I felt a strong sense of urgency to write this blog about calcium because it is the most important mineral in our body, and we need lots of it. Sadly, we have been led to believe that dairy is a great source of calcium; that milk makes healthy bones, and we should drink it daily. This is the furthest thing from the truth. If you consume cow’s milk from conventionally raised cattle, the milk contains antibiotics, growth hormones, allergenic proteins, chemicals and inflammatory compounds and growth factors. All of these can lead to cancer. Added to this, industrialized dairy is pasteurized. This is a process whereby liquid, and food is heated to high temperatures to kill harmful bacteria and viruses. At the same time, it destroys all the minerals. The dairy prior to the Industrial Revolution (before 1940) was not pasteurized and was safe to consume and had calcium intact. This is no longer the case. Milk that is good for you and safe comes ONLY from cows that consume foods that nature intended, grazing on choice pasture outdoors and is not pasteurized. With that said, if you can source a farmer that sells raw milk coming from cows or goats that would be ideal.

Cheese and yogurt fall into this category as well. If these products are derived from pasteurized dairy they are void of calcium and other minerals.

The best sources of calcium come from the following foods:

Dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, collard and spinach have a high calcium content and should be included in your daily salads or juices. Do remember that cows eat grass for their source of minerals!

Sardines, especially with the bones, are also a great way to get calcium. Try to include them in your salads. Many people do not like the taste of sardines, but you can easily camouflage the flavor through the dressings and other added vegetables. It is worth a try as you will also benefit from the omega 3 fatty acids.

Most people do not realize that seeds, especially sesame seeds, are loaded with calcium. I ask my clients to include sesame, hemp, and pumpkin seeds in their salads for that extra bit of crunch that we all like!

Let’s not forget strength training. When you work out with resistance it is as if you are injecting calcium. Your bones, ligaments and tissues are getting the hit they need to grow and maintain strength.

Some people think they can just pop a calcium supplement and be good, but this is not the case. Supplementation with calcium does have its challenges like all supplements that do not come from nature as they must be absorbed efficiently. If you end up with an excess of calcium in your blood due to poor absorption, this excess can lead to stones. It is very important when it comes to supplementation to work with a health care practitioner so that you can be guided correctly.

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