Brings to thought, if we were to get rid of the goats and just ate stored food, how would he get enough calcium? Not just calcium, but Vitamin D also. (Vit D is in the next post.)
Why do we need calcium?
We need to consume a certain amount of calcium to build and maintain strong bones and healthy communication between the brain and various parts of the body.
Calcium strengthens the bones of humans until they reach the age of 20-25 years. After then, calcium helps bone maintenance and helps slow down bone density loss. It also regulates muscle contractions (including the heart, which is a muscle), helps normal blood coagulation (clotting), and with blood movement throughout our bodies. Calcium also helps with hormones and enzymes, and adequate levels early in life could protect against obesity later on.
Almost all of our calcium is stored in our teeth and bones, where it supports their hardness and structure.
How much calcium do you need?
I've seen these guidelines:
- Young children 1-3 years old should get 700 milligrams (mg) per day.
- Children 4-8 years old should get 1,000 mg per day.
- Children 9-18 years old should get 1,300 mg of calcium a day.
- Women younger than 51 and men up to age 70 should get 1,000 mg per day.
- Women 51 to 70 should get 1,200 mg/day.
- Women and men 71 and over should get 1,200 mg per day.
How does this translate into your daily diet?
A 45-year-old could easily get her recommended daily 1,000 mg of calcium by eating:
- 1 packet of fortified oatmeal (100 mg)
- 1 cup of skim milk (305 mg)
- 8 ounces of non-fat yogurt (452 mg)
- ½ cup of spinach (146 mg)
Here are some foods that are high in calcium:
- Soy beans
- White beans
- Some fish, like sardines, salmon, perch, and rainbow trout
- Foods that are calcium fortified, such as some orange juice, oatmeal, and breakfast cereal
Coconut milk doesn't have calcium. Not that I have seen.
Unless you raise the soy beans yourself from non-gmo seeds, I wouldn't recommend them as a source. Do your best to not only provide alternatives, but make sure those alternatives are as healthy as possible.
Of course, you could always store calcium tablets!