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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, freelance writer, & plantbased food enthusiast.

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                            Last Updated on August 15, 2018

                            7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                            7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                            Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

                            Video Summary

                            Why is it important to train up our core strength?

                            There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

                            This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

                            Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

                            In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

                            One Exercise, multiple benefits

                            There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

                            By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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                            When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

                            Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

                            In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

                            What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

                            What will happen when you start doing planks every day

                              1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

                              Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

                              • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
                              • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
                              • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
                              • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

                              2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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                                Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

                                Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

                                3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

                                  Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

                                  4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

                                    Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

                                    A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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                                    A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

                                    On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

                                    5. You’ll improve overall balance

                                      Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                                      6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                                        Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                                        7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                                          Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                                          How to hold a plank position

                                          1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                                          2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                                          3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                                          4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                                          5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                                          6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                                          7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                                          Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                                          Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                                            How to improve your plank time gradually

                                            1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                                            2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                                            3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                                            Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                                            Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                                            You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                                            • Prolapse
                                            • After prolapse surgery
                                            • Pelvic pain conditions
                                            • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                                            • Previous childbirth
                                            • Overweight

                                            Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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