Are We Getting Enough Calcium?

I’m constantly asked, “How do you get enough protein?” on my family’s plant-based diet. This is usually followed closely by, “How do you get enough calcium?”

Telling most moms that they don’t need cow’s milk for calcium is like telling them to send their kids out to shovel the snow naked.

Are you getting enough calcium? Logic begs the question: where does the cow get HER calcium? She gets it from green foods (and ALL the plant food groups, actually)—rich in highly bioavailable calcium. Being in the sun increases your calcium absorption with the help of Vitamin D. Plant sources are 50-60% bioavailable to humans, compared to cow milk bioavailability of about 30%. Eat too much animal protein (and milk), and your body loses calcium. Eat too much salt and you’ve got the second-biggest cause of calcium loss. (Most meat dishes are also high in salt.)

Dr. T. Colin Campbell, director of the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University (former senior adviser to the American Institute for Cancer Research), says this about his research, the biggest and most longitudinal nutrition study in history:

“There is a strong correlation between dietary protein intake and cancer of the breast, prostate, pancreas, and colon. The culprit in many of the most prevalent and deadly diseases of our time, according to this study, is none other than the very thing most of us have been taught to hold virtually sacred—animal protein. People who derive 70% of their protein from animal products have major health difficulties compared to people who derive just 5% of their protein from animal sources. They have 17 times the death rate from heart disease and the women are 5 times more likely to die of breast cancer. In conclusion, animal protein is at the core of many chronic diseases.”

Are you getting enough calcium? You will if you eat plenty of greens, and a diet rich in seeds, nuts, and produce. Consider that along with the protein and calcium in animal sources usually comes synthetic hormones, steroids, antibiotics, pesticide chemicals, bacteria, and sometimes saturated fat. Plus the fat molecule isn’t well digested by humans, causing mucous production as the body tries to flush out a foreign invader.