The Department of Agriculture recommends the consumption of 1,000to 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day, depending on age and gender.Due to a variety of reasons, 30 million to 50 million Americanshave shied away from cow’s milk and have turned to calcium-fortifiedbeverages--like soy and rice milks--as alternative sources.
Yet according to studies, the actual amount of calcium availablein these fortified drinks can be as much as 85 percent less thanthe amount indicated on the product label. This is because the calciumcan settle out of the soy and rice beverages and form a calcium-sludgeon the bottom of the carton.
Thus, shaking before pouring these beveragesis crucial in order to:
- Avoid calcium settlement
- Obtain the intended calcium amount per serving
It was noted that calcium settlement is less of a problem in thosebeverages kept in the refrigerated dairy case of the grocery store,rather than in cartons stored on non-refrigerated shelves. Also,while calcium in cow’s milk occurs naturally, it must be addedto soy and rice beverages (and even orange juice) in the form offinely ground calcium powders; soluble calcium cannot be used aswell.
USAToday February 15, 2005
It seems inevitable that when one uses unnatural processed foodsin exchange for real food there is a potential for serious complications.In this instance there are even deeper problems with soythan the one referenced in the above study, as soy-based productsremain one of the five"health foods" you are better off avoiding.
Even more concerning is soy's effects on health as a resultof its powerful phytoestrogen component. Many people feel thesephytoestrogens that mimic the effects of the female hormone estrogenare beneficial, but these phytoestrogens have been found to have unacceptable side effects ina large number of clinical settings.
Soy promoters have been very effective in convincing large segmentsof the population that soy is a health food. When this is compoundedwith the fact that many people are appropriately avoiding commercialpasteurized dairy products, an immediate market for calcium enhancedsoy milk developed. Well, it is logical to assume this would bea wonderful alternative however as in most processed foods, whenexamined more carefully the strategy falls apart.
I have run many articles thatexplain the problems with soy. But, if you don’t like toread articles and find books more helpful, the most well referencedbook to date that effectively destroys the soy myth has just beenpublished. I have been waiting for this book to be published fornearly two years and now you don’t have to wait a moment longeras Dr. Daniel’s, The WholeSoy Story will provide you with all the history and scienceof why soy is not what it has been cracked up to be.
Fortunately there are a number of superior alternatives to increaseyour calcium intake, that are far superior to soy or rice drinks:You can certainly use large amounts of dark green leafy vegetables,but protein types tend not to tolerate the large volumes that arerequired and it is a major challenge to obtain sufficient calciumfrom vegetable sources.
Raw vs. Pasteurized Milk
Another option is to chooseraw milk instead of pasteurized milk. I am convinced that rawmilk is the single best source of calcium on the planet. It is farbetter than any calcium supplement you can purchase as it is innature’s original package that is designed for optimal absorption.Of course, human milk is best, but not practical. The next bestwould be sheep milk, then goat milk and finally cow’s milk.
Raw milk is truly one of the most profoundly healthy foods youcan consume, and you’ll feel the difference once you startto drink it. The following are a few of the major reasons why morepeople are choosing to drink milk raw:
It has more nutrients: Raw milk has an outstanding source of nutrients including beneficial bacteria such as lactobacillus acidolphilus, vitamins and enzymes.
People feel the health benefits: Raw milk is not associated with any of the health problems associated with pasteurized milk such as rheumatoid arthritis, skin rashes, diarrhea and cramps. Even people who have been allergic to pasteurized milk for many years can typically tolerate and even thrive on raw milk.
It tastes better: As with any food, fresher is always better and this applies to milk as well. Fresh raw milk is creamier and better tasting than pasteurized milk that has a shelf life of several weeks.
Unfortunately, it is not commercially available for most ofus, so you'll need to locate a local dairy farmer as a supplier.Most people are able to find a supplier by contacting a number ofhealth food stores and finding a network of people that are interestedin health. In my own circumstance it took me two years to find asource but now we have an Amish farmer that drives a few hundredmiles every week to provide raw milk to the patients in our practiceoutside of Chicago.
Alternatively you can reviewthe raw milk link for information on how to find raw milk in yourarea. The key to doing this legally is to make a special arrangementwith the farmer in which you pay him a nominal amount to actuallypurchase a portion of the cow. This is called a cow share programand it is legal for a farmer to milk your cow for you. Ideally youwould want to find a farmer that is milking grass fed cows.
If you're unable to find it where you live, for your conveniencewe offer a number of "real"organic raw dairy products in our Web store--I have made specialarrangements with a dairy in the only state that raw milk productsare legal, California, so you can easily obtain them. Never processed,never pasteurized and never homogenized, these raw dairy productsare high in antioxidants, vitamins (including B-12), all 22 essentialamino acids, natural enzymes, natural probiotics and good fattyacids. Also, none of the individually named cows are ever givenantibiotics, hormones or GMOs--and only pasture, natural grains,and approved organic homeopathic methods are used to feed and carefor the cows.