Two things are fact.
Calcium is important to the body for many reasons.
And milk is a hugely rich calcium source.
But is milk the best source of calcium?
It has been reported that while calcium and dairy can lower the risk of osteoporosis and colon cancer, high intake can increase the risk of prostate cancer and possibly ovarian cancer.
Dairy products are very high in saturated fat as well as vitamin A – which can actually weaken bones.
Dieticians are now looking at green, leafy vegetables as the best calcium source. While the levels of calcium are not as high as in dairy, there are a whole bunch of other vitamins and minerals in these types of foods which help the calcium be nicely absorbed by the body, with less escaping through the urine.
Good sources of calcium that aren’t on the dairy spectrum include kale, broccoli, bok choy, fortified soy milk, baked beans, and supplements that contain both calcium and vitamin D (a better choice than taking calcium alone).
Which means that a vegan diet may actually be better for those in need of a calcium boost than an omnivorous diet.
However, if it’s hard to kick the dairy – and it is a huge part of the western diet – it might be a good idea to at least reduce it. Two servings a day is a good enough amount. Calcium can be topped up from other plant-based foods.
It’s also important to keep your vitamin D levels topped up. Even if you live in a cold climate, there is still enough light to soak up during the day. Supplements will help those who cannot manage the full fifteen minutes a day.
And if it’s your bones that you are concerned about, exercise is hugely important in the strengthening and development of the skeleton and muscles.