Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Natural Food Sources of Calcium

Most people assume that to increase their intake of calcium, they should drink more milk. Milk from a cow is not the healthiest beverage, and in fact can cause more harm than good. The pasteurization process and homogenization destroy enzymes and vitamins, and supplements are added to create the illusion of nutrition in milk. If your body does not receive enough calcium from your diet, it will begin to take calcium from your bones. If your body takes more calcium from bone than it replaces, bones can become weak and brittle, causing them to break easier and more often. Calcium deficiency could also cause muscle cramps and spasms, and eventually lead to osteoporosis. Calcium is necessary for proper muscle contraction, blood clotting, nerve function, regulating the passage of nutrients through cell walls, and even helps prevent and ease insomnia.

It is entirely possible that a person can obtain nearly all of their daily requirements of calcium through other foods, and the end result would be a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes. Of course you can eat and drink the foods that taste the best to you, but knowing the choices that are available and which ones you like can help you alter your diet without sacrificing taste. Below are some healthy choices of natural sources of calcium, as well as other vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that lead to a healthier body. Remember that even when fruits and vegetables of your choice are out of season, you can still find fresh-frozen alternatives in your grocer's freezer!


Oranges, blackberries, kiwi fruits, tomatoes (yes, they are a fruit!), limes, strawberries, lemons, grapes, apples, cantaloupes, bananas, avocados (not a vegetable!), and peaches.


Artichokes, peas, summer squash, broccoli, kale, collard greens, lima beans (actually they are a legume), winter squash, spinach, carrots, and asparagus.

Nuts and Seeds

Almonds, brazil nuts, pistachios, peanuts, walnuts, chestnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, filberts or hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, cashews, and pine nuts or pignolias.

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