We have heard for decades that milk was the go-to for calcium and strong bones but the fact is, this couldn't be further from the truth. Since milk is a product sold by companies represented by a massive industry, marketing is used to convince us that we can't live without it and are putting our health in jeopardy if we choose to abstain from consuming it.
Since dairy is mostly acidic, the act of consuming milk actually calls for your body to pull phosphate from your bones to neutralize it. Phosphate is a molecule that is bound to calcium, so when your body needs phosphate, it naturally has to accept the package deal. Since calcium is pulled from the bones with no real use, it can build up in the body’s arteries causing blockages to occur.
If you follow a plant-based diet or are simply avoiding dairy because of an allergy, it is important to know where you can get good quality sources of plant-based calcium and what additional nutrients increase its absorption.
Tofu, kale, white beans, and calcium-fortified foods are among the best sources of whole food calcium. Eating a varied diet including these foods will help you maintain healthy calcium levels.
Some research has shown that vitamin D3 has the ability to increase absorption of Calcium by 40-50%! This vitamin has so many benefits on the human body and is one many people are commonly deficient in. This is a nutrient mostly obtained from healthy sun exposure, so for those who spend a lot of time indoors during daylight hours or experiencing winter, supplementation can be a game-changer!
This nutrient is another way that massively increases the absorption of Calcium and can help increase bone density. It is not necessary to supplement unless advised by a doctor, but eating Natto (fermented soybeans), you can get this ingredient from a whole food source. Natto is also known to be the best source of vitamin K2 available.
Proper planning goes a long way and takes the edge off when concerns for certain nutrients arise. A balanced, whole food plant-based diet with basic supplementation will ensure nutritional requirements are being met and optimal health is secured.