How to Get Enough Calcium Without Dairy (& Why it’s Better)

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When our third child started eating solid foods, we found out that he had a severe dairy allergy. It started with bad gas and sticky stools, then increased skin reactions and even worse indigestion.

Food allergies are common in babies born early, and my son was five weeks old (this whole story and other stories of my birth here).

In response to this new information, I reduced milk from my diet because I was still breastfeeding my son. Although I used to eat only raw and organic forms of milk, I found that I felt much better, lost weight faster, and smoother skin in response to dietary changes. When I was depressed about giving up my favorite raw foods, I was glad to know that my body could not tolerate dairy well.

While the baby and I felt better without cow’s milk products, there was one new thing to worry about: How do we get enough calcium without dairy?

How much calcium do we need?

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body. As we know, vital for strong bones and teeth is very important, and it is also important for muscle growth, healthy blood pressure and skin health.

The recommended daily intake is 1,000 mg of calcium for men and women, and these calcium requirements increase to 1,200 mg for older adults. It can be difficult to keep track of your intake because calcium is not always absorbed properly – which means we may need to use more than we normally think.

For reference, about 30-35% bio-calcium is available from dairy products. Other calcium-rich foods that are more absorbent than dairy include boneless fish and cooked veggies such as bok choy, bananas and broccoli.

Some foods are often recommended as a good source of calcium but they are not so absorbed. For example, spinach contains approximately 5 5% of bioavailable calcium.

Medium options are edema and soy milk (24% bio available), white beans (22%), and sesame seeds (21%).

Bottom line: As you explore the amount of calcium, it is important to consider how easily our bodies can absorb nutrients from different sources of food.

Vitamins that help the body absorb calcium

Another factor to consider when supplying calcium is the other vitamins in your diet.

Vitamin D is required for proper absorption of calcium, a study found that people who were deficient in vitamin D absorbed 14% of calcium from food alone, compared to 58% of people with adequate levels Percent is absorbed. Fortunately, many natural food sources of calcium (such as fatty fish) are also good sources of vitamin D.

Getting enough magnesium is also important, as it helps convert vitamin D into its active form. Magnesium is also used in the production of the hormone calcitonin. Calcitonin contains calcium in the bones, not in the bloodstream, reduces the chances of osteoporosis, some forms of arthritis, heart attack, and kidney stones.

Keep in mind, however, that magnesium must be in the right proportions to be used properly. It is important to take care of calcium from artificial sources that reduce magnesium intake.

Vitamin K is also important for calcium synthesis, as it helps keep calcium in the bones and away from arteries and muscles. Great sources include deep leafy greens, grass-fed butter, chicken broth and natto (a form of fermented soybean).

In addition to getting plenty of these nutrients, you may want to consider limiting your grain intake. Cereals are high in phytic acid, which can block the proper amount of calcium.

Bottom line: Calcium is ineffective without magnesium, vitamin K, and vitamin D. Eating too many grains makes calcium absorption more difficult.

Why calcium supplements are not the answer

Because getting enough calcium every day without dairy seems so complicated, you may be tempted to try calcium supplements (like I did). However, this does not seem to be the best choice. (Why is it here?)

Calcium increases your risk of drinking too much calcium. This can increase the risk of kidney stones, heart disease and more.

As Chris Craser explains, excess calcium can be painful, but a calcium diet is considered safe and healthy:

In addition to being ineffective for bone health, calcium supplements are associated with certain health risks. Studies on the relationship between calcium and heart disease (CVD) show that calcium deficiency protects against heart disease, but excess calcium can increase this risk. A large study of 24,000 men and women between the ages of 35 and 64, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in 2012, found that those who took calcium supplements had a lower heart rate during the 11-year study period The risk of having a seizure was 139 percent higher. Eating does not increase the risk of calcium. A meta-analysis of a study of more than 12,000 participants published in BMJ also found that the risk of having a heart attack due to excess calcium was 31%, stroke 20% and all other causes up to 9%. The risk of death increases.

To stay healthy, calcium should be used from real sources of food, not artificial supplements or artificially fortified foods such as orange juice (where the artificially added calcium only enters the bottom of the carton).

Non-dairy sources of calcium

Although dairy is considered a good source of calcium, there are many people who are lactose intolerant, allergic or otherwise sensitive to milk. In fact, it is estimated that 65% of the human population has a low capacity to process milk before birth.

Fortunately, there are many nutritional ways you can get calcium without dairy. Here are some of the best sources of calcium. And they all fit the budget!

Bone broth

Bone broth is a great source of calcium and a lot of minerals, and it’s so easy to make (but if you’re looking for a store-bought version, I recommend it!) In a broth made of healthy bones It also contains amino acids that are great for other areas of your health, including digestion, skin, nervous system and joints.

The broth can be made from chicken, beef, mutton, basin, or even fish bones for just a penny. It is best to slow down the bones for a long time, as it dissolves calcium and other minerals in the water. As the Westin A Price Foundation states:

Science confirms what our grandmother knew. Homemade chicken broth helps relieve colds. The stock contains minerals in the form that the body can easily absorb – not only calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulfur and minerals. It contains broken material of cartilage and tendon. Things like chondroitin sulfates and glucosamine, which are now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain.

Fish with bones

Fat fish, especially those with bones that are still intact, have an impressive calcium content and are easily absorbed. Canned fish such as salmon and sardines are an easy and inexpensive way to fill you up, as the bones become soft and edible during the canning process. Just make sure to buy BPA free tins and cans whenever possible!

I know, you may have thought about eating sardines that you got your nose tired, but as Diane of Balanced Bites, he was right:

You need to put on your big boy’s or girl’s pants, take a ton of wild sardines, a little sea salt and lemon or hot sauce, and dig in.

A six-ounce serving of canned wild salmon contains more than 110 milligrams of absorbable calcium and canned sardines at the same level (or higher). Because these foods are also a good source of vitamin D, they increase the digestion of calcium and make it more usable.

(If you want to know, I get my salmon and other seafood from Vital Choice, and from the Syracuse Vendor Market (vendor market brand).

Dark, leafy green

Deep-leafed vegetables are another great source of calcium and are probably your best bet if you’re a vegetarian. However, not all leafy greens are created equal. Colliard greens, turnip greens, bok choy, kale, and broccoli are all highly regarded as absorbent sources of calcium.

Deep-leafed vegetables are also a great source of folate, vitamins A, C, E and K and B vitamins. Jonathan Baylor, author Calorie intakeIt is worth mentioning that if you do not make any other changes in your diet, you will see positive results by adding a few extra green leafy vegetables in a day.

If you’re looking for a diet program to double (or triple) your veggie intake, I recommend the Whales Diet Protocol because of its emphasis on vegetables and meat.

Getting calcium; without dairy

Whether you are allergic to dairy or you are just trying to avoid it for personal health reasons, there are many ways you can get enough calcium without dairy. Completion is not necessary! Just try to eat calcium-rich foods such as broth, bone fish, vegetables (especially green leafy types), and various healthy sources of fats, proteins, and probiotics as part of a different diet.

Although the above suggestions worked great for me and my family, keep in mind that I am not a doctor and cannot tell you what your individual needs are. Be sure to meet with health professionals to check your nutritional levels and discuss the best sources of calcium for your calories.

The article was reviewed medically by Dr. Lauren Jeffers, a Certificate in Admissions Medical and Pediatrics. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk to your doctor or work with a doctor at Study MD.

Do you drink milk Do you try other ways to get your calcium? Share below!


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