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Eat To Strengthen Bones Without Any Consumption Of Dairy Products!

Eat To Strengthen Bones Without Any Consumption Of Dairy Products!

In order to improve and maintain your health, a well balanced diet and regular exercise is a necessity. But for individuals with dietary restrictions such as lactose intolerance, or a vegan or vegetarian diet, nutrients such as protein and calcium become more difficult to attain. That is the stigma anyway. The truth is that you can consume more than enough calcium in your diet without animal-based dairy products.[1]

Since infancy, the majority of us were raised drinking cow’s milk without complication. That is due to a mutation that causes an immunization to the adverse effects of dairy products. But those who are not able to develop this mutation suffer from what is known as lactose intolerance. If dairy products are consumed, their bodies go into rejection mode and it isn’t pretty. They must find alternate sources for calcium in order to reap the benefits that it provides for the body.

Some people choose to avoid dairy simply because it contains saturated fat, cholesterol, allergenic proteins, lactose sugar, and traces of contamination for a multitude of disturbing sources. So whether you choose to omit dairy for health reasons, moral reasons, or because your body simply cannot process it; there are still a number of plant-based resources where you can get more than enough calcium.[2]

Calcium helps to aid and control many bodily functions, and can cause complications if we do not consume enough.

So we know that we are supposed to get a sufficient amount of calcium daily.[3] But why? What does it do to benefit our bodies? Although there is some contradictory evidence that high levels of calcium actually may increase your risk of osteoporosis; that is likely linked to the intake of calcium through animal-based dairy products.[4] Until more information on the subject comes to light, we are going to stick to what we know. Calcium benefits our bodies by:

• Growing and maintaining strong bones and teeth,

• Nerve signaling

• Muscle contraction

• Secretion of hormones and enzymes

• Plant based calcium sources also contain vitamins C and K, as well as the minerals potassium and magnesium; also important for bone growth

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As you may have already gathered, not getting enough calcium can lead to a number of issues.[5] The average person needs to intake between 1000-1200 milligrams of calcium per day. Here’s what can happen to your body if you do not meet the recommended requirements:[6]

• Numbness in fingers and toes

• Muscle cramps

• Convulsions

• Lethargy

• Weak bones

• Loss of appetite

• Abnormal heart rhythm

Best Plant Based Calcium Rich Foods

Chia Seed Pudding

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    Just one serving of this powerhouse food (about 140 mg) contains 39% of your daily calcium intake![7] In addition to the bountiful amount of calcium, consuming this healthy treat will also provide your body with fiber, protein, omega 3’s, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin B3, potassium, vitamin B1, and vitamin B2.

    Get the recipe here!!

    Sesame Seeds

      A little goes a long way with these tasty little seeds. In just one tablespoon, you are consuming 88 mg of calcium! These are super easy to incorporate into your diet as it is commonly used as a garnish or crust. Additionally, you can also consume tahini, which is a sesame seed paste.

      Amaranth

        You may have never heard of this grain, but it’s time to get familiar because this is a super food that you don’t want to miss out on. One cup of cooked amaranth contains 307mg of calcium. This is a go-to for vegans and vegetarians because amaranth is also very abundant in protein (it is one of the few whole proteins), iron and magnesium.

        Teff

          I’d like to think that I’m pretty well rounded in the culinary world, but this is a new one to me. One cup of cooked teff is packed with 123mg of calcium. It’s also very high in protein, making it a staple items for plant-based diets. Teff is abundant in fiber, magnesium, iron and B vitamins.

          Kale

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            If you’ve ever wondered what the sudden craze for kale was all about, it’s time to start paying attention. Not only is it super versatile and tasty, but just 100 g contains 205 mg of calcium. The additional benefits are too many to list in their entirety, but an abundance of fiber, protein, vitamin A, the vitamin B’s, vitamin C, copper, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, zink, and Omega 3 & 6, and a variety of essential amino acids just to name a few.

            Collard Greens

              As a rule, consume as many green leafy vegetables as possible. They’re very high in nutrients, and calcium especially. One cup of cooked collard greens has 268mg of calcium. The other nutritional benefits are fiber, protein, vitamin A, vitamin B’s, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, omega 3’s omega 6, and a wide assortment of essential amino acids.

              Blackstrap Molasses

                Molasses provides 21% of our daily intake of calcium in just 3.5 ounces. Who knew that something so sweet could be so beneficial! There are also significant levels of potassium, magnesium, and iron. Incorporate the use of molasses into your meals to give it a hint of sweetness, a punch of nutrients, and absolutely no guilt!

                Tempeh

                  These interesting fermented soybean cakes can be quite tasty if prepared the right way. (Boiled, marinated, and pan seared.) One cup of tempeh contains 215mg of calcium. You can also find high levels of manganese, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamin B2 in here as well!

                  Turnip Greens

                    Don’t throw them away! The green tops to many plants such as turnips and beets are often discarded because people just don’t know the nutritional benefits that they offer. I make it a practice to crisp them up like kale chips. In my personal opinion they taste even better! One cup of cooked turnip greens will provide you with 197mg of calcium. But it doesn’t stop there! These leaves also offer protein, vitamin A, vitamin B’s, vitamins C, E, & K, copper, magnesium, manganese, and number of amino acids.

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                    Hemp Milk

                      Just one cup alone contains 460mg calcium! That’s more than a cup of dairy milk! And without all of the negative effects of animal proteins. This milk is very mild in flavor, and is preferred by many vegans and those who suffer from lactose intolerance. It is considerably to closest to cow’s milk in terms of viscosity, because many dairy-free milk can be a bit watery.

                      Hijiki

                        This stringy black seaweed is making its mark in common cuisine. Very popular in Japanese food, hikiji is typically used in salads, and has a delicious, not so slimy texture that can make other seaweeds a bit off putting. One cup alone contains 646mg of calcium! Winner, winner, seaweed dinner. This is by far the best plant-based source for calcium.

                        Tofu

                          Although there are mixed feelings about soy-based products and whether or not we should be consuming them; tofu is a good friend of the plant-based crowd. Not only is it a great supplement for protein, but one cup of tofu contains 516mg of calcium.

                          Spinach

                            Remember what I said about leafy greens? Well, here we are again. One cup of cooked spinach contains 288mg of calcium. Spinach also contains high amounts of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin Bs, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, iron, magnesium, manganese, and a whole lot of amino acids.

                            Featured photo credit: CaloriaBee via google.com

                            Reference

                            More by this author

                            Jenn Beach

                            Traveling vagabond, writer, & plant-based food enthusiast.

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                            Last Updated on December 9, 2019

                            5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                            5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                            Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

                            Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

                            Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

                            1. Get Rationally Optimistic

                            Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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                            This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

                            In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

                            The result: no more mental stress.

                            2. Unplug

                            Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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                            How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

                            It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

                            Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

                            3. Easy on the Caffeine

                            Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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                            Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

                            4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

                            That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

                            How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

                            • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
                            • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
                            • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

                            While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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                            5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

                            This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

                            The result: mental stress will be gone!

                            So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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                            Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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