Tuna Steak and Calcium Rich Soup

Tuna Steak and Calcium Rich Soup

"To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone" – Reba McEntire.
May. A modern-day adaption of the Latin word Maius, named from the ancient Greek goddess of growth Maia. The naming is also identified with the Roman goddess of fertility, Bona Dea, whose festival would begin on the 1st of May. Conversely, the Roman poet Ovid provided a second etymology, in which he says that May is named for the maiores, the Latin word for 'Elders'.
These days, May is known as Osteoporosis Awareness Month throughout a lot of the Western World. So, to maintain our bones and keep Reba happy, we need to ensure that we are getting in the vital vitamins and minerals that keep our bones healthy and strong! But before we get into the delicious recipes of the month, let's talk a little about Osteoporosis.
Defined as a chronic disease in which your bones become less dense and more fragile over time, Osteoporosis affects approximately over 1 million Australians. In fact, in those aged 50 and over, 66% of this population has Osteoporosis or osteopenia. It is more common in older women, though men are still at risk.
From a nutrition standpoint, there are many ways to bolster your health and increase the amounts of bone-specific vitamins and minerals you are consuming. We know that calcium is one of the major contributors to bone health, but what else can we eat?
There are many other, less known nutrients that all assist in our bone homeostasis that we inadvertently consume daily. Read more, following the recipe on key bone loving nutrients.


  • Calcium Rich (Bone Loving) Soup:
  • Ingredients:
  • 2 cups barley
  • 8 cups of water (for barley)
  • 14 cups of water (for soup)
  • 1.5kg beef soup bones (locate these from your local butcher)
  • 1 yellow onion, unpeeled, quartered
  • 10 garlic cloves, unpeeled, crushed (let it sit for 2 minutes before)
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
  • 3 cups kale, loosely chopped
  • 3 sheets of nori seaweed crumbled
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Method:
  • In a medium bowl, soak the barley in 8 cups of water for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and discard the water
  • Bring water, beef bones, onion, garlic, bay leaf, and vinegar to boil in a large soup pot. Skim foam from the stock for the first few minutes, then reduce heat, simmer and cook for 2 hours, uncovered.
  • Strain the stock and discard or save the ingredients for further use. Rinse and wipe the pot clean, return stock to pot and place on a low heat to simmer. Calcium is more readily absorbed when consumed with fat, so keep it floating around on top of the stock.
  • Add barley and mushrooms, cooking for 1 ½ hours, covered. Add the kale, nori seaweed, soy sauce and pepper, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Grilled Tuna steaks:
  • Ingredients:
  • Tuna steaks
  • 50ml Olive oil
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • Fresh basil, to taste
  • 4 Garlic cloves, crushed
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Oregano, to taste
  • Method:
  • Combine oil, onions, basil, garlic, red pepper flakes and oregano into a bowl. Place tuna into the mixture and marinate for 1 – 2 hours.
  • Grill until seared on both sides
  • Serve with kale or cabbage to complete the meal, or serve it alongside the soup for a complete, bone-healthy meal!


Key minerals that influence our bones are as such: boron, calcium, iron, magnesium and silica. You are probably looking at this list and know all about calcium, iron and magnesium, but what about boron and silica?

These inorganic substances are not uncommon in our diets, but the amount we consume is significantly less than the more common minerals. Boron plays a valuable role in osteogenesis, as it impacts the steroid hormones around the body, which assists in the prevention of loss of calcium through urine. This further affects bone demineralisation.
Silica, a trace element found commonly in the crust of the Earth, has also been found to be beneficial for bone health. In fact, silica deficiency has been closely linked to poorly formed joints, reduced contents of cartilage and collagen, in conjunction with a disruption of the mineral balance in the femur and vertebrae. Fret not, however, as the common intake of silica in our diets is more than double our iron and zinc intake.
The common minerals associated with bone health, calcium, iron and magnesium, are often found in abundance in our regular diets. Calcium is predominantly stored in the bones and actually accounts for around 1-2% of our total body weight! As well as assisting in bone health, calcium plays a vital role in cell signalling and moderating muscle actions.
The regular intake of iron is essential for regular growth and development. It is predominantly used in the production of haemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells that helps carry oxygen around your body. Having a chronic deficiency in iron can lead to a condition known as anaemia, a condition linked to bone loss and the development of Osteoporosis.
Magnesium is an abundant mineral in the body and is found in many foods. It is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate many diverse biochemical reactions in the body. These include protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood pressure control and blood glucose control. It contributes to the structural development of bone and plays a role in the active transport of calcium and potassium ions across cell membranes.
Beyond the essential minerals, some essential vitamins can impact bone health. Vitamins are split into two different forms: fat-soluble and water-soluble. The bone-specific vitamins essential to include in a regular diet are the fat-soluble vitamins D and K, alongside the water-soluble C and B12 (Cobalamin).
Vitamin K, specifically K2, is the most beneficial to bone health out of the three isotopes of vitamin K. It assists in reducing calcium in the arteries by infusing it back into your bones and teeth. It also stimulates osteoblast differentiation and also protects them from apoptosis, the process of programmed cell death.
Vitamin D is one of the more commonly known vitamins that influence bone health. In fact, a deficiency in adulthood can lead to osteomalacia, a condition where the bones soften and can lead to an increased risk of fracture. Food sources are hard to come by, as vitamin D is mainly synthesised via direct sunlight! However, there are options during the winter months, when the sun is hard to come by. Fatty fish, fortified milks and cereals are easier to obtain sources, but if you find some lovely sun-washed mushrooms, they are a viable source of vitamin D.
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, has always been associated throughout history with our health, well back to Ancient Egyptian times. Scurvy is the most common disease-related to a lack of vitamin C in our diets; however, it is also associated with collagen synthesis. Collagen is the main structural protein in the extracellular matrix of our body's various connective tissues. This infers that a long-term deficiency in vitamin C can lead to impaired collagen synthesis and production, which can lead to a diagnosis of multiple bone-related diseases, such as osteogenesis imperfecta.
Finally, the last vitamin that contributes to our bone health is vitamin B12. Also known as cobalamin, B12 works in DNA synthesis and fatty acid and amino acid metabolism. Alongside these benefits, B12 assists in synthesising myelin, which relates to the development of the myelin sheaths. It also supports the maturation of red blood cells within the bone marrow.
Vitamin B12 and its influences on bone health are not fully discovered. It was revealed to be related to Osteoporosis and fractures in patients afflicted by a specific condition related to a deficiency with B12; pernicious anemia – simply a deficiency in red blood cell production through a lack of vitamin B12.
And that concludes this instalment of bone loving facts! Until next time- Stay (Osteo) Strong!
Team OsteoStrong

Team OsteoStrong


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