Many people choose to avoid milk and other dairy
products because they contain fat, cholesterol,
allergenic proteins, lactose, and frequently traces
of contamination. Milk is also linked to juvenile-onset
diabetes, and other serious conditions. Happily,
there are plenty of other, safer and more reliable
sources of calcium.

Keeping your bones strong depends more on preventing
the loss of calcium from your body than on boosting
your calcium intake.

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Some cultures consume no dairy products and typically
ingest only 175 to 475 milligrams of calcium per day.
However, these people generally have low rates of
osteoporosis. Many scientists believe that exercise
and other factors have more to do with osteoporosis
than calcium intake does.

Calcium in the Body. Almost all the calcium in the
body is in the bones. There is a tiny amount in the
bloodstream which is responsible for important
functions such as muscle contractions, maintenance of
the heartbeat, and transmission of nerve impulses.

We constantly lose calcium from our bloodstream
through sweat and other excretions. It is renewed
with calcium from the bones. In this process, bones
continually lose calcium. This bone calcium must be
replaced from food.
Calcium needs change throughout life. Up to the age
of 30 or so, we consume more calcium than we lose.
Adequate calcium intake during childhood and
adolescence is especially important. Later, the body
begins to slip into negative calcium balance and
the bones start to lose more calcium than they take up.

The loss of too much calcium can lead to soft bones or
osteoporosis.

How rapidly calcium is lost depends, in part, on the
kind and amount of protein you eat as well as other
diet and life-style choices.

Reducing Calcium Loss. A number of factors affect
calcium loss from the body:
Diets that are high in protein cause more
calcium to be lost through the urine. Pro
tein from animal products is much more
likely to cause calcium loss than protein
from plant foods. This may be one
reason that vegetarians tend to have
stronger bones than meat eaters.
Caffeine increases the rate at which
calcium is lose through urine.
Alcohol inhibits calcium absorption.

The mineral boron may slow the loss
of calcium from bones.

Exercise slows bone loss and is
one of the most important factors in
maintaining bone health.
Sources of Calcium:
Exercise and a diet moderate in protein will
help to protect your bones. People who eat
plant-based diets and who lead an active life-style
probably have lower calcium needs. However, calcium
is an essential nutrient for everyone. It is important
to eat calcium-rich foods every day. The following
chart will tell you the calcium content of many foods.

Legumes Calcium (mg)
Chickpeas, 1 cup, canned………………..78
Great Northern beans, 1 cup boiled………121
Green beans, 1 cup boiled………………..58
Green peas, 1 cup boiled………………….44
Kidney beans, 1 cup boiled……………..50
Lentils, 1 cup boiled…………………………37
Lima beans, 1 cup boiled………………….52
Navy beans, 1 cup boiled……………….128
Pinto beans, 1 cup boiled…………………82
Soybeans, 1 cup boiled………………….175
Tofu, raw, firm – 1/2 cup………………….258
Vegetarian baked beans, 1 cup……….128
Wax beans, 1 cup canned…………….. 174
White beans, 1 cup boiled……………..161
If using Calcium Fortified products, check the
source of the calcium.


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