, boron and vitamins A, D and K. A cup of infused nettle greens contains approximately 300-500mg calcium, making it a strong choice for bone health. To extract the maximum mineral content, prepare nettle tea by infusion or simmering.
3. Red Clover
According to a 2004 study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, phytoestrogens from red clover, particularly isoflavones, have the potential to protect against loss of bone density and bone mineral content, especially in the lumbar region of pre- and post-menopausal women. Red clover is also rich in vitamin C which protects against age-related damage to the bone. Steep a refreshing tea with red clover blossoms and enjoy its bone strengthening benefits.
An exceptional source of calcium and other bone building constituents such as saponins, flavonoids, alkaloids, steroids, magnesium, lysine and methionine, oatstraw enhances the growth of bone cells and prevents the risk of osteoporosis. You can steep a hot tea by adding 1tsp dried crushed oatstraw to one cup of boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes. Drink once it cools down. You can also buy commercially available oatstraw tea bags online.
Abundant in silicon, the prime bone building mineral, horsetail helps in making your bones and teeth strong. This herb has been seen to reverse periodontal bone loss, and also encourages rapid mending of breaks and/or fractures. The silicon present in horsetail aids in the absorption of calcium in the body.
These herbs, when supplemented with a calcium rich diet, can go a long way in protecting your bones and keeping them healthy.