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Drinking Milk For Strong Bones? Here’s Why You Should Stop Believing This Myth Today

Drinking Milk For Strong Bones? Here’s Why You Should Stop Believing This Myth Today

When we think about the benefits of milk we immediately think of bones and teeth. Children are encouraged to drink more to promote healthy bone and teeth growth while women are told to drink more to ward off osteoporosis. But is drinking milk actually as healthy for our bones as we’ve always thought?

study found that countries with the highest dairy consumption, which includes most of the Western world, have the highest rates of osteoporosis. So if milk is so good for our bones, then why are more people who consume dairy products suffering from bone fracture incidence? This offers a contradiction that seems to show drinking calcium-rich milk may not be as great for our bone health than we originally thought.

The Problem With Milk #1: Animal Protein

Yes, milk is packed full of calcium but the problem lies with the fact that it’s animal protein. When our bodies digest animal protein, it acidifies the sensitive pH level and since our body is continuously keeping an optimal balance, it triggers a biological correction and works to get it back on track.

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The problem is that calcium is a great acid neutraliser so our body takes the calcium from the bones in order to keep the pH level balanced. So ironically, we drink milk to get calcium which then causes the calcium contained in our bones being taken out to lessen the acidity: drinking milk is actually depleting our calcium reserves rather than adding to it.

The Problem With Milk #2: Pasteurisation Process

Cow’s milk is obviously designed for calves and for us humans to be able to digest it efficiently, it needs to go through a pasteurisation process which involves applying heat to destroy pathogens in food, in order to kill disease-carrying germs and preventing milk from going sour too early.

The problem with pasteurisation is the process also destroys the goodness in milk including the probiotics, vitamin C, iodine and enzymes needed to allow the body to absorb calcium. As a result, the milk we drink whether it’s whole, 1%, 2% or skimmed, all go through this process and ends up in our stores.

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The Research

Many scientific studies back up the claims that drinking milk is actually detrimental to our bone health. They are, in fact, starting to outweigh the number of studies that say milk helps to reduce bone fractures and conditions like osteoporosis.

The 12 year-long Harvard Nurses’ Health Study based on nearly 78,000 women showed those between the ages of 34 and 59 who consumed calcium through milk and other dairy products broke more bones than those who rarely drank milk.

The authors of the study comment that ““These data do not support the hypothesis that higher consumption of milk or other food sources of calcium by adult women protects against hip or forearm fractures.” 

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Another long-term study from Sweden involved following 61,433 women and 45,339 men between 11 and 20 years for bone health and dietary habits. They also found there was no link between increased milk consumption and lower risk of bone fracture – instead it was the opposite. They did hint that low-lactose fermented milk products such as yoghurt and cheese didn’t have such a detrimental effect on bone health as drinking milk.

Calcium-Rich Alternative Foods

The best route to take for your bone health is to not only eat calcium-rich foods but also alkaline-rich foods to make sure the acidity levels in your body don’t interfere with the calcium already present in the bones.

Calcium-rich foods include:

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  • Broccoli (86 milligrams in 2 cups raw)
  • Dark green, leafy vegetables such as kale (101 milligrams in 1 cup raw, chopped)
  • Almonds (75 milligrams per ounce (about 23 whole almonds)
  • Bok Choy (74 milligrams per 1 cup shredded)
  • Figs (121 milligrams per 1/2 cup dried) 
  • Sardines (351 milligrams in one 3.75-ounce can)
  • Tofu (434 milligrams per half cup)

Many cereals and other food products are fortified with calcium which can be a great addition to your diet.

Alkaline-rich foods include: garlic, spinach, broccoli, carrots, lettuce, green beans, beetroot, courgette (zucchini), grapes, apples, kiwi fruit, berries, blackcurrants, figs and dates.

Featured photo credit: stock.tookapic.com via pexels.com

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Jenny Marchal

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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