Better Nutrition


- By Marita Schauch, BSc, ND

When it comes to strong, healthy bones, many physicians fail to address a critical piece of the bone health puzzle— digestion. This plays a vital role in osteoporos­is prevention and treatment; here’s why: You must produce enough stomach acid in order to fully absorb vitamins and minerals ( especially calcium). As you age, your stomach acid and absorption capabiliti­es decrease, increasing the likelihood of vitamin and mineral deficienci­es. In fact, estimates show that decreased ( or low) stomach acid is seen in as many as 40 percent of postmenopa­usal women. And a woman’s risk of osteoporos­is greatly increases after menopause because her production of estrogen dramatical­ly drops off at her peak of maturity.

Be sure to eat plenty of raw fruits and vegetables so that you can benefit from the enzymes they contain. Enzymes help enhance the body’s absorption of food. Keep in mind that over- cooking destroys enzymes.

Editor’s note: In addition to eating more raw fruits and veggies, consider adding a plant- based, full- spectrum enzyme supplement. Some enzyme formulas also contain betaine HCI ( also sold as a single supplement), which can help boost hydrochlor­ic acid secretion in the stomach for optimal nutrient absorption.

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