Over the years, we’ve been heavily marketed to by the dairy industry. The most common food pyramid, constructed by the US Department of Agriculture, suggests that we should be drinking three glasses of low-fat milk per day. However, recent research by the Harvard School of Public Health, suggests that milk isn’t an essential part of our diet and that too much can be harmful.
Research also states that we only need the calcium present in cow’s milk and other dairy products for approximately the first two or three years of our life. Beyond that, it is no more beneficial than the calcium you would find in the foods listed below.
Yes, calcium is a very important mineral that we need to grow strong and healthy bones, however there are many other sources from which we can get it other than cows milk. And sometimes, there are those of us who can’t digest it, who suffer with IBS or lactose intolerance. These foods can be considered to be a better source of calcium than milk, because our bodies absorb them more efficiently.
1) Sardines and Salmon: If you’re short on cash, canned salmon is always a good option and just half a tin will provide you with up to 44% of your daily calcium intake.
2) Leafy Greens: Kale, spinach, bok choy, cress and kelp are known to contain a lot of calcium. Many of these go great in a salmon thai red curry.
3) Almonds: There are so many great ways to get more almonds in your diet right now. Almond milk has long been a viable substitute for cow’s milk and almond meal is a great replacement for flour in baking.
4) Bone Broth: Make warming, restorative bone broth from chicken carcasses or beef bones. Make sure to let it simmer for a minimum of 4 hours to extract enough minerals from the bones. Skim any foam from the top of your broth every half an hour to remove impurities. Makes a great soup base for your leafy greens and a hearty chicken breast.
5) Green vegetables: Edamame, broccoli, green beans and okra are great sources of calcium. So don’t pass on the edamame at your local sushi restaurant. Kids love to pop the beans out of the shell!
6) Seeds: Poppy, Sesame and Chia are the best sources. Try them in bliss balls, smoothies or sprinkled over granola.
7) Oranges: Choose to eat the fruit over juice to maximise calcium intake and keep sugar down. If you simply can’t do that, juice your own and leave the pulp in!
What do you cook to get more calcium into your body? Share with us below!
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