Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Calcium and Health

Are you getting enough calcium in your diet? Don't rely on pasteurized dairy as a reliable source for obtaining enough calcium. Pasteurized dairy actually causes current stores of calcium in the bone to be leeched out. Because pasteurized dairy has been heated up to destroy "bad" bacteria, beneficial nutrients, proteins, and enzymes are denatured and rendered harmful to the body and do not properly absorb. Good sources for calcium include:
  • Almonds
  • Green leafy vegetables like spinach, bok choy, kale and Chinese Mustard greens, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli
  • Fish such as salmon (wild caught from Alaska) and deep-sea sources like sardines and anchovies
  • Raw dairy products such as milk, cream, butter, and cheese
Most people do not receive adequate calcium in their daily diets and should consider taking a supplement. Use caution when taking calcium as it also must be accompanied by a magnesium component for proper balance and absorption. Selection of good products is important because many are inferior and won't provide the right type of calcium needed. Calcium citrate is the optimal chemical composition of calcium. Check labels on products.

Try Solaray or Lifetime liquid calcium supplements. Liquid is great for children and has a pleasant taste. Check with a qualified health care practitioner or at a health food store to find out which calcium supplement is ideal for you and your individual health. As always, when you are choosing supplements, the condition of your digestive system is critical to determine what you need to take. If your digestion is damaged, like most people in developed countries, you will need different type of supplementation than a person whose digestive tract is healthy. Always take calcium at night for maximum absorption, and before or after a meal is ideal.

Beware of "fortified" and processed foods claiming to contain high amounts of calcium. These "foods" are dangerous to consume and won't provide proper nutrients to your body. Watch out for the following:
  • Pasteurized, low-fat and non-fat milks and dairy products (cheese, yogurt, etc.)
  • Orange juice
  • Soy milk

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