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Calcium: Good Sources When Allergic to Milk

Sesame Pod

Where can I get calcium when I have been diagnosed with a milk allergy? 

Milk may induce an allergic reaction because it contains over 25 different proteins.  Then there are the people (60 million or more in North America) who are lactose intolerant because they are unable to digest the natural sugar in milk called lactose. The enzyme lactase breaks down lactose, which most people's body stop manufacturing it between childhood and adolescence.  The question arises from these stats: Are people lactase deficient or is milk is not intended for adults?

 What happens in a human body that is lactose intolerant and they drink milk?  In the intestines, milk ferments and creates a by-product called lactic acid.  It can cause gas, diarrhea, bloating and abdominal cramping.  The lactic acid is absorbed into the blood stream where it attaches to magnesium and calcium.  This is problematic because these two minerals can become inaccessible to other body tissues that need them.  Calcium is a mineral used to counteract acidity and protect organs from toxic effects.

It is possible to get enough calcium without dairy products, as pasteurized milk loses half of its calcium during this process.  Did you know that skim and low fat milk don't allow for proper transportation of calcium and absorption because it is missing the fat. 

In whole milk, only 288mg of calcium is available per cup. So here is a list of higher calcium sources from nuts, seeds, legumes and vegetables.  Combining these sources together through out the day can give your body the calcium it needs.

Sesame Seeds         2,200mg/cup         Sesame Butter                843mg/3oz

Almonds                      600mg/cup         Almond Butter                225mg/3oz

Hazelnuts                    424mg/cup         

Hazelnut Butter              159mg/3oz

Sunflower Seeds        260mg/cup         Sunflower Seed Butter    99mg/3oz

Soybeans                    460mg/cup

Tofu                             258mg/cup

Navy Beans                128mg/cup

Chick Peas                    80mg/cup

Kidney Beans               50mg/cup

Collard Greens            74mg/half cup

Kelp                               68mg/3.5oz

Swiss Chard                 51mg/half cup

Artichoke                      47mg/ medium

Kale                               47mg/half cup

Parsley                          39mg/half cup

Green Beans                29mg/half cup

Peas                              22mg/half cup

Broccoli                        21mg/half cup

Avocado                       19mg/medium

Carrot                           19mg/medium

Spinach                        16mg/half cup

What about nut milk?  This is a great source of calcium and essential fatty acids.  Here is a recipe to make your own nut milk. 

Combine 1/2 cup of raw almonds with 1/2 cup of sesame seeds and 2 cups of water.  Let soak overnight. If you want a creamier substance, then let it soak for 2 days.  Drain the water from the mixture, put in the blender, add 2 cups of water and blend to a pulp consistency (approximately 2-4 minutes).  Line a strainer with cheese cloth and place over a bowl, then pour the mixture into the lined strainer.  Twist and squeeze the remaining milk from the mixture.  You should get 2 cups of milk.  If you are looking for a hint of sweetness, I recommend 1/2 tbsp of organic palm coconut sugar as it is natural,unprocessed and lower on glycemic index or 1/2 tbsp of blackstrap molasses because it has 68.5mg of calcium, natural and lower on glycemic scale compared to white sugar. 

You can keep the pulp in the freezer and add to baked goods.

Just double the recipe if you are wanting more milk.  From your homemade recipe, you can consume 2,800 mg of calcium per cup.  You can adjust the amount of calcium to be less by using more water in the mixture or not using sesame seeds.  The choice is yours as the recommended amount of calcium required is 1000-1200mg per day. 

If you consume coffee, chocolate, soda pop, refined sugar or salt, then your calcium will be lost by excretion through urine.  Calcium cannot be absorbed or transported throughout the body without vitamin D, which is needed for bone formation.  High phosphorus in the blood from meat and soda pop consumption will can be problematic for your bones.  Calcium and phosphorus bind together with a specific ration.  Your body will pull calcium from your bones in order to have the required ratio.  Too low phosphorus is not good.  It is all about balance.  If you drink coffee with sugar and soda pop, then give your body more calcium.

Calcium supplements can be used as they have good absorption rates when it comes from a good quality brand.  Not sure what is a good quality brand? Check out my practitioner grade supplements at

Just remember that calcium lactate is not a recommended supplement if you have a milk intolerance or allergy.  Calcium carbonate, citate, gluconate, hydroxapetite, orotate or chelate are good choices for those who cannot have milk.

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