Welcome to the Family Chiropractic & Massage blog! Here, we will discuss anything and everything that has to do with chiropractic care and wellness. We will share helpful information and hopefully answer any questions you have through our articles. We are a chiropractic clinic that began in 1997 and has since grown to locations in North Charleston, Summerville, and Moncks Corner, South Carolina. We are dedicated to providing tailored care and treatment with traditional and new techniques to help our patients reach their wellness goals. We treat a variety of conditions including neck pain, back pain, injuries, sciatica, scoliosis, and more. Besides chiropractic care, we also offer physiotherapeutic care, rehabilitative care, and massage therapy. Our licensed massage therapist offers all types of massage from deep tissue to compression massage and more. We are strong believers in natural healing! Check out our website to find out more information about the services and care we offer, and contact us today to schedule an appointment with our experienced doctors!

In our last post, we took a look at different teas and their benefits. Tea has long been a staple of Eastern medicine, as well as herbal and holistic medicine, and has been regarded as a key to good health and happiness. We discussed five types of tea, including black, green, white, oolong, and pu-erh! Tea has a long list of benefits including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. If you are interested in learning more about these teas and how they can benefit you and your health, we encourage you to check out our last blog!

Today, we’ll be discussing non-dairy foods that are packed with calcium. Calcium is a mineral most often associated with bones and teeth. It is the most abundant mineral found in our bodies and plays a vital role in more than just bone health. It is essential for the proper functioning of the cardiovascular, muscular, and nervous systems. The body does not produce calcium, so we must obtain it from other sources, like food. When we think of calcium, many people think of dairy. Dairy products are products made from milk, such as cheese, yogurt, and– of course– milk itself. These foods are high in calcium and are said to be the most easily absorbed sources of it. But what does that mean for those who can’t eat or choose not to eat dairy? People with digestive issues like lactose intolerance or those who follow a vegan diet cannot eat dairy products. Luckily, there are many sources of calcium out there that do not contain dairy. If you are interested in learning more about non-dairy foods that contain calcium, you’re in the right place. Let’s get started.

First, let’s take a closer look at why calcium is important for the bones. Calcium assists with bone development, growth, maintenance, and overall structure. In fact, about 99% of calcium in the body is stored in bones and teeth. When the body creates bone tissue, a framework of collagen is laid down first. Collagen is a protein found in connective tissue, skin, bone, tendon, and cartilage. After the collagen is put down, small crystals of calcium from the blood spread throughout the framework. Calcium and collagen work together to make bones strong and flexible. Bone is living tissue that is constantly being broken down and replaced, but this process can slow down if you have a low calcium intake. If your body does not get enough calcium, your bones can become weak and brittle. This can also lead to the development of other health conditions, such as osteoporosis, which is a disease that develops due to low bone density and quality. This can increase your risk of fractures and breaks. 

Since the body does not produce calcium, it is important to eat foods that are high in calcium. It is recommended that most adults consume 1,000 mg of calcium per day. This number is generally higher for adolescents and older adults. However, some factors may interfere with a person’s calcium intake. For example, certain bowel or digestive diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease or celiac disease, may decrease a person’s ability to absorb calcium. Getting a sufficient intake of calcium can also be difficult for people who have lactose intolerance or follow a vegan diet. If any of these factors apply to you, there are plenty of non-dairy foods that are rich in calcium. Here are just a few!

Beans And Lentils

Beans are seeds of a family of plants called Fabaceae. They are rich in fiber, important vitamins and minerals, and– of course– calcium! In particular, cannellini beans contain as much as 62 mg of calcium per 100 grams. Other types of beans that are especially high in calcium are red kidney beans, navy beans, and pinto beans. Lentils are a type of plant known as a legume and are known for their high levels of protein. One cup of lentils serves up 67 mg of calcium! Just like beans, there are a variety of different lentils, making them extremely versatile. They work well in soups and salads, and could also be used as a side dish. 

Nuts And Seeds

Your calcium intake doesn’t have to be limited to a meal– You can get calcium from snacks, too! Nuts and seeds are great for quick, on-the-go snacks, and they help with your calcium intake. Of all nuts, almonds come in at number one when it comes to calcium. One ounce of almonds can deliver about 6% of the recommended daily value (DV). In addition to calcium, almonds contain fiber, healthy fats, and protein. Also high on the list are hazelnuts, walnuts, pistachios, peanuts, and macadamia nuts. In addition to nuts, seeds are nutritional powerhouses. Despite their size, they are packed with nutrients, including calcium. Sesame and chia seeds, in particular, are among the highest. Chia seeds have been renowned for their health benefits for centuries, as they contain antioxidants, minerals, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. They are extremely versatile and can be used in many ways. 100 grams of chia seeds pack about 255 mg of calcium!

Leafy Greens

We have all heard about the benefits of leafy greens– They are packed with vitamins and minerals, but are low in calories, making them a popular staple of a healthy diet. But did you know that they are beneficial to your bones, too? Dark, leafy greens like kale and collard greens are rich in minerals like calcium, but to get the most out of this, it is best that they are cooked, rather than raw. Collard greens have the highest amount of calcium, with 175 mg per half-cup. However, you should keep in mind that some leafy greens, such as spinach, are high in oxalates. Oxalates are naturally occurring compounds that bind to calcium and may interfere with absorption. This does not mean that you should avoid spinach, but make note that it is not absorbed as well as other leafy greens like kale. 

Fortified Drinks

If you have to pass on the milk, some non-dairy beverages can offer calcium. For example, nut or seed-based milks like almond milk are often fortified with calcium, which means that calcium is added to enhance or increase its nutritional value. Be sure to check the label of your favorite non-dairy beverage to see how much calcium it contains. These types of beverages are naturally low in naturally produced calcium, but when fortified, almond milk and soy milk tend to have the highest levels. Additionally, fortified orange juice is a fantastic source of calcium, typically providing about 350 mg per serving. 

These are just a few non-dairy foods high in calcium. Getting the right amount of calcium in your diet is essential to your overall health, including your bone health. Keeping your body healthy is just one step toward a healthy lifestyle, and can also maximize the results of chiropractic care! We hope you found this article informative, and we encourage you to reach out to us if you have any further questions or concerns. It would be a pleasure to assist you. Here at Family Chiropractic & Massage, we offer chiropractic care as well as massage services and heat and cold therapy. We have doctors who have studied various chiropractic techniques to render care to patients with different types of conditions. As people vary, so do the techniques chosen to help each patient get well. We use evidence-based treatment methods to help patients get better faster. If you are suffering from any type of back pain, contact us today to set up an appointment so we can assess your needs and create an effective treatment plan. One of our experienced doctors would love to help get you on the right track to living a healthy, pain-free life! Thank you for reading, and we hope you’ll check back for more articles about chiropractic care and all it has to offer!