Yesterday I attended a wonderful Alkaline Cooking Class run by Naturopath and Blood Microscopist, Niki Angelopoulos. It was fantastic to meet other people, who, like me, are talking about nutrition. We discussed the need to have healthy blood in order to have a healthy body. This can be done by eating alkaline foods, like delicious green vegetables! Niki inspired me to write about calcium today, saying, “If you want osteoporosis and holes in your bones, drink milk and eat cheese.” I can just imagine your faces! Shock horror! But calcium is such a confusing subject and one that the majority of the world doesn’t know much about. However what Niki said is all true! Many of you be reluctant to hear what I have to say, but it is better that you know now before you get osteoporosis or other calcium deficiency related diseases, so keep an open mind!
Calcium is vital for humans, our bones contain large amounts of it, which makes them firm and strong. However dairy products do not provide adequate calcium. They are extremely acidifying in the body and have one of the most acidic pH levels. When you consume these products, your body becomes more acidic too, which is the root cause of disease. To compensate, your body will strip calcium out of your bones to neutralise the acidic condition and bring the body back to an alkaline state. This then leads to arthritis, osteoporosis, joint pain, weak hips, brittle bones and other related diseases. It is therefore hardly surprising that the countries which consume the most dairy are the ones with the most cases of osteoporosis!
On a plant-based diet you can get plenty of calcium from vegetables, especially green foods such as kale, spinach, spirulina and broccoli. Chia seeds and sesame seeds are also fantastic sources. These foods are alkaline-producing, so the body can readily absorb the calcium unlike dairy. To make sure you are getting enough calcium in your body you need limit your intake of red meat, pasteurised milk, white sugar and soft drinks. Smoking, caffeine, alcohol and lack of exercise will also prevent your body from absorbing calcium efficiently, so they are best to avoid.
To build your bones, Magnesium is also paramount. Magnesium converts Vitamin D into its bioactive form, necessary for calcium absorption. Sitting in the sun for 20 minutes a day is the best way to make sure you’re getting Vitamin D and your body is absorbing calcium! The key to obtaining the right amount of calcium is to eat lots of nutritious vegetables, get out in the sun for 20 minutes a day and eat raw when possible for the best calcium absorption.
Here is a table of just a few plant sources of calcium.