Calcium 101? Oh Kale Yes!

Calcium 101? Oh Kale Yes!

Think Dairy-Free Leads To Calcium Deficiency? Think Again.

Did your mama tell you to drink your milk for strong bones?  Well, times have changed. This article incorporates research from Purdue’s own researcher, Connie Weaver, as well as registered dietitians, Julieanna Hever and McKel Hill, to uncover why milk and dairy products as the primary source of calcium is a practice of the past.

Why is calcium important? Calcium is a mineral, and a micronutrient needed for many vital processes in the body. Of course, we need calcium for strong bones, but we also use calcium in muscle contraction, hormonal secretion, nerve function, messaging between cells, heart contraction and blood flow.

How much calcium do you need? Men and women generally require between 1000 to 1300mg per day.

What are the best sources for calcium? According to the results of the study, “Calcium Absorption From Kale,” published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, by Purdue’s own, Connie M. Weaver, “Absorption of kale calcium was excellent in all 11 subjects, with no value being less than 30 percent.  In nine of the 11 subjects, kale calcium absorbability was higher than milk calcium.” 

Did you know that one cup white beans is 19 percent the daily recommended amount of calcium? There are lots of clean, cruelty free sources of calcium that are more easily absorbed than milk. Here the most significant:







- Kale

- Collard Greens

- Turnip Greens

- Tofu

- Tempeh

- Tahini/ sesame seeds

- Molasses

- Broccoli

- Seaweeds

- Almonds

Here are four more reasons why you should ditch dairy, from registered dietitian, Julieanna Hever, M.S., R.D., C.P.T. 

1. We are the only species that drinks the lactation excretions of another species and the only species that continues to drink milk after being weaned.

2. Seventy percent of the world’s population is lactose-intolerant

3. Dairy provides high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol, which are known to cause atherosclerosis. This leads to heart disease.

4. Casein is possibly a potent carcinogen. Dr. T. Colin Campbell, author of, “The China Study,” found casein to be a powerful cancer promoter after decades of laboratory research. He was able to turn cancer on and off simply by increasing the amount of raw casein fed.

Also, did you know that cow farts are a bigger contributor to global warming than car emissions? Not to mention the fact that cows do need to be impregnated to produce the milk that we drink. Impregnating an animal and then stealing its baby’s milk? Shake. My. Head.  

Dairy is not needed to get your calcium! There are amazing foods to keep in mind, that are rich in calcium, dairy-free, and taste delicious. Try almond milk, rice milk, soymilk, or coconut milk. My favorite is hemp milk. Still worried about your bone health? The number one most important factor in bone health is exercise; stress needs to be applied to your bones regularly to increase and maintain bone density.  Heading to the gym and the produce section to get strong, healthy bones for life? Oh KALE yes!











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Reflections From the Outside World

It doesn’t get better unless you work for it

It has been exactly one month since I was released from the psych ward, but don’t worry… I’m not here to tell all of you struggling with mental health problems that it gets better overnight, because it doesn’t. Nothing will get better if you don’t work for it.

If all you do is lay in bed and let your depression swallow your life, it will not get better. If you let your anxiety take over your life to where you cannot leave your house, it will not get better. You need to work for it. More often than not, working for it means accepting that you may need medication. For me personally, medication has been the only thing that has allowed me to have any sort of balance in my life.

Looking back, I am so grateful for my stay at the hospital. I am not ashamed of it nor will I ever be. I am stronger than ever and now realize that my mental health will always take priority over school, work, relationships, friendships, etc.

I’m not here to tell you that throughout the time I’ve been off and on medication that my life has been amazing, because that’s not true. Of course you will have bad days, days where getting out of bed seems impossible, or days where you just feel lost and out of it.

Metaphorically, Depression is similar to a person and their shadow. On some days it feels like you are inside a dim room and your shadow (the depression) is nowhere to be seen. However, there are days where you feel like you are outside on a bright sunny day and your shadow follows you everywhere.

You will have those days and that's completely okay. Just remember on those days to do your best and realize that the next day is a completely new day where you can completely start over.

To those who have experienced inpatient care, Remember all of the feelings you had while you were doing the inpatient. Remember the calmness of the environment, the feelings of understanding from the other patients, the feeling of safety and security from the demons inside your brain. Try to give yourself all of those feelings. Make yourself feel understood, calm, safe, wanted, and loved. Many times we do not see ourselves as spiraling downwards until we are so deep in the hole that it is too late to find a ladder to get out. Do not stop working on yourself; your mental health is always a priority over everything. Sometimes you need to fight yourself for your own life.

Cover Image Credit: pexe;s

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For Those Who Struggle With Forgiveness

Give yourself a break.

What is forgiveness?

Seems like a simple question. According to Merriam-Webster, to forgive is to “cease to feel resentment against (an offender).” And for most of my life, that is what I have allowed myself to believe.

Forgiveness is simply the act of letting something go. As I’ve learned over the past couple years, though, to truly forgive someone involves something much deeper and more enlightening than that. It involves trust, one of the most necessary and wholly human emotions that we can feel. It also has a different definition for each person, which defines itself by that individual’s personality and standards.

Forgiveness, for me, is much more intense than simply “letting it go.” Forgiveness can only begin when I allow myself to become vulnerable after a traumatic break in trust, trust that may have been building for a long time. It means making a conscious decision to love and allow for trust again.

But forgiveness for me has not only been between me and others. A lot of my year has comprised of learning how to forgive myself. Easier said than done, right?

People make mistakes. A defining character of humanity is that we are not, nor will we ever be, perfect. I’ve always been the type of person who is hyper-critical of myself, especially in the mistakes I make and how I deal with them. So, when I did screw up, it became harder and harder to forgive myself.

But as I find myself growing as a person, I have also found myself to be more understanding and empathetic to my own feelings. I have found it much more empowering to take my mistakes and turn them into an experience, one that I can learn and grow from.

You deserve to be loved. You deserve to be forgiven, and you deserve to forgive. Allow yourself to take your mistakes and empathize with your own emotions and reasons.

In today’s society, it is easy to get caught up in the stress of attempting to be perfect. It seems that there is such a deep stigma attached to the idea of flaws, thereby forcing us to see mistakes as a reason for ridicule. Instead, see them as a means of growth, learn from it, and move on with your beautiful, blessed life.

Give yourself a damn break, you deserve it.

Cover Image Credit: Lina Trochez

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