How To Kick Your Thyroid’s Ass: The Calcium Myth
There’s good reason for many chronically-ill (and also, chronically healthy) people to avoid cow’s milk and dairy. We know that the artificial growth hormone given to dairy cows is directly linked to cancer. We know that dairy can cause yeast (candida) infections like nobody’s business. We know that autoimmunity can result as a byproduct of our guts not being able to break down hard-to-digest proteins (in the case of milk, casein). We have heard recent researchers call casein, “The most relevant cancer promoter ever discovered” — in their opinion, apparently, even worse than those environmental toxins. Milk is also sugary (the only animal product to contain carbohydrates, in the form of the milk sugar lactose). And the reality is, the milk we buy in the grocery store is a processed food just like a Whopper from Burger King is, or an Oreo, or box of crackers. That’s because milk as we know it is nothing like it occurs in nature, in its original form. Just like white sugar, white flour, white rice, and table salt, milk is yet another white food that has been altered, manipulated, and stripped of some of its most beneficial properties (probiotics especially).
But, what about calcium, you ask. It’s safe to say, we’ve been fed a lie — a calcium myth, if you will. Another species (cows) milk, although totally tolerable to some people’s bodies, and totally damaging to others, is an altogether unnecessary food. Cultures that traditionally do not consume dairy, such as in Asia or Africa do not have any higher incidence of death caused by osteoporosis, and in fact, America tops the list. And when it comes to children, cow’s milk is exorbitantly higher than many components found in human breast milk (casein and calcium, primarily) which begs the question — why would we need to overload our bodies? Let’s look at the numbers.
Human breast milk contains 33 mg of calcium in a 3.5-ounce portion. The same amount ofcow’s milk contains 291 mg of calcium. This is a striking difference, considering the 33 mg in human breast milk are nourishing and supporting a growing human just fine — in fact, perfectly, seamlessly, flawlessly. If we use the ratio of calcium in human breast milk, we can understand our daily requirements for calcium, and it is, clearly, substantially lower than the milk of a cow which is meant to nourish a huge growing calf.
If you feel your body cannot tolerate dairy, or if you would like to experiment with eliminating dairy from your diet for health reasons (it could particularly benefit those with cancer and autoimmune disease), consider these numbers:
Sesame seeds contain 1160 mg of calcium for 3.5 ounces.
Amaranth (a grain) contains 267 mg of calcium for 3.5 ounces.
Kale contains 249 mg of calcium for 3.5 ounces.
Parsley contains 203 mg of calcium for 3.5 ounces.
Mustard greens contain 183 mg of calcium for 3.5 ounces.
Watercress contains 151 mg of calcium for 3.5 ounces.
Beans contain 135 mg of calcium for 3.5 ounces.
Pistachios contain 131 mg of calcium for 3.5 ounces.
Figs contain 126 mg of calcium for 3.5 ounces.
Sunflowers seeds contain 120 mg of calcium for 3.5 ounces.
Leeks contain 52 mg of calcium for 3.5 ounces.
So if you choose to forgo processed dairy, you can still be getting large amounts of calcium from plant sources. Even the plant sources contain higher ratios of calcium than human breast milk. And because the calcium is from a plant source, you don’t have to worry about the negative side effects of processed cow’s milk dairy, hormones and casein in particular.
Are you dairy-free? What led you to that decision? Has it since helped your health? If you’re not dairy-free, would you consider it now that you have plant sources of calcium at your disposal?
Until Next Week,
Tags: calcium from breast milk, calcium in Amaranth, calcium in kale, calcium in parsley, calcium in pistachios, calcium sesame seeds, How To Kick Your Thyroid's Ass, Liz Schau thyroid nutrition writer, non-dairy calcium