The dairy industry has been successful in convincing us to drink milk to build strong bones. But strong bones isn’t the only plus-side of calcium. According to WHFoods.com, “Calcium is a very important mineral in human metabolism, making up about 1-2% of an adult human’s body weight. In addition to its widely known role in bone structure, calcium is used to help control muscle and nerve function, as well as to manage acid/base balance in our blood stream. From this very simple description, you can see how calcium-rich foods can play a role in many aspects of your health that extend far beyond the specific area of bone health.” WHFoods.com ranked dairy products considerably low on the list of quality calcium sources: yogurt (8th); cheese (14th); and milk (15th).
While dairy is a major source of calcium, sardines and leafy greens like kale and bok choy are also great sources of calcium. It’s nearly impossible to intake excessive calcium by food sources, but it can be easy to take too much supplement. If you’re looking to boost your calcium intake, choose food. Furthermore, magnesium, iron, zinc, vitamin D, and protein can help calcium be better absorbed.
Aside from calcium, bones need magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, all which are present in wheat germ and almonds. Furthermore, weight-bearing exercise like lifting and jumping also helps build stronger bones.
Photo credit: By Stefan Kühn – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23754