It’s Wellness Wednesdays! Let’s unravel the latest studies about calcium and your health. Do you feel like you get enough calcium? We’ve always known that it helps build strong bones and teeth, but do you still need it after you’re grown? Perhaps surprisingly, calcium is extremely important in keeping you healthy!
Calcium is an important mineral that has multiple functions in the human body. Yes, we need calcium for strong bones and teeth. However, it’s also crucial for heart function and muscle contractions, and it plays an important role in helping blood clots form normally.
Where do you find calcium?
Surely you’re familiar with the milk commercials, but dairy isn’t the only source of calcium. You can also find it in leafy green vegetables, tofu, nuts, other foods, and supplements.
Scientists continue to study the benefits of calcium. Recent research contradicts some of the standard ideas about calcium and the human body. Are the latest studies about calcium and your health creating confusion?
Let’s look closer.
Consider these controversies surrounding calcium and your health:
1. Recommended daily dosage.
One area of calcium confusion involves the recommended daily dosage. How much calcium do you need each day, and what sources should you use? The confusion stems from different studies showing different recommended amounts.
- Experts continue to argue about the recommended daily dosage. However, most believe that you need 1,000 to 1,200 mg a day. This amount can vary based on your health and individual needs.
- It’s recommended that you don’t go over 1,500 mg a day because it can lead to side effects.
2. Too much milk.
A study from BMJ found that too much milk can be harmful. They found that adults who drink more than three cups of milk a day are actually increasing their risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- Researchers have found that drinking too much milk leads to oxidative stress in the body. This also increases the risk of cancer in adults.
3. Bone health.
Calcium is important for bone health, but it’s not the only mineral you need to stay healthy. Vitamin D is also important, and new studies show that it may actually be more essential.
- Recent studies have shown that taking calcium supplements doesn’t seem to help all patients. In fact, the risk of fractures didn’t decrease for the entire group in the study.
- A study, titled “Steingrimsdottir L. Relationship Between Serum Parathyroid Hormone Levels, Vitamin D Sufficiency, and Calcium Intake,” found that vitamin D is more important for bone health than calcium.
- Researchers found that, with high levels of vitamin D, patients didn’t need high levels of calcium to be healthy.
4. Calcium sources.
What is the best way to get enough calcium into your daily diet? Researchers continue to debate and create confusion about this topic.
- According to several studies, patients may not be able to absorb all of the calcium in a supplement. Experts suggest that patients use food as their source of calcium. However, this also creates questions about which food source is the most helpful.
- For years, the dairy industry has touted milk and other dairy products as the best sources of calcium. However, patients with lactose-intolerance and dairy allergies have to turn to other sources.
- You can also find calcium in salmon, collard greens, broccoli, kale, figs, oranges, white beans, okra, and soy products. Also, there are calcium-fortified foods such as granola, cereals, and other products.
- It’s important to find a source of calcium that you enjoy eating frequently. Try different foods until you find your favorite calcium source. Experiment with new foods and ideas that will help you get this important mineral.
Calcium is an essential mineral, and it’s not easy to get enough. However, following the latest research will keep you abreast of expert recommendations. For your best results, ensure that you eat a variety of foods that have calcium each day.
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I really wanted to talk about this topic today because your natural health and wellness is important. You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of poor health, including chronic disease, so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
I use functional medicine and lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you lose weight, and maybe reverse some chronic diseases (if you suffer from them). In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Is Dietary Supplementation Right For You?
For some people, vitamin and mineral supplements offer important health benefits. Supplements are designed to fight deficiencies found in our diet and complement the food we eat regularly. Supplements are basically “helping hands” to our daily food.
If you suspect that you aren’t getting the nutrients you need, consider shifting your focus from supplements to eating better.
But it is very important to note that we are not eating the same foods we ate years ago because the soils have been depleted of critical nutrients through current industrial farming practices. And because the soil is not as good as it used to be, the food supply (grown from the depleted soil) is not as good as it used to be. For example, you are not getting the same levels of magnesium as you would have gotten 30 or even 50 years ago.
Second, much of the food has been genetically altered, which can impact the inherent and unique nutritional composition that each food possess. For example, ancient einkorn wheat has less gluten, more protein, more Vitamin A, and more beta carotene, than modern genetically modified wheat.
Third, the toxic load in the environment today is much higher than 100 years ago. We can see this with global warming, toxic landfills, polluted oceans and waterways, etc. Toxicity levels interfere with nutrient assimilation and absorption not just into the foods, but into our bodies as well.
So… if you are unable to eat better, the supplements in my MaxHealth Total Wellness Bundle may provide the extra boost you need.
These are my favorite Wellness and Immune-Boosting Supplements to use! This MaxHealth Total Wellness Bundle will ensure you have the intake of the important vitamins, minerals, and probiotics to decrease inflammation and boost your innate wellness day and night. Taken together, it’s a solid plan for increasing your body’s natural resiliency.
For best results make sure you use the supplements with dietary changes including a whole food plant-based diet, regular exercise (at least 2-3x per week), regular sleep (8 hours per night), and intermittent fasting (at least 1-3x per week).
Since weight management is very important in combatting chronic diseases, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor (*this scale cannot be used with a pacemaker or other implanted devices).
Physical activity (or exercise) can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, just to name a few. Physical activity can improve your mood, boost your immune system, and even help you maintain a healthy weight.
I often recommend yoga and resistance training for physical activity, but as you are aware, there are plenty of forms of “movement” that you can do! But for the basics, especially if you’re just getting started, yoga and resistance training are where I would start.
Yoga can be a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, manage your stress, improve your heart health, and lose weight! I recommend using a grounded yoga mat to connect yourself with the earth and reduce inflammation.
Resistance training is the mainstay for overall health. It not only has beneficial effects on reducing body fat, it also increases muscle size and strength. Check out some basic dumbbells/free weights that I recommend to everyone.
Another alternative for dumbbells/free weights are resistance bands. They are great for physical therapy, yoga, strength training, and excellent for traveling.
Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, and reducing stress are the best ways to maintain a healthy weight. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.
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