Whole Food and Nutrition

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Want Strong Bones? Skip the Milk!

April 2nd, 2008 extracts from Mitra Ray newsletter issue #9

The digestion of protein creates an acidic environment, and the body responds by pulling calcium bicarbonate from bones to offset that acidity the bicarbonate helps to reduce the acidity, but the calcium is lost by the wayside in this attempt by the body to rectify the problem. So it is not that we don't get enough calcium in our diet, but rather we lose it from the high acidity. Taking more calcium as a supplement does not resolve the main cause - acidity. The only foods that are alkaline in our diet are fruits and vegetables in their raw form. Calcium loss is a factor in osteoporosis. Drinking more milk and eating more cheese won't help either - it will make things worse as the body now has to deal with all of that protein, and the cycle of leaching calcium from the bones begins again. Another byproduct of protein digestion is amonia, which the liver has to detox, putting the body at risk for liver damage as well. The answer isn't to stop eating protein, however. The answer is to get your protein from vegetables, nuts, and grains, all of which contain healthy amounts of adequate protein for growth, as well as carbohydrates that the body can convert to energy.

So how do we get enough absorbable calcium into our diets if we aren't consuming dairy?
Far healthier sources of calcium come from plant foods. Here are a few excellent choices:
White Beans
Soy Beans or Soy Nuts
Baked Beans
Okra
Spinach
Collard Greens
Mustard Greens
Turnip Greens
Kale
Swiss Chard
Bok Choy
Broccoli
Brussels Sprouts
Sesame Seeds
Almonds
Oranges
Tofu
Rhubarb
Also, Juice Plus Complete is an excellent source of dietary calcium. Make a shake with chocolate or vanilla Complete and soy milk if you need a quick snack, or as a pre-or-post-exercise drink.
Lastly, thin white females are especially prone to lose calcium, add menopause and you have all 4 ingredients for osteo. As important as it is to eat calcium-rich foods, it's equally important to do weight-bearing exercise, even if you don't have a weight problem. It strengthens bones, muscles, and ligaments, thus retaining calcium.