In order to absorb calcium, your body needs Vitamin D, which the skin produces in response to UV rays. Vitamin D deficiencies can occur when exposure to sunlight is limited or as the body ages, the ability to produce Vitamin D is impaired. Vitamin D deficiency in adults may increase the risk of developing osteoporosis and has now been linked to breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, depression, weight gain, and other ailments.
Vitamin D helps to:
• Maintain healthy bones
• Supports efficient calcium absorption
• Is necessary for normal bone mineralisation
• Is important for the maintenance of muscle strength
• Supports robust and healthy immune function
Make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin D by exposing your forearms to sun for 10 to 15 minutes a day (but not long enough to burn). It can be tricky at this time of the year so if you are deficient, supplementation may be required. You can have your Vitamin D level tested by a simple, inexpensive blood test. Talk to your Doctor or in NZ you can choose to go to Med Lab and organise this yourself for.
Most of us will have grown up hearing that we must have lots of dairy for strong bones and teeth. Dairy always sparks significant controversy and is the subject of much debate in the health world with new evidence continuing to emerge on this topic. Some say pasteurized, low-fat dairy is healthy and should be consumed two to three times daily, while others claim raw, full-fat dairy is a health food. Then others insist on no dairy at all.
I'm finding many clients are experiencing big improvements to their digestive health (and weight) by eliminating dairy - from reduced bloating, gas, bowel urgency, aches, pains and joint stiffness to saying goodbye to brain fog! If dairy is not right for you, you may be concerned about how you're going to get sufficient calcium in your diet. Be assured, there's plenty of alternatives.
Some great Non-dairy sources of calcium to enjoy including:
almonds, asparagus, black strap molasses, brewer’s yeast, broccoli, cabbage, carob, chia seeds, collards, dandelion greens, dark green leafy vegetables, dried beans, dulse, flax seeds, figs, kale, kelp, mustard greens, oats, prunes, salmon and sardines (with bones), seafood, sesame seeds, soybeans, sunflower seeds, tahini, tofu, turnip greens, watercress.
Some Milk alternatives are:
Almond, coconut, rice, oat (not suitable for celiac, some people can tolerate when going gluten free) soy (also controversial – go for organic non GMO – can mess with hormones).
Read labels carefully as these milks can have significant amounts of added sugar/other additives. You can make your own but for ease and convenience it may be easier to experiment with store bought which are often fortified with calcium.
Maybe you've discovered "dairy is not your friend" but feel a little lost around where to start? Please get in touch with Robin if this sounds like you or if you need and help with dietary and supplement choices.
This is generalised information only and should not take the place of medical advice. Please consult your medical provider for a personalised plan specific to your situation. Never stop taking your medication without first seeking medical advice.
I'd like to be your personal advocate for living an energised and passionate life. Enjoy these articles and get in contact if I can help.