Do you need to eat dairy to meet your Calcium needs?

Published December 1, 2018

Are you worried about going dairy free and not getting…

Are you worried about going dairy free and not getting enough calcium?

Maybe you’ve been told that your bones will weaken and break if you do?

I understand how concerning this is…

But is this the truth?

Calcium is important for the health of your bones and is involved in many processes in the body…

Your heart, muscles and nerves all need a sufficient dietary intake to function well.

But simply eating dairy isn’t the only – or ideal – option.

Why?

There are a number of reasons.

The wonderful book called The Devil In The Milk shares the research into the A1 casein (protein) commonly found in dairy.

As the author discusses, A1 dairy consumption is linked to both heart disease and oxidative stress so it’s not the answer for those of us who want to improve our health and wellbeing…

What about switching to the A2 type?

While it’s certainly a better choice, it’s not just the type of protein that makes dairy pose health risks.

Dairy can also come with a toxic load.

The study Toxins in Cow’s Milk and Human Milk noted that the plants eaten by cows may contain toxic substances, be tainted with the residue of pesticides or herbicides and that the antibiotics commonly used in farming can also harm human health.

It’s scary!

Because calcium is so important for our health, though, Mother nature has provided a variety of tasty non-dairy options including:

 

  • Seeds (poppy, sesame and chia)
  • Fish like sardines and salmon (with the bones)
  • Tofu
  • Certain leafy greens (kale and bok choy)
  • Coconut milk
  • Nuts (almonds and Brazil)
  • Scallops and mussels

 

There are other steps you can take to maximize the benefits from the calcium you consume…

Remember it’s important to get enough magnesium, ensure sufficient vitamin D levels, and remember to exercise regularly…

As these all work to also boost your bone density.

There are also certain factors that decrease our ability to use the calcium we eat…

Following a high protein diet can deplete the body’s calcium stores…

Plus, our calcium balance declines at menopause because women are less able to absorb it from the gut and often lose more through their urine.

Ensuring sufficient calcium levels throughout life is key and healthy non-dairy options will help you to both do this and to stay well.

 

xx Nik

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References:

https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/calcium

https://keithwoodford.wordpress.com/2010/05/29/updating-devil-in-the-milk/

https://keithwoodford.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/devil-update-may2010.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4756530/

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1359084021000006830?journalCode=ijne20

 

Nik Toth