Through years of subliminal (and direct) billion dollar advertising campaigns, the dairy industry has most of us convinced and telling our children, "Drink milk! It will give you strong bones!"
"Not only do we barely absorb the calcium in cow’s milk (especially if pasteurized), but to make matters worse, it actually increases calcium loss from the bones. Like all animal protein, milk acidifies the body pHwhich in turn triggers a biological correction. You see, calcium is an excellent acid neutralizer and the biggest storage of calcium in the body is – you guessed it… in the bones. So the very same calcium that our bones need to stay strong is utilized to neutralize the acidifying effect of milk." (http://saveourbones.com) Around the world, countries consuming the most milk and dairy have the highest rates of bone fractures and osteoporosis.
Fortunately, there are many sources of calcium available within the vegan diet that can be absorbed efficiently into the body, such as (but certainly not limited to!):
- Kale (1 cup contains 180 mg)
- Collard Greens (1 cup contains over 350 mg)
- Blackstrap Molasses (2 tablespoons contains 400 mg)
- Tempeh (1 cup contains 215 mg)
- Turnip Greens (1 cup contains 250 mg)
- Fortified non-dairy milk (1 cup contains 200-300 mg)
- Hemp milk (1 cup contains 460 mg)
- Fortified orange juice (1 cup contains 300 mg)
- Tahini (2 tablespoons contains 130 mg)
- Almond butter (2 tablespoons contains 85 mg)
- Great northern beans (1 cup contains 120 mg)
- Soybeans (1 cup contains 175 mg)
- Broccoli (1 cup contains 95 mg)
- Raw fennel (1 medium bulb contains 115 mg)
if you need another reason to switch up your milk? An article in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found a strong connection between dairy products and acne flare-ups. Here’s the reasoning: most of the milk we drink is produced by pregnant cows, and therefore contain high levels of hormones that can send your oil glands into overdrive.
Sub in almond milk or coconut milk if you take your coffee with cream. If you must drink dairy, avoid skim milk—surprisingly, researchers found that skim milk seems to be more inflammatory.