The Forgotten Nutrient That Strengthens Your Bones And Prevents The Flu - Save Our Bones

When you’re looking to increase your bone density, chances are you’ve been focusing a lot on your calcium intake, among other things. That’s important, of course, but there’s a little-known mineral that is rarely related to bone health.

It’s one of the Foundation Supplements in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program and it can also be found in many foods, which are listed in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program. Unfortunately, this mineral is more often than not ignored by Mainstream Medicine.

I’m referring to zinc, which plays a very important role in promoting bone density and boosting immunity. And I can’t wait to share this information with you, because you’ll probably never hear it from your doctor.

Today you’ll discover why zinc is crucial to bone mineralization and I’ve also included a zinc-rich recipe from the Save Our Bones companion cookbook, Bone Appétit, that takes just minutes to prepare.

How Zinc Helps Your Bones

Zinc deficiency can cause stunted growth in children, because it is so vital for cellular division and activation. This same ability to influence and regulate cellular function applies to zinc intake in adults, including those with low bone density.

You see, zinc is required for the proper functioning of an enzyme called alkaline phosphatase. This enzyme has a pH of 10, so it’s very alkaline, and it helps osteoblasts do their bone-building work.

Zinc is also crucial for Vitamin D to get into cells where it can work to build bone. In addition, zinc is actually found in the hydroxyapatite mineral crystals, which make up about half of your bones’ weight.

A study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that those with osteoporosis had low levels of zinc in their blood and bones. 1

Warning: Mainstream Medicine Will NEVER Mention How Prescription Drugs Prevent Zinc Absorption

Your doctor will most likely never tell you this: certain commonly-prescribed drugs can decrease levels of zinc in the body. And this might amaze you: the most popular osteoporosis drugs can do that too! Here’s the list:

  • Bisphosphonates, such as Fosamax, Boniva, Actonel, Reclast, Atelvia, and their generic counterparts, when applicable.
  • Antibiotics, specifically tetracyclines and quinolones, inhibit zinc. The reverse is also true: taking zinc supplements fewer than two hours after taking the antibiotic may make the antibiotic less effective.
  • Diuretics may decrease zinc levels by increasing the amount of zinc excreted in the urine.
  • Acid-reducing drugs such as Prilosec and Pepcid can deplete the body of zinc.
  • ACE Inhibitors such as Enalapril maleate (Lexxel, Teczem, Vaseretic, Vasotec) and Captopril (Capoten) attach themselves to zinc molecules, which “bind up” the zinc and prevent it from getting into the tissues where it is needed (such as bone). 2 A 2007 study concludes that “treating heart failure patients with ACE inhibitors may result in zinc deficiency.” 3

So if you’ve taken any of these drugs in the past or are taking them now, getting adequate amounts of zinc is especially important.

Zinc and Your Immune System

It’s cold and flu season in the northern half of the globe. Zinc is therefore especially appropriate to discuss this time of year, because it boosts immunity and can even shorten the duration of a cold. 4 Zinc increases white blood cell production and boosts their ability to fight infection. Zinc also stimulates your immune system to release antibodies and promotes wound healing.

Your thymus gland produces important immune compounds call thymic proteins, and zinc is a vital component of these proteins.

Simply put, your immune system depends on zinc to function properly. And during cold and flu season, it’s especially important to keep your immune system in top shape.

How Much Zinc Should I Take?

While the Recommended Daily Allowance is 8mg for women and 11mg for men, we recommend getting at least 25mg a day of amino acid chelated zinc. Below, you’ll find a list of foods that are high in zinc, and I’ll share a zinc-rich, bone-healthy recipe as well.

Foods High in Zinc

Your body does not store or manufacture zinc, so it needs to be ingested daily. Foods highest in zinc include the following:

Alkalizing Foods

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Almonds
  • Yogurt
  • Mushrooms
  • Garlic
  • Broccoli
  • Radishes
  • Sesame seeds

Acidifying Foods

  • Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans)
  • Peanuts
  • Cashews
  • Tahini
  • Beef
  • Turkey
  • Oysters

Here’s a recipe I want to share with you that includes both pumpkin seeds and beef, two rich sources of zinc. It comes from the Quick Picks section of the Bone Appétit cookbook, which features recipes you can whip up in 20 minutes or less.

Roast Beef Salad

2 Servings


  • 4 cups blended greens or lettuce, shredded
  • ¼ cup sweet red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ medium green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice, (adjust to taste)
  • 4 ounces sliced or cubed beef, cooked (preferably roasted)
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds


  1. Toss greens, onions, and pepper in a large bowl. Mix
 well with oil and garlic.
  2. Cut roast beef into bite sized pieces and toss in with
  3. Mix together olive oil and lemon juice, and pour on
  4. Sprinkle seeds on top of salad.

If you don't already have Bone Appétit, this is just one of the 200+ recipes in the cookbook that helps you eat your way to healthier bones. You also receive three limited bonuses with your order: the 30 Day Meal Planner, Blender Magic, and Calcilicious.

The 30 Day Meal Planner gives you 30 days of pH-balanced menu ideas, so cooking for your bones is easier than ever. Blender Magic is a collection of bone-building smoothies that pack a lot of nutrients into a healthy, delicious drink that’s quick to prepair. And Calcilicious is a handy collection of delicious recipes that are 100% dairy-free and calcium-rich, so you can boost your intake of bioavailable, organic calcium whenever you need to.

You can get all the details here.

Till next time,


1 Atik. “Zinc and senile osteoporosis.” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 1983.
2 Golik A, Zaidenstein R, Dishi V, et al. “Effects of captopril and enalapril on zinc metabolism in hypertensive patients.” J Am Coll Nutr. 1998;17:75-80.
3 Trasobares, E., et al. “Effects of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE i) on zinc metabolism in patients with heart failure.” J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2007; 21 Supple 1:53-5. Epub 2007 Nov 19. Web.

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. ruth ahearn

    Zinc supplements make me sick, glad to know the food sources.

  2. Rosemary

    I have read about metal deposits in our brains, and some researchers think it’s the cause of Alzheimer’s.

    Zinc is one of the metals mentioned. I would not supplement it till they know more. Or, they debunk the theory.

  3. Nancy

    Hi Vivian, I have been hearing lately about freekeh, a grain that is supposed to be very nutritious but I have been unable to find out if it is alkaline or acidic. Would you know? Thank you so much.

    • ruth ahearn

      It is a form of wheat, which is probably acidifying.

  4. Garrett

    50 mg of Zinc Citrate a day. Thinking of doubling the dose now. THANK YOU agian.

  5. Leslie (Ms. L. Carmel)

    Hi! Vivian,

    I Eat Most Of The Things You Listed, And Enjoy Them Very Much.
    And Your Roast Beef Salad Sounds Delicious.
    Thank You As Always, For All You Do.


  6. Sharon Vander Zyl

    I would buy the cookbook if it were a paperback or print media of some kind (not an e-book)

  7. Kay

    Hi Vivian,
    I would love the Bone-Health Exercise program in DVD format! The little buttons above don’t work so I couldn’t vote for it there. I already have the book but it would be so much easier to pop a DVD into my player and do it right along with you!
    Thanks so much!

  8. Reetie

    I am wondering why sesame seeds are listed as alkalizing and tahini is
    listed as acidifying?
    The organic tahini I purchase only includes sesame seeds, which are dry roasted & hulled. Is it the hulling of the seeds that makes it acidifying?
    Reetie in California

  9. Clara

    How much zinc should we need if we don’t get it from food? I know there are zinc supplements out there how much should be taken in supplement form?

    Thank you

  10. Betty

    I tried to send a comment and it said a duplicate comment had been sent. If that is the case why is not showing up in the column of comments? Thanks

    • Betty

      OOPS! Sorry my earlier comment about zinc is here. I guess I didn’t scroll up high enough to see it.

  11. Laura

    Thanks for the info on zinc. I recently purchased and have thoroughly enjoyed reading my own copy of Save Our Bones. A friend had loaned me her copy two years ago and I have tried to follow it from memory. I did have a small increase in bone density in my spine but not my hip. I will continue to follow the program.
    I do not remember coconut in any form being mentioned. Will you please comment on coconut oil, milk, water and solids. Thanks

  12. Betty

    Thanks for this focus on zinc. I’m happy to have a list of foods that contain it some of which are already in my food intake but I will enjoy a wider range with the ones you have shared. By the way, why is tahini acidic, and sesame seeds alkaline? And do almonds change their status if roasted?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Betty, sesame seeds are alkalizing, but most store-bought tahini is acidifying, because it typically contains chemical preservatives, additives, and acidifying oils. 🙂 However, homemade recipes are alkalizing. You can find a recipe for homemade tahini here:

      • Betty

        Thanks for your reply about tahini.

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