ABOUT 3 HEALTHY CHICKS          FAQ          HEALTHY CHICK CLUB          LINK LOVE          ADVERTISE           EVENTS          LITTLE DETAILS         

Friday, May 28, 2010

Calcium, Beyond a Glass of Milk

Two year ago, I was diagnosed with osteopenia. Osteopenia is when one’s bone mineral density is lower than normal, and it’s usually the precursor to osteoporosis. The doctor who diagnosed me gave me very little direction on what to do to care for my bones, and I left the office very upset at the diagnosis as well as the lack of information provided. I took matters into my own hands -- did my research on bone health and began implementing the care into my weekly routine and diet. I incorporated foods that were rich in calcium (listed below), cut back on my caffeine consumption as well as my sugar intake. I made sure that I was consistent with weight bearing exercises each week (mine being yoga, brisk walks/jogs, light weight training) as well as making sure that I was getting at least 10-15 minutes of direct sunlight (with no sunscreen) for enough vitamin D to absorb the calcium I was consuming. I invested in a wonderful bone health (New Chapter’s Bone Strength, Take Care) and vitamin D supplement, which I took to be safe.

One year later after my new doctor (I told the doctor who diagnosed me that I was taking a hike after that whole incident!) reviewed my bone density scan, he smiled and said, “What have you been doing?!
The scan is no different than last years which means whatever you’re doing is working, preventing any further bone loss. Keep it up!” He was happy (and impressed) to hear what I had been doing to keep my bones strong. Also, during a teeth cleaning, my dentist commented on how strong and healthy my teeth were looking. One of the first places a doctor can see deterioration or weakness in the bones is in the teeth.

This was all very good news and I have continued with caring for my bones as such.
I have faith that my bone scan this month will be similar to last years. Since now I’m a Metagenics rep, I have been taking a high quality calcium supplement, along with a high does of vitamin D3 to ensure absorption. If you would like more information on Metagenics, or would like to order any products, feel free to contact me at lauren@centeryourhealth.net
...Now, onto the information to help YOUR bones!

Calcium is a mineral needed by the body for healthy bones, teeth, and proper function of the heart, muscles, and nerves. The body cannot produce calcium; therefore, it must be absorbed through food. Bones play many roles in the body. They provide structure, protect organs, anchor muscles, and store calcium. Adequate calcium consumption and weight bearing physical activity build strong bones, optimizes bone mass, and may reduce the risk of osteoporosis later in life.

Getting the calcium and vitamin D you need is easier than
you think -- if you eat the right foods. Because of heavy promotion by the American dairy industry, the public often believes that cow's milk is the sole source of calcium. However, other excellent sources of calcium exist in a variety of different forms. You have to remember that the dairy industry’s number one goal is to sell more dairy products! The truth is that dairy products have been linked to a laundry list of diseases, ailments and increased bone loss. And, while dairy products do contain a lot of calcium, they also contain a lot of protein, which in turn leeches calcium away from the bones.

Keep in mind that excessive alcohol, caffeine, protein, salt and sugar deplete calcium or interfere with calcium absorption. To improve bone health, you should focus on a balanced diet including calcium-rich foods (below) and avoid prepackaged processed foods.

Good sources of calcium (that do NOT come from a cow) include:

Dark Leafy Greens:


Collard Greens


Swiss Chard Kale

Nuts & Seeds:

Flax Seeds

Sesame Seeds

Tahini (sesame seed butter)


Brazil Nuts

Sunflower Seeds

Chia Seeds

Sea Vegetables:






Navy Beans


Pinto Beans

Garbanzo Beans

Lima Beans

Black Beans

Other Foods High in Calcium:

Blackstrap Molasses




As you can see, eating a varied diet rich in dark leafy greens, fruit, nuts, and seeds will give you plenty of calcium and you'll get so many other health benefits from these foods as well!

Don’t Forget Your Vitamin D!

Vitamin D is necessary in helping the body absorb calcium. Sunlight is the best source of this vitamin. When the weather permits, try to make it a point to get at least 10-15 minutes of natural sunlight (with NO sunscreen) each day. Make this gesture as important as anything else in your schedule, because it is! Use it as an excuse to get outside for a bit (make a phone call, take a breather, walk around the building, take the dog for a walk, etc.). Another good way to know that you are getting vitamin D is by choosing organic, free-range dairy and/or animal products. Animals that were able to roam freely, in the natural sunlight, were able to absorb vitamin D which then will be in the food you consume.

Are YOU Calcium Deficient?

If you have a calcium deficiency, you may develop twitching, nerve sensitivity, brittle nails, insomnia, depression, numbness, and heart palpitations. My calcium deficiency was through my brittle, flaky nails. For years my nails were so brittle, little did I know it was a sign from my body saying to feed it calcium rich foods and get moving!

Do you get enough calcium? What non-dairy sources do you include in your diet?

Keep it fresh!

- Lauren


  1. I get mine from lots and lots of orange juice, mostly. But I do favor dark green veggies, take a supplement when I remember, and eat a fair amount of cheeses. I only use real milk in my coffee, otherwise I stick to Soy.

  2. Don't forget that some birth control hormone treatments can also cause this condition!