Calcium—and whether or not you’re getting enough of it—is a hot topic in the world of nutrition. While calcium is one of the most abundant minerals in our body—and among the most important—the dairy industry has done a great job of leading us to believe that we need to drink high amounts of milk in order to meet our daily calcium requirements.
Before I go any further I want to stress that you do not have to drink milk to get your daily dose of calcium. Which is good news for dairy intolerant people, like myself. There is no denying that most dairy products are high in calcium, and good for you. But milk is not the only way you can get your daily dose.
Whether you’re lactose intolerant, have issues with the casein found in many dairy products, (namely cow dairy) or just don’t like drinking milk. There are a number of alternative sources that you can turn to to get your calcium. Including—
- Dark leafy greens, raw & cooked
The best part about the sources listed above? The calcium found within them is actually easier for your body to absorb than the calcium found in most dairy products. Which is a big win for those of us who are dairy intolerant 🙂
But the list doesn’t end there. Some other good natural sources of calcium include—
- Sesame seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Salmon, with bones
- Brussel sprouts
- Blackstrap molasses
Whether you’re having trouble digesting dairy or not, it’s a good idea to encorporate some of these calcium rich foods into your diet—as most of them are filled with a host of other nutritional benefits.
If you are turning to dairy for your calcium—and there is nothing wrong if you are—make sure that—
- You are mindful of the fat content. Vitamin D—which is typically added to milk to make it extra nutritious—is a fat soluble vitamin. So if you are eating or drinking low fat dairy products your body will not be able to properly absorb this vitamin. when it comes to dairy, full fat is the way to go. The bonus of course being that full fat dairy products typically taste better 😉
- You’re choosing organic products. Non-organic dairy products are typically full of preservatives, additives and even chemicals that you don’t need in your body. So spend the extra buck and go organic.
When it comes to your diet, the important thing to remember is that as long as you are eating a variety of whole foods—and not eating the same thing everyday—chances are good that you are already getting most of the minerals that you need. That said, there is no harm in taking vitamin supplements, like vitamin D to further ensure that your daily requirements are being met. Especially during the winter months when you’re not getting any vitamin D from the sun.
If you have any questions about calcium, or any other dietary needs please feel free to reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or come visit me at the Balance In Motion studio. I am in the office on Mondays and Wednesdays.