Dairy products are held in high esteem in America. Most people recognize a diet without diary as unhealthy. Without dairy foods, how could we obtain sufficient calcium for our bones?
Here are the best plant-based foods for bones: Green vegetables, beans, tofu, sesame seeds and even oranges contain lots of usable calcium, without the problems associated with dairy. Keep in mind, you retain the calcium better and just do not need as much when you do not consume a diet heavy with animal products and sodium, sugar and caffeine.
Many green vegetables have calcium absorption rates of over 50 percent, compared with about 32 percent for milk. Additionally, since animal protein induces calcium excretion in the urine, compared to dairy, the calcium retention from vegetables is higher. All green vegetables are high in calcium. The American,” chicken and pasta” diet-style is significantly low in calcium, so adding dairy as a calcium source to this nutrient poor diet makes superficial sense, it certainly is better than no calcium in the diet. However, it is much more than just calcium that is missing.
The only reason cow’s milk is considered such an important source of calcium is because the American diet is centered on animal foods, refined grains and sugar, all of which are devoid of calcium. Any healthy diet containing a reasonable amount of unrefined plant foods will have sufficient calcium, without needing to include milk. Fruits and vegetables strengthen bones. Researchers found that those who eat the most fruits and vegetables have denser bones. These researchers concluded that fruits and vegetables are not only rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium and other nutrients essential for bone health, but, because they are alkaline, not acid-producing, they do not induce urinary calcium loss. Green vegetables, in particular have a powerful effect on reducing hip fractures, for they are not only rich in calcium, but other nutrients, such as Vitamin K, which is crucial for bone health.
If you chose to consume dairy, use only the fat free dairy products and minimize your intake to small amounts. Remember the 90% rule; eat 90% nutrient rich whole plant foods. Dairy may be a part of that 10%, however, it is not essential for good health and carries potential health risks, especially products containing dairy fat; such as butter and cheese.