Calcium makes up an important part of any diet. Calcium is needed for bone and teeth health, blot clotting, nerve transmissions and regulating heart rhythms. A deficiency in the diet can lead to problems like osteoporosis, a weakening of the bones. Calcium is obtained by the body either by absorbing it from the food we eat or stealing it from our skeletal structure.

Dairy and milk has been associated with strengthening bones, however more studies are showing that dairy could do more harm than good. Studies have shown that drinking milk did not help to reduce the eventual disease of osteoporosis and in fact actually caused the patients to have other problems such as high cholesterol, higher risk of hearth attack, allergies, asthma, Parkinson’s disease and more. It has been found that countries that have the highest number of milk drinkers also have the highest numbers of people living with osteoporosis and heart disease. But, according to the dairy industry, their products are supposed to reduce all of this!

Part of the reason is animal products are hard on our bodies. Our bodies are normally alkaline. In order to digest the proteins we have to create more acid in our stomachs. To neutralize the effect and maintain a neutral pH, our bodies steal calcium from our bones.

dark-leafy-greens1So how do we fix this and get the proper calcium into our diets? Plants are an extremely good source of calcium. In fact, dairy foods did not even become part of the diet until about 10,000 years ago and even then they were consumed in low quantities. For maximum benefits, we also need other vitamins, like vitamin D, so make sure you’re getting at least 15 minutes a day of sunshine!

Good sources of calcium are:

  • almond butter
  • blackstrap molasses
  • bok choy
  • broccoli
  • butternut squash
  • collard greens
  • dried figs
  • kale
  • mustard greens
  • sesame seeds
  • sesame tahini
  • soybeans
  • soymilk
  • sweet potato
  • turnip greens

and even legumes such as black beans, northern beans, kidney beans or navy beans! A regular exercise routine will also help to keep bones strong and flexible.

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