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Is Milk The Best Source of Calcium?

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By, Chris Johnson, Founder & CEO of On Target Living

This is a common question I receive. I was brought up with this same mindset that if you want strong bones, healthy teeth, and strong muscles–you need to drink milk!

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 5.17.12 PMGrowing up in Michigan I was raised on the typical Midwestern diet of meat, potatoes and milk. I had skin problems from age 4-22; the doctors told my parents that your son has sensitive skin? I did not have sensitive skin; I was eating an unhealthy diet (white bread, meat, processed foods and lots of milk (high protein, acidic diet).

Did you know that the United States has one of the highest intakes of calcium in the world and still has poor bone health compared to most other countries around the world? I think we all need to ask a better question–if I consume lots of calcium, why do I have poor bone health?

The human body is remarkably adaptable, but cow’s milk is simply not designed for humans. Over 98% of the population is lactase intolerant. By the age of three, most have lost the digestive enzyme called lactase that our body uses to break down lactose in milk.

On top of being lactose intolerant, dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, whey) are also extremely acidic on the human body. As your body becomes too acidic the body looks to buffering minerals to balance your body’s pH. What does that mean? In order to counterbalance this high acid, your body has to draw on its own mineral reserves to bring your body’s pH back into balance. The first place the body looks, is the largest mineral in the human body (calcium from your bones).

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What milk sources do I recommend and use myself?

  • Organic almond milk
  • Organic coconut milk
  • Organic hemp milk
  • Organic goats milk

So what are some other great sources of calcium?

  • Broccoli, spinach, kale, Brussels sprouts, wheatgrass, barley grass, spirulina/chlorella, leafy greens, collard greens, bok choy, kelp
  • Oranges, figs, dates, raisins and prunes
  • Black beans, soybeans
  • Almonds, sesame seeds, hemps seeds, flaxseeds, chia seeds
  • Salmon, sardines
  • Black strap molasses


Best Sources of Calcium

FoodServingAmount of Calcium (mg)
Collard Greens1 cup (cooked)320
Greek Yogurt1 cup270
Spinach1 cup (cooked)250
Black Eyed Peas1 cup (cooked)210
Blackstrap Molasses1 tbsp.180
Sesame Seeds/Tahini2 tbsp.180/50
Mineral Water

(High Mineral Content)

2 cups170
Chia Seeds2 tbsp.140
Rhubarb1 cup (raw)110
Fortified Milk1 cup100-450
Kale1 cup (raw)100
Canned Salmon (with bones)1 serving100
Organic Edamame½ cup shelled80
Figs2 dried figs80
Almonds1 ounce (24 almonds)75
Flaxseeds2 tbsp.50
Spirulina/Chlorella12 tablets12

Best Food Groups: Plant based milks, green vegetables, soybeans, fish, nuts and seeds

Daily Needs: 1,000 mg

Here’s to stronger bones, better digestion, healthy skin, hair, nails and an overall healthier YOU!

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