C is for Calcium. Where are you getting it from?

When you were growing up, what types of beverages were you allowed to have to accompany your meal? Water? Juice? Soda? Milk? For me, it was either water or milk. Soda was never an option because it was “bad for you”, so I had a choice between the lesser of two evils. Water vs. Milk. Since milk “did a body good” that was always the winner by default.

As children, we didn’t know any better, and so, whatever we were told… we believed. It seemed that everyone knew what was good for us, except for us. Milk was good for you because your parents told you so, celebrities w/ the infamous “milk mustaches” said so, and even Kraft’s American Cheese Singles said so.

So, why did it seem that everyone was pushing us to drink milk? One word. Calcium.

“Calcium is one of the most important elements in the diet because it is a structural component of bones, teeth, and soft tissues and is essential in many of the body’s metabolic processes. It accounts for 1 to 2 percent of adult body weight, 99 percent of which is stored in bones and teeth. On the cellular level, calcium is used to regulate the permeability and electrical properties of biological membranes (such as cell walls), which in turn control muscle and nerve functions, glandular secretions, and blood vessel dilation and contraction. Calcium is also essential for proper blood clotting.” [1]

Strategic marketing and peer pressure from “milk-mustached” celebrities has led us to believe that calcium, derived from dairy, is the only way to go. Fortunately for the Paleo Diet gurus, they’ve found sources to challenge this idea. In nature, there are many other calcium enriched food sources that will provide us w/ just the right amount for our daily consumption. As a matter of fact, studies and research has showed that calcium from plant sources are better absorbed than from the calcium found in milk (dairy).

To give you a better understanding, here is a simple list that should give you a better idea of the Non-Dairy Foods that provide you with an excellent source of calcium.

The listings are based on a 100 gram serving, and is listed in order from highest to lowest. THere are items here are that are not Paleo (i.e. beans) just disregard those.

Non-Dairy Calcium Rich Food Listing

Although it may seem that the Paleo Diet has a lot of restrictions, there are always better for you substitutions. The beauty of Paleo is being able to eat wholesome, nutritious food whenever you want. Find me a diet that will allow you to eat as much as you want, at any frequency.

With having said all of this, where have you been getting your daily dosages of calcium?


– T H E O


[1] “Calcium” http://www.faqs.org/nutrition/Ca-De/Calcium.html — pulled 03.16.2010

2 responses to this post.

  1. Actually if one follows a paleo lifestyle one doesn’t need as much calcium. The typical lifestyle has you losing so much that you need a lot to compensate. Lose less and you need to consume less. I have an article on this here: http://paleodiet.com/losspts.txt

    Everybody focuses on getting calcium. Magnesium and vitamin D are also important. I think the focus is on calcium as that is what dairy has and the dairy industry wants to sell us dairy products.


  2. Don, that’s a great (and very interesting) article.. thanks for posting it here. The 11 strategies at the end are right on!

    Here’s another good piece on calcium, from Mark’s Daily Apple: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/calcium-for-women/

    Great topic Theo 🙂


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