Lets begin with ways calcium is lost from our bodies, (stop the leak so to speak), before we worry about getting enough.
- Caffeine: Coffee, pop, teas containing caffeine causes increased calcium lost
- Refined Sugar: Usable calcium absorption decreases substantially when digested with sugar
- Phosphorus: High levels can lead to leaching calcium from the bones to keep the proper ratio. High levels are found in meat, grains and pop.
- Salt: Increases excretion of calcium
- Fiber: Can affect mineral absorption
- Vitamin D: Needed for bone formation
Some Myths to Keep in Mind!
- Milk is good for everyone: Milk is one of the top food allergens! Any one of the 25 proteins contained in milk may induce allergic reactions. Lactase is the enzyme need to breakdown the milk protein, and most of us stop manufacturing this enzyme early in life. Common symptoms of lactose intolerance are bloating, gas, and abdominal cramping or diarrhea.
- Dairy products prevent osteoporosis: During the process of pasteurization milk may lose up to 50% of its available calcium. In order for proper transportation and absorption fat, naturally found in milk before processing, is necessary. This means low fat or skim milk can make calcium unavailable.
- Calcium Supplements: You must work on the above factors (stop the leak) and then consider absorption rates. Here are some tips;
- Best absorbed calcium: Calcium citrate, Calcium gluconate, Calcium hydroxapetite
- Choose a formula of calcium combined with other minerals to keep the balance
Non-Dairy Sources for Calcium!
Compare these to 1 cup of whole cow’s milk, which contains 288 mg of calcium:
- Made from 2 oz of sesame seeds and 2 oz of almonds yields 712mg calcium
- Made from 2 oz of sesame seeds and 2 tbsp of Barbados molasses yields 940mg calcium
- Nut milk: Calcium has not been heated or cooked, highly absorbable, easily digested!!
- Almonds, hazelnuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, nut milk or butters
- Lamb’s quarters (232mg), Collard greens (74mg), Turnip Greens (53mg), Kale (47mg)
- Blackstrap (137mg), Barbados (49mg)
Beans and Rice: 1 cup portions (23mg-460mg)
- Brown, Chickpeas, kidney, navy, pinto, soy and tofu (traditionally prepared!!), wild rice,
Seaweed: 3 ½ oz portions
- Agar (54mg), Irish moss (72mg), Kelp (68mg), Wakame (150mg)
Take in a variety of fresh vegetables, whole grains, seeds and nuts, fresh fruits, low protein and low fat healthy diet for a healthy balanced intake of calcium and other essential minerals.