Non-dairy sources for Calcium

Uncategorized Aug 27, 2020

When most of us think CALCIUM we think dairy - specifically milk and cheese. This is probably because of the mass amounts of marketing that goes towards this food group. I often get people asking what my take is on dairy because of the conflicting information.

Here's my view: after the age of 4 years old the enzyme LACTASE (that breaks down all dairy lactose molecules) decreases and diminishes by 90%. This means that our bodies may not be apt to digest dairy properly - so some may experience bloating, headaches, weight gain etc. For myself dairy does affect my digestive system - but I do enjoy the finer cheeses because I love cheese!

When coaching my clients I go through a mini challenge - 3 days with NO DAIRY and we track a few factors. Then the client can decide on how much dairy they want to keep in the diet! 

So if you are choosing to not focus on dairy to get your calcium intake what even is Calcium? It's a mineral in our body that is essential in the formation of bones, prevention of osteoporosis, nerve transmission and helps prevent blood clotting. Calcium is also very important in maintaining healthy blood pressure.        

So when dairy is not the best option for someone (especially who is lactose intolerant, has IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), or who is vegan and does not consume animal bi-products) how can they get their daily intake of calcium? Fortunately, there are plenty of other plant based foods that contain calcium and here are a few:

Vegetables (Mg/100g)

  • Broccoli (47mg)
  • Chard (51mg)
  • Collards (232mg)
  • Dandelion (187mg)
  • Kale (150mg)
  • Kelp (168mg)
  • Kidney Beans (143mg)
  • Parsley (138mg)
  • Parsnip (36mg)
  • Turnips (30mg)
  • Watercress (120mg)

Nuts and Seeds (Mg/100g)

  • Almonds (264mg)
  • Brazil nuts (160mg)
  • Raisins (50mg)
  • Sesame seeds (975mg)
  • Walnuts (98mg)

 

Some dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream) works to acidify the blood (just as sugar does), essentially dissolving calcium from the bone.

           

 

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