ALL NUTRIENTS act synergistically in the body: their effectiveness (absorption, assimilation/ metabolism) is affected by the availability and effectiveness of other nutrients. For example, for calcium to be absorbed in the gut, vitamin D is required. Magnesium is key to Vitamin D’s effectiveness. Vitamin K is a key to ensuring that calcium ends up in bone (Vitamin D Council)… etc. So eat widely, from a whole foods diet to ensure many and varied nutrients are in place, and in proportions guided by the wisdom of nature. The rotation of foods on a rotation diet compel/guides you to eating a wide variety of whole foods.
Here are the current Calcium DietaryReference Intakes (DRIs) (daily intake for healthy populations). Note the “tolerable upper intake levels”, since high “calcium intake may have health risks, including kidney stones (Institute of Medicine, 2010 and HealthLink BC ,2011).Calcium’s primary benefit is considered to be bone health according to the US Institute of Medicine (IOM) (Institute of Medicine, 2010). For that function, Vitamin D is recommended.
Non-dairy calcium-rich whole foods:
Non-dairy calcium-rich whole foods may also deliver vitamin D (non-dairy vitamin D foods) plus many cofactors for the effectiveness of calcium and vitamin D. For example, leafy greens or broccoli are also good sources of vitamin K.
- green, leafy vegetables may have less bioavailable calcium when eaten raw: so consider steaming or stir-frying ie. spinach, chard, kale, broccoli, collard greens, mustard greens. Greens in family #25 (RDPS) may best be served cooked to lessen possible interference with thyroid function;
- bioavailable calcium is found in canned salmon or sardines when eaten with their bones;
- nuts and seeds are sources of calcium, with sesame seeds (ie. tahini butter) providing 1,404 mg per 1 cup, compared to 299 mg per 1 cup of milk. Almonds or almond butter also provide moderate levels of calcium;
- 1 tablespoon of ground thyme or oregano has some 86 mg;
- 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses has some 137 mg;
- beans provide some calcium
- here is a list of foods with amounts of calcium noted.
Non-Dairy ideas for Meals and Snacks – rich in calcium:
(The body absorbs a little calcium at a time, so spread your calcium foods throughout the day.)
ie. Breakfast: blackstrap molasses on cooked oatmeal, sprinkled with sesame seeds
ie. Snacks: almonds or almond butter, or tahini butter (sesame seed butter) as a dip with apple slices, carrot sticks, celery sticks; or dried figs.
Lunch or Dinner: stir-fry spinach with garlic; steam chopped kale, collards, chard into soups or casseroles; baked beans; sardines or canned salmon including their bones on a salad; sprinkle sesame seeds on meals.
Sweeten: with molasses
If your choice is calcium supplementation:
NOTE that too much calcium appears to have health risks, including cardiovascular illness : Remember that these qualify as CALCIUM SUPPLEMENTS : calcium-fortified non-dairy milks like rice milk/ coconut milk/ soy milk; calcium fortified orange juice; calcium fortified cereals; calcium processed tofu (ie. made with calcium sulfate); and of course, calcium supplement pills.
A comparison with dairy sources of calcium:
As a comparison of calcium available in dairy foods see : Food Sources of Calcium and Vitamin D – HealthLink BC File #68e
The Rotation Diet Plus©Software helps to manage complex diets. Consult a medical professional for any dietary change.