07/21/2016 12:49 EDT | Updated 07/21/2016 12:59 EDT

Your Modern-Day Diet Is Robbing You Of Calcium And Healthy Bones

Shutterstock / Ana-Maria Tanasescu

Are you setting yourself up for brittle bones (i.e. premature ageing) without even realizing it?

Well, you are if you consume lots of sugar and salt, which tend to interfere with your body's absorption of calcium. And carbonated soft drinks can be even worse because they're loaded with a corrosive, calcium-depleting mineral called phosphoric acid.

The biggest culprits for robbing your body of calcium are processed foods, including fast foods and beverages. A majority of them are full of unhealthy levels of sugar and/or salt, as well as excessive calories in most cases.

But how exactly do acidic foods and drinks make your bones increasingly porous? This happens when calcium is leached from your bones, according to medical literature.

Furthermore, if you regularly rob your bones of calcium in this manner, you may end up with a calcium deficiency. This may set in motion a cascade of other health problems, including the following:

• High blood pressure

• Fatigue

• Sleep problems

• Nervous tension

• Calcium deposits in arteries and joints

• Kidney stones or gallstones

• Susceptibility to bone fractures

• Osteoporosis

• Muscle cramping

• Restless leg syndrome

The remedy to the damaging effects of calcium leaching foods is to replace them with bone-building foods. Good sources of calcium include the following:

• Fish, nuts, milk, cheese, yogurt (preferably unflavoured organic), and grapefruit

• Leafy green vegetables (especially kale and spinach), broccoli, and kelp

• Tofu, soy milk, rice milk, and almond milk (preferably the organic kinds)

• Powdered spirulina and chlorella (found in health food stores)

• Fish oils that are rich in essential fatty acids

Alkaline foods that you should also incorporate into your diet include the following:

• Fruit, mushrooms, carrots, and garlic

• Brown rice, wild rice, potatoes, and oats

• Protein powder made of hemp or whey

• Apple cider vinegar (which becomes alkaline in your body)

• Extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil, and green tea

By avoiding or at least cutting down on acidic foods, especially junk foods, you're taking an important first step towards reversing the accelerated aging of your skeletal structure.

The next step is to start replacing bone-weakening foods with ones that are natural and calcium-rich, as well as plenty of alkaline foods (mostly veggies).

Now you're well on your way to restoring your bones to optimal health, which will help keep your body structurally strong for decades to come. In the process, you'll benefit from better posture, well-supported muscles, good balance and more overall vitality.

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Calcium-Rich Foods