My mom is getting on my nerves lately with her concern in my way of eating. Being a conventional doctor, she thinks I dont get enough calcium because I don't eat dairy. She wants me to take supplements and frankly I think that is stupid. What are your opinions? What paleo foods are calcium-rich and what can I tell her to convince her I am okay?!
I have the same problem - except it is my sister that is nagging me, mercilessly. I found this article very useful: http://whole9life.com/2012/02/what-about-calcium/
Spinach, canned salmon with bones, broccoli, brussels sprouts, turnip greens...
Here's a link that shows foods that have 300mg of calcium (one serving of calcium) http://sunnybrook.ca/uploads/CNCalciumRichFoodList2005.pdf
First off, getting magnesium is more important than calcium - so if you are going to take any supplements, I highly recommend magnesium citrate - which, according to Robb Wolf, "has played a large role in the evolution of our genetics." He aslo recommends a Vitamin D3 supplement if you aren't getting enough sun exposure. You can get PLENTY of calcium from dark green, leafy veggies and small fish like sardines (which actually have a ton of calcium - more than dairy). Check out this WHOLE 9 article on calcium! http://whole9life.com/2012/02/what-about-calcium/ for more information. Hope this helps! ...and if she still harps on you about dairy... tell her you'll take your chances of not getting diabetes over "getting enough calcium."
BONE BROTH!! Very calcium rich :) Beyond that, kale and broccoli, I believe? Even on here, dark leafy greens and sardines are both good sources: http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/10-calcium-rich-foods
Calcium is not the only thing we need for strong bones. Like someone else has pointed out, magnesium is very important, as are vitamins D3 and K2. Vitamin K2 is HUGE for bone and dental health and you rarely hear anything about it.
See, the thing is, it's not so much how much calcium we're taking in, but where it's going and what our bodies are doing with it. Think about it -- how is it that we have a society that is AWASH in calcium (milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream, supplements), yet we have women (and men!) whose bones and teeth are falling apart? You can suck down calcium 'til the cows come home (no pun intended), but if you don't have the necessary cofactors and other players that tell the body what to do with it, you're going to get into serious physiological trouble. Vitamin K2 basically acts like a traffic cop. It directs calcium into the bones and teeth where we want it, and keeps it OUT of the soft tissue, where we don't want it (our blood vessels, joints, and kidneys). The two proteins that do this -- calcitonin and matrix GLA protein, both require vitamins A & D to be made, but they absolutely must have K2 to be activated. (And the modern diet is WOEFULLY low in K2...best sources are organs and fat from grass-fed ruminant animals, pastured chicken eggs, etc.)
There's some debate about the acid/alkaline issue with regard to calcium. (Some people claim if you're too acidic [blood], your body will leach calcium out of your bones and teeth to buffer it.) This might be true, but even if you're eating a fair amount of animal protein (which tends to be acidic upon digestion), I would argue that if you're consuming lots of vegetables (specifically leafy greens) you'll balance out just fine. (Never mind the fact that GRAINS are highly acidic upon digestion as well, and if you're avoiding those, you're avoiding probably the biggest acid load in the modern diet. Dropping the "hearthealthywholegrains" is probably one of the best things anyone can do to stave off osteoporosis.)
As for us "needing dairy" for calcium, ask your mom how it's possible that archeologists can dig up human/humanoid fossils that are thousands of years old, and the bones and teeth are intact, yet we have 40 and 50 year old women whose bones are full of holes... Seems like our pre-dairy ancestors had no problem maintaining their bone health.
Sorry to go on like that. You just caught me at an opportune time. I just gave a talk about this stuff, so it's fresh in my mind.
Chris Masterjohn on vitamin K2...fascinating stuff: http://www.westonaprice.org/fat-soluble-activators/x-factor-is-vitamin-k2
P.S. I have nothing against dairy, personally. I eat it myself (full fat organic, obviously, and grass-fed when I can get it). But I know we certainly don't need it for bone health.
Calcium supplementation is linked to greater cardiovascular incidents.
There is some argument that Vitamin D is the key factor. Also, it is much more about the balance between calcium and magnesium that could cause many of the "low calcium" issues.
Well, of course a personal anecdote is not evidence, but I'm gonna tell you my story, anyway, mostly cuz I just had a bone density test done yesterday, and I'm still super excited about it!
I've been strict Paleo for 6 months. No dairy at all, not even in "cheats".
I just got my bone density test done, and I was off the charts for bone density. The tech said that she rarely sees those numbers. She was so surprised that she quizzed me on what I'm doing.
Now, it's possible that I always had high bone density, but I don't think so, cuz I drank a lot of Diet Coke, rarely got sun, didn't do weight bearing exercise, hated greens, and didn't even eat much dairy.
I also recently found out that I have a casein intolerance, and probably won't be able to eat dairy for the rest of my life, so I was feeling worried about osteoporosis (foolishly, because there are lots of healthy populations in the world who don't eat dairy), so finding out that I have awesome bone density was a huge relief.
You should listen to your mom. Adequate calcium level is extremely important for your overall health, not just for your bones. You can also get a blood test for ionized calcium. Please note it has to be ionized calcium because the total calcium level is not a good indicator.
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