We have delved into the issue of why dairy is not the best source of calcium, so where do we go for this much needed mineral? There are MANY great sources outside of dairy. For maximum absorption of calcium, it is best to eat these foods along with a source of vitamin D, or a vitamin D supplement.
Leafy greens are excellent sources of Calcium. Collard greens have 357 mg per cup, turnip greens 249 mg per cup, cooked kale has 179 mg per cup, bok choy has 157 per cup, mustard greens have 158 mg per cup, and 1 cup of broccoli has 94 mg. Spinach is also high in calcium, but it is a high oxalate food, which can interfere with the absorption of calcium.
Almonds contain about 70 mg of calcium per 1 ounce serving. Almond butter has about 86 mg per 2 tbsp, so swap it out for peanut butter for an extra boost of calcium. We love Justin’s Chocolate Almond Butter. Mmm… Almond Milk is another alternative.
Sesame seeds contain 350 mg per half cup. However, the seeds must be ground to absorb the calcium. Tahini is a paste, kind of like a nut butter, made from ground sesame seeds. Tahini is commonly used in hummus, but can be added to baked goods in place of nut butter, or eated as a dip with vegetables.
Bone broth also has many minerals, including calcium. It is simple to make. Simply cook a whole chicken in a crockpot. Once cooked, remove the meat from the bones, and return the bones to the crockpot and fill with water. Simmer for 12-28 hours and allow all of the minerals from the bones to come out into the broth. Bone broth is an excellent gut healer, detoxifier, and immune booster. I make it once a week and have some daily!
If you really insist on drinking milk, raw is the best way to go, although it is very difficult to obtain. In most states, it is illegal, unless purchased directly from the farm. Pasteurizing milk kills most of the beneficial things in milk, like enzymes, amino acids, lactoferrin, and beneficial bacterias, and is considered a “dead” food product. Raw milk contains many “live” substances beneficial to the body. It still contains many hormones, although less than what is in conventional milk. When our family has dairy, we usually limit it to a small amount of raw cheese on homemade pizza.