We’ve all heard that milk makes our bones big and strong, but is it really the best source of calcium? In this week’s blog, we share some of the best sources of calcium and spoiler alert: milk isn’t on the list.
BUT FIRST, WHY IS CALCIUM IMPORTANT?
Calcium is used to provide the rigid structure of your skeleton. Nearly 3lbs of your body weight is is-milk-good-for-you calcium and 99% of it is in your bones and teeth.
What about the remaining 10 or so grams? That calcium is found in your nerves, muscles, and blood. Working with magnesium, calcium helps to enable proper nerve and muscle function.
Calcium also assists the blood in clotting and helps maintain the right acid-alkaline balance.
DAIRY AS A SOURCE OF CALCIUM
For most people, calcium intake mainly comes from dairy sources such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. The bad news: dairy products are considered “poor sources of calcium”.
Not only that, but under current industrial methods, cow’s milk is often riddled with bio-engineered hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides—all of which are bad for us and the environment.
Calcium absorption from milk is about 32 percent whereas some leafy green vegetables have a calcium absorption rate of over 50 percent or more.
So, while milk and dairy products have high amounts of calcium, only one-third of it is actually absorbed in the body.
Here are a few examples of the calcium absorption for vegetables:
Broccoli – 53%
Brussels sprouts – 64%
Mustard greens – 64%
Turnip greens – 52%
Kale – 40 to 59%
BEST SOURCES OF CALCIUM
Vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and water provide significant quantities of both calcium and magnesium.
Some examples of better sources of calcium include:
- 2 cups of Kale contain 188mg of calcium (19% daily value)
- 7 Sardines contain 321mg of calcium (32% of daily value)
- ¼ cup of Almonds contains 72mg of calcium (7% of daily value)
- 1 cup of cooked Turnip Greens contains 197mg of calcium (20% daily value)
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