Calcium for Strong Bones?

Despite the dairy industry’s ongoing contentions, it isn’t huge rations of calcium that make your bones stronger, any more than massive amounts of protein, in and of itself, make your muscles stronger. It’s physical, weight-bearing activity that does the trick because, like muscles, bones respond to resistance. Likewise, when this doesn’t happen, the bones begin to atrophy, just like muscles. That’s why anyone who leads an exceedingly sedentary life (like many older folks) or spends time in a gravity-free environment (like astronauts), experiences some degree of bone loss, no matter how much calcium they take in.

More specifically, osteoporosis tends to strike more women here in the states, simply because they have traditionally been less active than men. But if you go to parts of the world where women are more active and/or walking around with baskets on their heads (and again, also consuming far less calcium than American women), osteoporosis is a rarity.

So, get your calcium from plant-based sources like the following:

• Most leafy green vegetables
• Soy milk
• Dried fruits
• Oats
• Broccoli
• Cabbage
• Tofu
• Almond/raisin mix
• Chickpeas
• Sesame seeds
• Squash
• Sunflower seeds
• Pistachios
• Most beans
• The Ultimate Meal smoothie mix

…and do some kind of resistance training regularly.

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About Bobby Rock

Bobby Rock is a world renown drummer, the author of seven books, and a recognized health and fitness specialist with certifications in exercise, nutrition and meditation. He has recorded and toured with a variety of artists, released three CDs as a solo performer and is recognized as a top drumming educator. (He is currently touring with rock icon, Lita Ford.) Through speaking, writing and activism, Bobby remains committed to a number of animal and environmental causes. Bobby lives in Los Angeles.
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7 Responses to Calcium for Strong Bones?

  1. Trevor says:

    G’day Bobby!

    Quick question on soy milk this time.

    I’ve been having my banana/soy shakes for a good few months now, thought I was doing something positive for my health, and then I come across this article:
    http://www.doctorsaredangerous.com/illnesses/soy.htm

    Please give me the lowdown once and for all.

    Regards,
    Trevor.

  2. Bobby Rock says:

    Trevor –

    It would be hard to find a more unnecessarily controversial nutrition issue around the web than soy. In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen quite as much exaggerated bullshit attached to any other single subject than soy. So please, make yourself a banana/soy shake, then read the following detailed article/book excerpt I have that covers most every issue surrounding soy.

    http://www.rocksolidfitness.net/thesoystory.html

  3. Trevor says:

    Thanks Bobby.

    Article read; mind at ease.

  4. Lisamarie says:

    Actually I’m glad the subject of soy came up, too. I read over the link above, as I have kind of wondered if I’ve been taking in too much, what with using soymilk on cereal, sometimes drinking it by the glass/cup-full, and then sometimes eating soy-based processed foods for lunch and dinner and then I like the soy ice cream.
    Does this sound like I need to cut back a little? What is the recommended amount/number of servings per day?

  5. Despina says:

    People’s bones and everything are weaker in this country because they don’t move around and because of the processed food and junk that they eat. Even doctor’s try to make you believe that milk is the answer to getting the calcium you need and i guess thats why people get confused. I think if everyone sticks to eating a plant based lifestyle all bad health issues will vanish. I was diagnosed with cancer. As soon as I found out I became a total vegan lost about 50 and got into the best shape of my life. Then all of the sudden they couldn’t find it anymore . Until this day they can’t figure out where it went.lol So I truely believe that I’m living proof that we don’t need dairy :o)

  6. Bobby Rock says:

    Despina –

    Thanks for the post!

    Lisamarie –

    Sounds like a lot to me, although I know it’s very easy to put away multiple servings of soy products throughout the day. Your total number of servings of soy should ultimately be commensurate to your bodyweight and total caloric intake.

    That said, I would try to limit your total servings to 2 or 3 per day, for now. This might require a little more shuffling around and using a few alternatives (like rice milk in your cereal or non-soy desserts on days when you’ve already had a few other soy products), but it can be done. Consider it an ongoing part of your evolution to an even more nutrient-dense diet.

    You’re doing well…

  7. Despite of asking something, I have a little hint regarding the differentiation of types of calcium:
    Calcium is an element which can only be absorbed through enzymes (produced by our body). Calcium deriving from milk and meat products is ‘ready to go’-calcium, meaning that there’re NO ENZYMES necessary to absorb it. And here comes the problem: if our body doesn’t have the right key (enzyme) in order to fit the right keyhole (primitive calcium, meaning ‘not yet ready to be used’-calcium), calcium won’t be absorbed at all !! Instead, while osteoblasts (bone-builder-cells) open their doors in order to receive calcium, they loose some of their own ‘already stored’-calcium. And this process promotes osteoporosis.
    The best calcium sources therefore are (as Bobby already mentioned) in green vegetables, EXCEPT SPINACH (Spinach is a calcium-stealer for our body)!!. In fact, early cartoons, such as Popeye, were propaganda modules to CAUSE osteoporosis (pharma-industry-business-plan).

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