Feed Your Goddess – Part 2

veggiesHold on a minute…you didn’t really think it was going to be that easy, did you? In fact, getting enough bioavailable calcium (that’s the calcium your body can actually absorb and utilize for body functions) depends a great deal on eliminating or limiting the many foods and beverages that act as calcium inhibitors either by interfering with calcium absorption or by increasing calcium excretion. Here’s the bad-boy list:

  • Cocoa, coffee, tea and other caffeinated beverage, since caffeine doubles the rate of calcium excretion! Three cups of coffee leads to a loss of approximately 45 mg of calcium!
  • Spinach, rhubarb, asparagus, dandelion greens all contain oxalates which bind to calcium to form calcium oxalate, which is not digestible. Avoid eating these foods at the same time as calcium-rich foods.
  • Excessive grains or bran, which contain phytic acid can also interfere with calcium absorption.
  • Aluminum in the diet also interferes with calcium uptake. Don’t think you ingest aluminum? Think again!
  • Common sources include: Antacids (Maalox, Mylanta, Gelusil); aluminum cookware and foil, particularly for acidic foods, which cause leaching of the aluminum; aluminum pop cans and acidic juices in cardboard cartons, which are lined with aluminum; baking powder (buy aluminum free!); pickles; processed cheese products; and peppermint tea (!)
  • High protein diets lead to excess nitrogen and sulfur in the body which create an acid environment. In order to neutralize this acid, the body leaches calcium from our bones.
  • High levels of “bad” fats combine with calcium in the intestines creating an insoluble compound that makes it impossible for the body to access the calcium.
  • Carbonated beverages do double damage to calcium absorption, first by creating phosphoric acid, which leaches calcium from bone, and second by neutralizing hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which is necessary for calcium absorption.
  • Cigarette smoking (as if you needed any more reasons to quit!)
  • Some drugs and OTC medications affect calcium uptake by either increasing calcium excretion or interfering with absorption.

Feed Your Goddess – Part 1

Feed Your Goddess – Part 3

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