Calcium is an essential mineral to build and maintain health bones and teeth, to clot blood, for cell membrane function, nerve conduction, muscle contraction and regulating enzymes.
We have been brought up from a young age to drink milk every day to ensure we get enough calcium.
Nowadays people have realised that milk (and other dairy products) are not the best for our health. More and more people are developing intolerances to dairy due to it being highly processed and acid forming and containing allergenic proteins, lactose sugar and traces of contamination.
Almost all of the calcium in the body is in the bones. There is a tiny amount in the bloodstream, which is responsible for important functions such as muscle contraction, maintenance of the heartbeat, and transmission of nerve impulses.
It’s important to prevent the loss of calcium from your body rather than boosting your calcium intake.
We regularly lose calcium from our bloodstream through urine, sweat, and feces. It is renewed with calcium from bone or from the diet. How quickly calcium is lost depends, on the kind and amount of protein you eat, as well as other diet and lifestyle choices.
For proper calcium absorption, you need to consume food sources that contain types of calcium that are easily digested, assimilated, and absorbed. Keep a watchful eye on your protein, sodium, and other mineral intakes, as they all affect this process. Especially important to note is the special relationship between magnesium and calcium. These nutrients rely on each other, and both need to be present for proper absorption. Usually it’s in a 2:1 ratio, with two parts calcium to one part magnesium.
Because of the calcium-magnesium ratio in dairy products, our bodies do not properly absorb the calcium it contains. Excess stores of calcium accumulate in our blood and urine and can cause kidney problems or failure or cause kidney and gall stones.
How to reduce calcium loss
A number of factors affect calcium loss from the body:
- Diets that are high in protein cause more calcium to be lost through the urine. Protein from animal products is much more likely to cause calcium loss than protein from plant foods.
- Diets high in sodium increase calcium losses in the urine.
- Caffeine increases the rate at which calcium is lost through urine.
- Smoking increases the loss of calcium from the body.
A number of factors increase bone building in the body:
- Exercise is one of the most important factors in maintaining bone health.
- Exposure to sunlight allows the body to make the bone-building hormone Vitamin D.
- Eating a plentiful amount of fruits and vegetables helps to keep calcium in bone.
- Consuming calcium from plant-based sources provides one of the best building blocks for bone building.
You may be surprised to know that many plant based foods provide calcium, and some even have more than animal based foods.
10 of the best plant based sources of calcium
Spinach 1 cup – 56mg
Spinach shows up on more of the healthy foods lists than any other food, so it’s no surprise to find it on a list of high calcium foods.
Jump aboard the green smoothie trend and add spinach to your smoothie. This loads you up with phytonutrients as well as calcium.
Kale 1 cup – 137mg
You’ve probably heard how healthy kale is by now, and its calcium content is just one of the benefits that put it on the radar of health enthusiasts.
Break up in to a salad, blend some leaves up in to a smoothie or juice them.
Oranges 1 cup – 80mg
Oranges are an extremely bio-available source of calcium, and not to mention have plenty of Vitamin C, which significantly improves the amount of calcium your body absorbs.
Soybeans 1 cup – 175mg
Soybeans contain more calcium than any other legume. Processing soybeans has varying results, with tofu having considerably more calcium, and tempeh also ranking as a high calcium food.
Soybeans can be cooked up like beans and lentils, or you can go with a raw version like edamame, or a processed version like tofu or tempeh.
Collard greens 1 cup – 357mg
Try subbing in collard greens for spinach or kale to keep things interesting.
Broccoli 1 cup – 74mg
Steam it, boil it, or shred it up finely in to a salad.
Sesame Seeds/Tahini 2 tbsp – 128mg
These white little seeds pack a very high punch of calcium. Blended sesame seeds make a delicious nutty spread called tahini.
Sprinkle the seeds on a stir fry or use tahini in a salad dressings, hummus, spread or a dip for vegetables.
Figs 1 cup – 241mg
Dried figs actually have a higher concentration of everything fresh figs contain, including calcium, potassium, fibre, and sugar.
Figs are delicious eaten as is and dried figs make a great portable snack.
Okra 1 cup – 140mg
Okra may be one of the healthiest foods you’re probably not eating. It has plenty of fibre, folate, vitamins, and minerals that help your body in a number of ways.
Roast it or cook it in a vegetable stew or curry.
Almonds 1/4 cup – 94mg
Almonds are one of the more alkaline forming nuts. Get the most out of your almonds by soaking them overnight prior to eating. Read more about why you should be soaking your nuts HERE.
The body has an excretory system which is working around the clock to eliminate unwanted toxins. We are exposed to toxins every day from the food we eat, water we drink and the air we breathe.
Why do we need to support our body then?
Lynn R. Goldman, Dean of the George Washington University School of Public Health compared the amount of environmental chemicals today to 500 years ago:
“They lived in a world where most human needs, material needs, were met by the natural world through wood, metals, and other resources that were extracted from the natural environment. Today, we live in a very different world, where nearly everything in this room is in some way derived from industrial chemicals. In just the 25 years between 1970 and 1995, the volume of synthetic organic chemicals produced tripled, from about 50 million tons to approximately 150 million tons. And today it is much more, she noted.”
The Natural Resources Defence Council says “Of the more than 80,000 chemicals currently used in the United States, most haven’t been adequately tested for their effects on human health.” It is estimated that 4 billion pounds of toxic chemicals pour into the environment every year, and approximately 2000 new chemicals are introduced each year. Many of these toxins are fat soluble are stored in fatty tissues and are not easily eliminated. A build up of these contaminants have been associated with disruption of the endocrine, reproductive, and immune systems, impaired neurobehavioral development, and cancer.
It’s obvious our body’s are under more pressure than ever to effectively eliminate unwanted toxins. There is increasing awareness of the fact that we can naturally support the detoxification pathways to positively alter our state of health and wellbeing. I believe this is crucial to understand and implement in this day and age.
The kidneys are part of the body’s excretory systems, and have been called the body’s natural filter. They eliminate around 1.5 litres of urine per day. Urine consists of many by-products of metabolism, like ureas, ammonia, hydrogen ions, creatinine, chemical toxins, medications, synthetic vitamins, and minerals, etc. If these wastes aren’t being removed, they are being reabsorbed, which can cause a whole lot of issues down the track.
There are two key indicators which will let you know if your kidneys are functioning and filtering properly:
- Pee in a glass jar. Put it in the fridge for 12-24 hours. There should be sediment which has accumulated at the bottom of the jar. This shows that your kidneys are filtering waste out of the body. If there is minimal or no sediment, it means your kidneys aren’t filtering optimally.
- Test your blood pressure. The bottom number represents the function of your kidneys. It should be between 60-70.
Here is a fantastic, short and easy to understand video on the importance of kidney filtration and how to achieve it:
The Western-style diet is a major risk factor for impaired kidney function. Kidneys are sensitive to acidosis which is contributed to by foods like animal products, processed sugar and salt, and refined foods.
Dr. Michael Greger states:
“Acidosis causes impairment of kidney blood flow, inflammation, subsequent leakage of protein in the urine, and a rapid decrease in kidney function”.
Swap some animal protein for plant protein such as legumes and soy foods, including tofu, tempeh and soybeans. Research suggests that high intakes of animal protein increase the workload on the kidneys, while soy protein has a lesser effect.
A whole food plant-based diet high in vitamins and minerals is anti-inflammatory and can help reduce strain on the kidneys. Alkaline foods like fruits and vegetables have been shown to protect and maintain the health of the kidneys, whereas animal fat can actually negatively alter the structure of the kidneys.
When the body gets too hot, the skin releases a fluid called sweat to help regulate body temperature. This process is vital for the maintenance of homeostasis (a healthy internal environment) and is part of the excretory function of the skin. The Archives of Environmental and Contamination Toxicology published a study which found many toxic elements appeared to be excreted through sweat. Sweat is made up of 99% water, salts, and urea. These components are also found in the urine produced by the kidneys, showing both of these organs are responsible for waste removal.
Saunas are a great way to raise the temperature of the skin to help sweating occur. Far Infrared heat stimulates the detoxification process by raising your core temperature and heating your tissues several inches deep. This enhances your natural metabolic processes by assisting with the excretions of toxins via the pores through increased sweating. The present data also suggests a protective effect of regular sauna on skin physiology, especially its ability to maintain proper hydration and surface pH.
It’s important to note these effects are related to regular, multiple sessions of sauna usage as opposed to single sauna sessions. This means it’s best to make sauna bathing a regular part of your lifestyle.
Moderate use of saunas are safe for most people. The biggest risk of saunas is dehydration. Reduce your risk by drinking plenty of clean water before, during and after a sauna, avoiding alcohol consumption and spending no more than 20 minutes in there at a time. People should also take precautions if they have heart conditions, high blood pressure, or unstable angina.
Another great way to sweat is through physical activity. If you haven’t already, cultivate a regular movement practice that you enjoy, and incorporate exercise that makes you sweat. You don’t need to exercise in a way that makes you sweat every day, but 2-3 times per week will be beneficial.
Dry Body Brushing
Dry skin brushing increases lymphatic drainage and stimulates circulation, helping your body remove toxins. It also exfoliates your skin and achieves a toned and smooth appearance.
Buy body brush in Australia here.
Buy body brush in other countries here.
The colon is called the “sewer system” of the body and eliminates wastes from digestion. I believe wellness begins in the digestive tract and a healthy colon lays a strong foundation for an overall healthy body.
Physiologically speaking, when we eat there is peristaltic action in the bowel which moves the food down to the large colon. If you’re eating three times a day, you should be pooping three times a day. If you aren’t, you are constipated, and waste from the un-eliminated meals start backing up in the colon. This creates petrification and a breeding ground for unhealthy bacterial to thrive.
What can we do to avoid constipation and create tip top digestion? First, achieve proper cleansing of the colon. Accumulation in the bowel has to be taken care of in order to get the colon back into working order. Second, rebuild and restrengthen the colon to create proper bowel tone.
Note: Even if you do poop after you eat, that doesn’t necessarily mean you haven’t accumulated waste in your bowel. Dr. Bernard Jenson mentioned that he had patients who had three and four movements a day and yet the bowel was quite encrusted and very constipated. Most people don’t know the condition of their bowel. Unfortunately those who are not aware of their bowel function or condition are sometimes the ones who are developing the worst cases of bowel troubles. Therefore it’s important to go through phases of cleansing and strengthening the bowel just in case.
Dr. Bernard Jenson: “Tissue Cleansing Through Bowel Management” says:
“Faulty nutrition is a major underlying factor in constipation. Processed, devitalised foods low in fibre or bulk are not suitable substances to promote health and well-being. Here again, food is very, very important to recognise because this is the one thing that brings back a chemical reserve and gives the power and chemical structure to have good healthy tissue.”
The average human colon is six feet long. Transit time is critical in creating a healthy digestive system. If food moves through the colon relatively fast, wastes are less likely to degrade and putrefy. The same study states: ”You can help food pass through the colon by eating a diet rich in fibre and drinking plenty of water. It may also be worth trying to limit the intake of meat, which slows down the transit time and provides the gut bacteria with lots of protein to digest.”
Make the bulk of your diet raw plant whole foods. The high energetic content of raw foods works to rebuild and clean the physical body, including the colon. They are also high in fibre which increases stool bulk and accelerates colon transit time. Eat foods like berries, apples, ripe spotted bananas, romaine lettuce, spinach, broccoli, kale, parsley, cilantro, papaya, avocado, garlic, etc. Drink plenty of clean, filtered or spring water to keep the bowel hydrated and help prevent constipation.
Avoid “foods” that are processed like bread, cakes, pastries, chocolate, cheese, tinned and packaged foods. These have no life-force energy and lack fibre, therefore slow down transit time and contribute to constipation. Alcohol, dairy and medications have also been shown to increase constipation.
The microbiome plays a crucial role in the health of our digestion. Probiotics have been used to prevent and treat a wide range of gastrointestinal problems, including irregular bowel movements. Certain strains of probiotics (Lactobacillus reuteri, Bifidobacteria, Lactobacillus) stimulate peristalsis of the colon. Lactobacillus plantarum is a particular species which has the special ability to tolerate low pH. This makes it the most suitable species to survive the high acid levels through the gastrointestinal tract. Here are two high quality probiotic supplements which contain this particular species.
Floratrex by Global Healing Centre
Liyfbiotic by Puradyme
Modern western-style food contains several thousand times less bacteria than prehistoric food. A whole food plant based diet positively effects gut microbiome compared to a diet based on animal products. Plants are high in dietary fibre and prebiotics which are a non-digestible fibre that is used for energy by beneficial bacteria that live in your intestines. Regularly eat foods like wild blueberries, fermented foods, apples, kiwi fruit, prunes, persimmon, and bananas.
Regular physical activity helps improve muscle tone in the bowel, prevent constipation, and also increases food transit time. Studies have shown low-intensity physical activity, rather than intense physical activity, is more ideal for constipation. Examples include walking, jogging, biking, swimming, rowing, and lifting weights.
Enemas and Colonics
These practices are one of the quickest ways to remove toxic waste from the colon. Colonics are done by a professional colon hydrotherapist and flushes your entire colon with pure water. Enemas are like a miniature colonic which you can do yourself at home. According to Dr. Bernard Jensen, enemas and colonics are the gentlest and most effective form of cleansing your colon and therefore, all of the tissues in your body. He says not only will these tools cleanse the bowel, but they will also restore bowel regularity. This is because they hydrate the colon and gently exercise the muscle which encourages natural peristaltic action in the long term. Used alongside a healthy lifestyle of nutritious foods, exercise, sunlight, etc. enemas and colonics are a great addition to creating a well functioning colon.
Here is a colon cleanse kit created by Dr. Group. He states that the power of oxygen will flush and neutralise toxins in your digestive tract and restore your gut’s colonies of beneficial probiotics to support healthy digestion.
“Ingestion of the body’s main source of energy—”oxygen.” Oxygen allows for oxidation to take place within the body. The respiratory system removes carbon dioxide; helps regulate the acid-base balance of the body; and brings hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, etc., into the body. These elements are life’s most basic foods.”
– Dr. Robert Morse “Miracle Detox Book”
Unfortunately most people unconsciously practice shallow breathing due to the stress in their lives. This causes reduced oxygen uptake to the blood leading to fatigue, which subsequently makes us feel more stressed. Without sufficient oxygen we aren’t releasing enough carbon dioxide and toxins begin to accumulate in the body, including the lungs.
Practicing conscious deep breathing will allow more oxygen to flow into your lungs. It helps clear airways by breaking up and removing accumulated toxins in the lungs. Try taking time each day to focus on inhaling deeply through the nose, allowing the chest to rise and the belly expand. Then exhale slowly while the belly contracts.
Peppermint, tea tree and thyme oil contain antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties and have all been proven to have positive effects on respiratory disorders. The antioxidant properties in eucalyptus oil decreases lung airway inflammation, while oregano oil has also been shown to clear lungs and bronchial passages by boiling it with hot water or adding it to a vaporiser to inhale the steam.
Try adding a few drops of oil to a pot with boiling water. Cover your head with a towel, close your eyes, and put your face over the pot. Inhale the steam. Repeat several times to clear your throat and nasal passages.
Note: Look for a trusted producer that makes pure oils with no additives. If you are taking prescription medications, do not start oil of oregano without consulting with your doctor or an integrative physician first.
Allertrex is an all natural and organic product which contains a combination of 12 herbs (including the ones already mentioned) to help cleanse and strengthen the lungs.
It has been confirmed that a minimally processed diet based around plant foods is important when it comes to the health and function of the lungs. Antioxidants have been shown to help keep the lungs working effectively. They counteract oxidative stress in the body which plays a role in a decrease in lung function. Foods high in antioxidants include tomatoes, apples, bananas, berries, prunes, raisins, red grapes, cherries, kale, spinach, alfalfa sprouts, broccoli, beetroot, and red bell pepper.
A diet rich in carotenoid-rich foods have been associated with better lung function. Foods high in carotenoids include apricots, cantaloupe, carrots, pumpkin and sweet potato, pink grapefruit, tomatoes and watermelon, mango, papaya, peaches, prunes, squash and oranges, green beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, kiwi, lettuce, peas and spinach.
Lung function decline is associated with systemic inflammation Therefore anti-inflammatory foods like ginger, blueberries, apples, leafy greens, tomatoes, along with a whole food plant based diet in general is great to reduce inflammation.
It’s essential to get your body’s detoxification pathways working effectively and in synergy to ensure you’re removing accumulation of waste and achieving homeostasis of the body.