A New Perspective on Calcium and Dairy Products

calcium food

Today I’m bringing up a topic that seems almost too large to tackle down and yank out the root.

Canada’s Food Guide tells us we should have 2-3 servings of dairy products per day and I’m going to outright say that they are wrong. Actually, you need zero servings of dairy products/day to be healthy and I recommend maximum only a couple of servings a week for most people.

The question that always follows my telling others not to have dairy is, “Where will I get my calcium?” And that’s where this article comes in, to answer that very question.

Where will you get your calcium?

First, let’s talk about bones. Yes, bones contain concentrated amounts of the macromineral calcium. But did you know that bones are also the hiding place of many, many, many other macro, micro, and trace minerals?

Magnesium and phosphorous are the other two macrominerals that form bone but like I already mentioned, almost all minerals are found in bones and important to bone health.

Vitamins are important in bone health as well. Vitamin K2 is the recent talk of town, as scientists discovered that K2 forms the glue that holds the minerals together. Vitamin D is like the conductor of an orchestra, letting all the molecules know where they need to be.

Other vitamins such as vitamin C, E, A, B vitamins and more all have some role to play even if it is not a direct role.

So yes, calcium is important, but even more important is balancing the calcium out with all of the other beneficial nutrients.

Calcium Supplements (rule of thumb = don’t take them)

Calcium comes in many different forms when supplemented. There is calcium carbonate, coral calcium, the calcium that comes from algae and more.

Which one should you be supplementing?

First ask yourself why you want to supplement in the first place. Do you have a genetic disposition for low bone density? Do you not exercise? Are you entering menopause? Are you in late stage pregnancy?

If you answered no to any of those questions than you probably do not need to be supplementing and can obtain enough from food sources. Instead supplement a good trace mineral combo like the Fulvic Acid from Sunwarrior or Concentrace.

Calcium that supplements that come from coral or rock are harmful to your health. I NEVER (ever) recommend anyone take these. I cannot stress this enough. Get off of these supplements as soon as possible. You can switch them for a healthier supplement that is beneficial to your bones.

Calcium supplements from coral or rock can lead to bad calcification within the body which then may lead to certain chronic diseases like arthritis.

The calcium from algae seems to be a safer option. I really like the Bone Renewal supplement by the Synergy Company that I just heard of the other day.

What I like about it is that is contains all of the important co-factors (complimentary nutrients) so that the bones are actually utilizing the minerals correctly and it is not leading to an imbalance in nutrients in the body…which causes problems.

The main problem with supplements in general is that every year scientists are discovering new important cofactors that are needed alongside the calcium. So we don’t really know the whole story as of 2014. I would prefer to wait it out until a more clear picture is painted and instead make sure I am getting enough sun, weight-bearing exercise, and eating bioavailable food sources of minerals.

Let’s Talk About Dairy

How do animals maintain their bones if they are cut off of dairy products after infancy? Chew on that question for a while.

It’s because whole plant based foods contain a lot of minerals and the animal fats and healthy meats contain the complimentary nutrients (like fat soluble vitamins).

Dairy is acidic and mucous forming in the body. Over 90% of people are intolerant to dairy products in some form or another (check your skin conditions, digestive problems, hormone issues, etc.).

Also most of the dairy on the market is FULL of traces of pesticides, herbicides, plastics, bacteria, fungi and other little yummies. They pasteurize the milk to hide the extreme low quality of it. Don’t forget that dairy products are also a source of antibiotics and synthetic hormones.

On top of that, dairy is a less bioavailable source of calcium and minerals than other food sources.

Eating For Bone Health

Almonds are one of the highest sources of calcium. So are green leafy veggies. Some health professionals tell you that you need to eat massive quantities of these foods to get the same amount of calcium and this is not true…let me explain.

When a glass of milk is measured for its mineral content, calcium shows up as high. When almonds are measured as lower (but still pretty good). But this doesn’t explain how available that calcium is to our bodies and how much we will absorb.

In general plant based sources of calcium are more easily absorbed than dairy products so you need less to get the same amount of calcium into your body and being used properly.

Grains/nuts/seeds/legumes/beans must be soaked to deactivate enzyme inhibitors that block mineral absorption, but once soaking is done, the minerals will absorb well.

Refined grains and sugar actually pull minerals out of the bones!! So stop eating these foods.

Have a great day!