Moooove over milk

Published 10:38 am Wednesday, September 2, 2009

As summer lingers, toddlers to school age children, are gearing up and practicing for fall sports. So we expect the inevitable bumps, cuts, scrapes and bruises, but a child’s broken bones are our worst nightmare. By incorporating more plant based foods into our diets, we can protect against, prevent, and even reverse bone disease and brittleness.

Throughout the years slogans, like “Milk does the body good” and “Got Milk?” motivated many to increase their intake. But the latest research and discoveries are now making us question, “Why not?” to drink milk.

Besides the ever growing number of those diagnosed lactose intolerant, many are seeking dairy alternatives. The undesirable amounts of antibiotics and hormones found in milk are another reason to leave it on the shelf. Although a high source of calcium, milk has not proved that it is the best and only source of calcium in preventing bone diseases.

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So where else can you get your calcium?

Good sources of calcium are found in: dried peas, dried fruits, legumes/beans, blackstrap molasses, dark leafy green vegetables, soy products, whole grains, nuts and seeds, sea vegetables, fortified rice and almond milk.

Although highly neglected, magnesium also enhances the absorption of calcium. The ratio for calcium to magnesium is 2:1. Foods high in magnesium are: bananas, dark leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, cucumbers, avocados, blackstrap molasses, chocolate, black and navy beans, whole grains, peanut butter, nuts, and seeds, and tofu.

Considering the benefits of calcium rich plant based foods, why not add them to your diet to meet the daily requirements. So, have fun in the kitchen with your kids and teach them the benefits of a whole foods diet.

Here are a few simple and easy recipes your family will love and incorporate calcium rich foods into your daily diet. More can be found later or by request on my sites: or

Marquita Griffin is a resident of Demopolis and an healthy eating advocate