New studies have shown that taking calcium supplements may be actually bad for your heart. Ouch to all of us who thought that we were doing the right thing. But I have to say, I have never advocated taking calcium alone. This is why I do not believe in calcium fortified foods. All nutrients work in synergy with other nutrients and so if you take too much of one, there is bound to be a lack of balance as a result. Calcium should always be balanced out with vitamin D, magnesium, boron, silicon and other vitamins and nutrients.
Here are some other healthy ways to consume calcium through foods and not just through dairy products.
- Beans and legumes
- Dark leafy greens, like broccoli and bok choy
- Salmon and sardines with bones
- Certain nuts, such as almonds
For vitamin D, often called the key that unlocks calcium in your body, the Institute of Medicine recommends between 600 and 800 IU per day. I am advocating at least 1,00 up to 5,000 units if you are deficient. This is harder to get naturally especially if you live in a cold climate and also as we wear more sunscreen this also limits our absorption of this essential vitamin. Because our bodies mostly synthesize vitamin D in response to sunlight. Between November and March, most places anywhere north of, say, Oklahoma, don’t get enough UV rays to make vitamin D even if you stay out all day on a sunny winter day, Good sources of vitamin D include:
- Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and tuna
- Cod liver oil