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Tag: calcium in foods

Could You Be Getting Too Much Calcium?

For decades, women have been encouraged -and even bullied- by health and medical experts to supplement with calcium in order to combat a possible osteoporosis diagnosis in the future. But could this advice be wrong?

vitality word cloud on blackboard

“It’s now coming to the forefront through research that osteoporosis – the exact condition calcium supplementation is meant to prevent – may actually be perpetuated by high doses of calcium,” writes Ann Louise Gittleman, “The First Lady of Nutrition.”

She prefaces this heretical statement by explaining:

“It’s not the case that you don’t need calcium. In fact, you do – but only in the proper ratio to other essential minerals.

Supplementation is troublesome because without balancing calcium with magnesium and phosphorus, calcium can end up in the blood vessels, kidneys, joints, and coronary arteries.

Calcium competes with magnesium in the body, so when you don’t give your body the 2:1 magnesium to calcium ratio it needs, the onset of serious health issues begins. These include an irregular, rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, tissue calcification, the formation of stones, joint pain, depression, fatigue, and even sudden death.

Perhaps the most interesting consequence from an improper calcium ratio is compromised bone health. I bet that’s a surprise!”

Like Ann Louise, I, too, prefer that people get their nutrients through foods rather than isolated supplements. Some good calcium-rich foods include broccoli, spinach, kale, and chia seeds. Always try to choose organic produce whenever you can, of course.

If you’re experiencing weird symptoms, it may be from that calcium supplement you take religiously, and you may need to work on balancing out your mineral ratios. Contact me if you’d like to discuss it further.

Building Healthy Bones Naturally

Whether you are at risk for osteoporosis, a growing kid, or recovering from bone trauma like my son with his broken arm, there are natural ways to increase your dietary calcium intake to help your bones build and repair themselves.

I’m not a big fan of supplements in general as I believe wholesome foods are the best sources of vitamins and minerals for human bodies. Supplements may not be bio-available and it’s hard to know the source of the ingredients inside the supplement (i.e., did it come from a developing nation with questionable purity standards?). I’d rather look toward foods for my nutrients every time.

Dr. Ben Kim gives a great overview of how bone growth happens and offers 9 ways you can keep your bones healthy naturally:

  1. Be physically active.
  2. Stretch large muscle groups daily.
  3. Eat mineral-rich foods: green vegetables.
  4. Drink mineral-rich bone broths.
  5. Ensure adequate vitamin D by spending enough un-sunscreened time in the sunshine.
  6. Eat high quality fats and cholesterol: avocado, fish, coconut oil, etc.
  7. Learn how to effectively manage stress.
  8. Avoid calcium-leaching foods such as: soda pop, artificial sweeteners, sugar, non-sea salt.
  9. Eat foods rich in vitamin C.

Good advice all around, whether or not you are specifically concerned about the state of your bones.