Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Article: The Best Foods for Strong Bones

Julie Harabedian from FSB Associates passed this interesting article on to me to post.  I have The Whole-Food Guide to Strong Bones: A Holistic Approach by Annemarie Colbin, Ph.D. in my to be reviewed pile and plan on reading and reviewing it soon.  But for now enjoy this article by the author.

The Best Foods for Strong Bones
by Annemarie Colbin, Ph.D.,
Author of The Whole-Food Guide to Strong Bones: A Holistic Approach

Let me make very clear what the best foods are for the bones -- in this order:
1. Vegetables, especially leafy greens, and also roots and stalks (for the iron and calcium, and for vitamins K and C, which, together with protein, help deposit the collagen matrix)

2. Protein, such as animal foods, beans, and soy foods (for the collagen matrix)

3. Stock (for the minerals)

4. Whole grains (for the magnesium)

5. Foods rich in trace minerals, such as seaweeds, nuts, and seeds

6. Edible bones (for the calcium and other minerals)

7. Healthy fats (for the fat-soluble vitamins needed for the bones, such as vitamins K and D)
To underscore the approach of eating for bone health, the recipes in part 3 are generally arranged in the above order, although in most cases the fats are included in the recipes, not featured as a separate food. Every section, then, relates to bone health in a specific way. Let's take a closer look at these categories and review how each relates to bone health.


Calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and other minerals are found abundantly in the vegetable kingdom, especially in produce that's organically grown. Of particular value for bone health are all the leafy green vegetables, such as kale, collard greens, mustard greens, arugula, bok choy, parsley, watercress, and mesclun, the only exceptions being spinach and Swiss chard, as explained below. Other vegetables especially helpful to the bones include broccoli, cabbage, carrots, zucchini, and acorn or butternut squash. In fact, the food that provides the most calcium per calorie is bok choy, at 790 mg per 100 calories when cooked. Other vegetables with a high calcium content include cooked mustard greens, with 495 mg calcium per 100 calories; raw celery, with 250 mg calcium per 100 calories; and steamed broccoli, with 164 mg calcium per 100 calories. For comparison, skim milk provides 351 mg of calcium per 100 calories, so the veggies are quite within the ballpark.

Some vegetables, most notably spinach and Swiss chard, contain a relative abundance of calcium but also contain oxalates, substances that may interfere with calcium absorption in some cases. However, people on low calcium diets (300 to 400 mg per day) are more efficient at overriding the effect of oxalates and absorbing calcium than people on diets high in calcium-rich dairy products.

Protein Foods

As explained earlier, protein is essential for giving bones the flexibility that helps prevent fractures. There is controversy as to whether protein from animal or vegetable sources is better. For quite some time, the popular assumption was that a diet high in animal protein could contribute to osteoporosis. This assumption has been shown to be incorrect. Some people object to the consumption of animal foods for a variety of reasons. My viewpoint has always been that the choice to be vegetarian or not is a very personal one, and that either can be very healthful as long as the diet is balanced and the foods consumed are fresh, natural, and unrefined -- and hopefully organic.

Cooking with Stock

Cooking with stock is a very traditional way of increasing the nutritional value of dishes made with added liquid, such as soups, stews, grains, beans, and sauces. By cooking bones and vegetables for a long time over low heat, many of the minerals are leached out into the cooking water, making the stock highly nutritious and also alkalizing, especially if something sour has been added such as vinegar or wine.

Whole Grains

In modern times, the primary grains that most cultures rely on for sustenance -- rice and wheat -- are usually stripped of their bran and germ and thereby made deficient in nutrients. Whole grains, such as brown rice, whole wheat, barley, oats, rye, millet, cornmeal, amaranth, quinoa, teff, and buckwheat, are excellent sources of complex carbohydrates, fiber, and B vitamins, and they're very satisfying to boot. Consuming sufficient amounts of whole grains (about a handful of cooked whole grain per meal) also means you need to consume less animal protein due to a concept known as protein sparing. When grains (or fats) provide more calories, this diminishes the body's need to metabolize proteins for energy. This conserves muscle tissue, and whatever is good for the muscles is good for the bones. In addition, whole grains are a good source of magnesium, which helps increase absorption of calcium from the blood into the bones.

Foods Rich in Trace Minerals

Seaweeds, nuts, and seeds are some of the foods richest in trace minerals. As mentioned in chapter 3, trace minerals play an important role in bone health. Remember, less important than how much calcium you eat is the balance of minerals (and other nutrients). Eating food rich in trace minerals will go a long way toward providing mineral balance.

Seaweeds, which are most commonly used in Japanese cuisine are rich in minerals, making them an excellent addition to healthful cooking. In fact, a study of osteoporosis in Taiwan found that those who include seaweed in their diet two or more times per week showed a slightly higher protection against osteoporosis (Shaw 1993). Seaweeds are also valuable for being especially high in iodine, which is necessary for good thyroid function. As discussed in chapter 3, the thyroid and parathyroid glands play an important role in bone health.

Nuts and seeds have the advantage of also being a great source of bone-healthy essential fatty acids, as well as plant protein. A handful of nuts or seeds a day is a good source of trace minerals, such as iron, boron, selenium, phosphorus, and magnesium.

Edible Bones

Perhaps your initial response to the idea of eating bones is "what?!" But bones can be eaten when prepared in certain ways, and if you think about it, what better source of natural minerals for our bones than bones themselves? See the recipes in part 3.

Healthy Fats

Good-quality fats are essential for bone health. As we apply the "three-bears-rule" again, too much is no good, but too little is no good, as well. You need to eat enough of these important nutrients, even if that means unlearning a fat phobia. The average postmenopausal woman needs about 65 grams of fat daily. That means you need approximately 2 or 3 tablespoons of good-quality fat per day in an eating regime based on vegetables, beans, grains, nuts, and seeds, or about 1 or 2 tablespoons if your diet also includes animal products. Nutritionist Udo Erasmus cautions against using any one type of fat exclusively because it won't contain a full profile of fatty acids and therefore might create an imbalance (Erasmus 1993). We need both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. However, a diet high in polyunsaturated vegetable oils is skewed too much in favor of the latter.

Shaw, C.  K. 1993. An epidemilogic study of osteoporosis in Taiwan. Annals of Epidemiology 3 (3):264-271.

Erasmus, U. 1993. Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill: The Complete Guide to Fats, Oils, Cholesterol, and Human Health. Burnaby, BC: Alive Books.

Reprinted with permission by New Harbinger Publications, Inc. The Whole-Food Guide to Strong Bones: A Holistic Approach by Annemarie Colbin, Ph.D. www.newharbinger.com.
The above is an excerpt from the book The Whole-Food Guide to Strong Bones: A Holistic Approach by Annemarie Colbin, Ph.D. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.
Copyright © 2009 Annemarie Colbin, Ph.D., author of The Whole-Food Guide to Strong Bones: A Holistic Approach

Author Bio
Annemarie Colbin, Ph.D., author of The Whole-Food Guide to Strong Bones: A Holistic Approach, is a health educator and award-winning writer, consultant, and lecturer. She is the founder and CEO of the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in New York City. She is author of several books including Food and Healing and writes a column, "Food and Your Health," for New York Spirit magazine.
For more information please visit www.FoodAndHealing.com.

Green Books Campaign: The Merchant Kings by Stephen Bown

This review is part of the Green Books campaign . Today 100 bloggers are reviewing 100 great books printed in an environmentally friendly way. Our goal is to encourage publishers to get greener and readers to take the environment into consideration when purchasing books. This campaign is organized by Eco-Libris, a  a green company working to green up the book industry by promoting the adoption of green practices, balancing out books by planting trees, and supporting green books. A full list of participating blogs and links to their reviews is available on Eco-Libris website .

What's green about this book you might ask?  Well it's green because it is printed on FSC-certified paper.  To find out more about what this means go to Green Books campaign.

I am thrilled to be a part of this campaign because I do try and do my part to help with our environment and buying a "green" book is one easy way I can.  Today to me is about showing the publishing industry what they can do to do their part too while still making print books for those of us who love print.

Now on to my book review:

 Merchant Kings: When Companies Ruled the World 1600-1900 by Stephen R. Bown

Published: September 1, 2009
Publisher: D&M Adult
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 256

Rating: Easy to read, interesting

Thank you Raz at Eco-Libris for sending me this book for review and inviting me to be a part of the Green Books Campaign.
 My Review:

I have not finished the whole book yet.  But what I have read has been very enjoyable.  It is full of things I didn't know.  I would read some look up at my husband and say "Did you know ..." and he would say yes and then expound upon it.  All of this made me wonder where I was in history class all those years ago.

This is an interesting look at the first companies that existed and let me tell you - we think corporations are bad today - the ones that Mr. Bown has chosen to look at in this book that were in existence from 1600-1900 were very bad also.  Some of these companies had their own police force, military and usually their own government.  Whatever it took to take over and monopolize that corner of the world or market, they would do.

It reads like fiction, but it's not, full of wonderful facts and history, we learn what companies and business was like in previous times and how monopolies were rampant in this period of time.  A great book and I look forward to finishing it.  When I do my husband is wanting to read it too.  He's more of a non-fiction reader than I am and from the bits and pieces I have shared with him, he has decided this is a book he definitely wants to read.

About the Book:
Commerce meets conquest in this swashbuckling story of the six merchant-adventurers who built the modern world, as told by "Canada's Simon Winchester".

The Merchant Kings of the Age of Heroic Commerce were a rogue's gallery of larger-than-life merchant-adventurers who, during a couple of hundred years, expanded their far-flung commercial enterprises over a good portion of the world to generate revenue for their shareholders, feather their own nests and satisfy their vanity and curiosity.

Merchant Kings looks at each ruling monopoly through its greatest "Merchant King" - Jan Pieterszoon Coen of the Dutch East India Company, Pieter Stuyvesant of the Dutch West India Company, Robert Clive of the English East India Company, Alexandr Baronov of the Russian American Company, George Simpson of the Hudson's Bay Company and Cecil John Rhodes of the British South Africa Company - and follows their fortunes through the era when nations belatedly assumed responsibility for these quasi-colonial commercial enterprises. These Merchant Kings were vested with enormous powers by both their company and their country: the right to establish private armies, pass laws, collect taxes and negotiate treaties or wage war with foreign princes.

In trying to balance the interests of their company with the interests of their country, they changed history as significantly as the most celebrated generals, despots and monarchs.

Merchant Kings is the narrative and biographical story of the great commercial monopolies that at one time ruled millions of people and vast tracts of the world. Although the stories of most Merchant Kings have been told before, they have never been considered together, even though they lived in overlapping time periods between the early 1600s and the late1800s.

Their incredible exploits changed the world during an age of unfettered globalization not unlike the period in which we find ourselves today.

Blog Tour and Review & Giveaway: To Desire A Devil by Elizabeth Hoyt

I am thrilled to be a part of the To Desire a Devil Blog Tour featuring Elizabeth Hoyt's fourth book in her The Legends of Four Soldiers series.  Check out this site for the other blogs this book is touring.

Thanks to Anna Balasi for sending me the book for review.

To Desire a Devil by Elizabeth Hoyt

Rating: 4.0/5.0

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Publish Date: November 1, 2009

Pages: 384

Binding: Mass Market

My Review:

A wonderful historical romance.  I loved reading about this time that I knew little about.  I haven't read the previous three books in this series, but I will be now.

I loved the characters, Reynaud and Beatrice.  Their chemistry and relationship in the beginning was wonderful.  Beatrice is just a nice person and Reynaud is just trying to get used to living in civilization and society again after living with the Indians for the last seven years.  Beatrice is trying to protect her Uncle and his claim, but she has feelings for Reynaud too.  Reynaud does not want to have feelings for Beatrice, but he does and because of the world he has lived in for the last seven years he can't figure out how to act on them.

Add in some political intrigue, romance and a strong side to Beatrice who believes in her cause and you have a very enjoyable historical romance.  When a determined man meets an innocent yet determined woman, you can always be sure the sparks will fly.

Reading the first three in the series is not necessary to understand this book, but I do look forward to going back and reading them.

This is my first Elizabeth Hoyt book and it was a very enjoyable read.  I will pick up more of her books in the future when I'm in the mood for a wonderful historical romance.

Book Description:

Reynaud St. Aubyn has spent the last seven years in hellish captivity. Now half mad with fever he bursts into his ancestral home and demands his due. Can this wild-looking man truly be the last earl's heir, thought murdered by Indians years ago?

Beatrice Corning, the niece of the present earl, is a proper English miss. But she has a secret: No real man has ever excited her more than the handsome youth in the portrait in her uncle's home. Suddenly, that very man is here, in the flesh-and luring her into his bed.

Only Beatrice can see past Reynaud's savagery to the noble man inside. For his part, Reynaud is drawn to this lovely lady, even as he is suspicious of her loyalty to her uncle. But can Beatrice's love tame a man who will stop at nothing to regain his title-even if it means sacrificing her innocence?

100+ Book Challenge
Fall Into Reading Challenge 2009


Thanks to Anna Balasi and Hachette Books I have three copies of this to giveaway to three people who leave comments.  Open to the US and Canada only.  Giveaway will run through November 24.  Please leave your email address (in code) to enter.

Additional entries for:
  • (+3) for following me on my blog (rss feed, blogger, email) (old or new follower)
  • (+3) for following me on twitter (old or new follower)
  • (+5) for tweeting about this (+5 daily - you can use the following for your tweet: Blog Tour, Review and a chance to win 1 of 3 copies of To Desire A Devil by Elizabeth Hoyt at My Reading Room http://ow.ly/AZPN @cfulcher )
You can leave all your entries in 1 comment - I can tally up the entries.  If you tweet additional days please feel free to leave additional comments.


Teaser Tuesday - November 10


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
"I can't think of else's viscount he might be if not yours," he teased. "Isn't this the same man as the pretty youth in that portrait in your sitting room?  I've watched you moon over that thing for years."

Beatrice twisted her fingers guiltily.  "Was I so obvious as all that?"

"Only to me, darling," Jeremy replied fondly.  "Only to me."

From To Desire A Devil by Elizabeth Hoyt