Right now, I am reading the book called The Food Revolution . It is about how what we eat impacts our health and our world. Tons of interesting information that was really eye opening!
One of the chapters that I just finished was the chapter about dairy. Now, I am a huge fan of cheese and yogurt (which I probably will not give up completely, although there are some very tasty vegan "cheeses" out there, but that's another post) but I have heard before reading this book that due to the fact that dairy is an animal product, it can actually weaken our bones even though it has calcium and added vitamin D. The problem here is the protein make up of dairy. As humans, when we consume animal-based protein, the iron actually takes some of the calcium out of our bodies, leaving us at risk for weak bones and possibly developing osteoporosis. The good news, is that there are many plant-based sources of protein, vitamin D, and calcium that blows dairy products out of the water!
Green leafy vegetables, like the ones pictured above are loaded with, not only calcium, but vitamin K, iron, vitamin C, and many other good nutrients. 1 large stalk (280g) of broccoli, boiled and drained without salt has 122 mg calcium that is absorbed much easier than the 1 cup (245g) of milk that has 299 mg calcium. Although the amount of calcium seems great in the milk, the body only absorbs a minuscule amount. Good sources of plant-based calcium include kale, cabbage, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, and collard greens.
Another decent (although not astronomically fantastic) source of calcium is in plant-based milks like soy, rice, almond, and coconut. Soy milk has the highest amount of protein of these milks at a lovely 2.4g per 8 fluid ounces.
Speaking of soy milk...did you know that it is much cheaper to make your own than buying it? Andrew and I are planning on making it as soon as our equipment comes in. All we need is the maker and the beans. Once we get going, we can have soy milk for under $0.15 per glass!!!!!! That is so much cheaper than any animal's milk and soy milk.
Speaking of animal's milk, I'm pretty sure we are close to the only species that drinks milk from other mammals...ever think of that?
As always, please feel free to post comments and your thoughts, they are always appreciated!!