Add This Ingredient To A Glass Of Water For Strong Bones

Nutrients that support the health of our bones can be found in many of the foods we eat, but did you know the same can be said for numerous beverages, too? Milk is probably the first drink that comes to mind, seeing as it's rich in calcium and vitamin D, two nutrients essential to building bone strength in a person's early years. Or perhaps you're picturing a green smoothie blended with spinach, kale, and other bone-enhancing leafy greens. While these are certainly great options, all you may need to strengthen your bones is a simple glass of water — as long as you add this one tangy spice to it.

We're talking about ground cayenne pepper. This rust-colored spice is derived from dried cayenne peppers and can be added to a variety of dishes ranging from meat to sweet potatoes, fish, and stews. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in just 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper spice, you'll find 7.84 milligrams of calcium, 107 milligrams of potassium, 8.06 milligrams of magnesium, and 1.44 grams of fiber. Important nutrients like vitamin A, E, and K can also be found in ground cayenne pepper. Research has shown that many of these nutrients are critical to the health of our bones (via the Open Orthopaedics Journal).

The calcium, potassium, and magnesium in cayenne pepper supports bone health

Just like milk, you'll get a healthy dose of calcium by adding ground cayenne pepper to your glass of water. Our bones contain calcium salts, one of which is calcium phosphate, explains the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Calcium phosphate ensures that the bones are strong and solid. If you don't consume enough calcium, the body begins to leech that calcium from your bones, thereby increasing your susceptibility to osteoporosis and bone breakages.

The potassium in cayenne pepper spice is another nutrient that may support your bone health. Findings from a 2017 study published in Osteoporosis International found a link between potassium consumption and increased bone mineral density in older adults in Korea. Also found in ground cayenne pepper is magnesium, an often underrated nutrient when it comes to bone health. Researchers from a 2012 scientific review published in the Open Orthopaedics Journal outline a study in which daily magnesium supplementation boosted bone mineral density in Israeli women diagnosed with osteoporosis.

How much cayenne pepper to add to your glass of water

Cayenne pepper has vitamin K, another under-recognized nutrient in relation to bone health. Researchers from the previously mentioned 2012 scientific review note that a lack of vitamin K makes us more prone to fractures. Oppositely, taking vitamin K supplements has been shown to strengthen bones and lessen bone turnover. Researchers from a 2016 scientific article published in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism explain that bone turnover is a natural bodily process in which bones are broken down and replaced with the formation of new bone. However, greater bone turnover is seen in connection with osteoporosis, which can lead to fractures due to increased bone deterioration. Thankfully, the vitamin K in cayenne pepper may help fight against this.

To create your own cayenne pepper and water concoction at home, Healthline suggests adding in 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder for every 1 cup of water. Mind you, cayenne pepper packs a punch in terms of heat, so start slow, as it may cause your eyes to tear up or prompt discomfort in the nose and throat.