Can we replace milk in our diet? Let’s find out
We know that milk is rich in calcium and essential to strengthen our bones. But is it possible to get adequate amounts of calcium from sources other than milk? Calcium is present in many more natural food items than people are aware of, but being a fussy mineral, it does not get absorbed easily. Getting adequate calcium isn’t as easy as drinking a glass of milk. This is because as we age, our digestion becomes less efficient. Also, excessive consumption of non-vegetarian food, caffeine and alcohol messes with our calcium intake.
QUALITY OF MILK
Add to that the fact that today, we have to deal with issues such as adulterated milk and unhealthy additives in milk. And to make matters worse, more and more urban Indians are becoming lactose intolerant (inability to digest milk).
SO, WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES?
Drink a glass of juice made of six raw carrots and 50gm of spinach every day. It contains approximately 300mg of calcium as compared to the 240mg present in 200ml of cow’s milk. It also helps improve one’s eyesight, purifies the blood and relieves constipation, among other benefits. Whole pulses such as kidney beans, chickpeas and horse gram, have 200 to 250mg of calcium per 100gm. Besides fulfilling your calcium needs, these pulses are highly beneficial in controlling blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides. Both white and black sesame seeds are rich in calcium. Eat about 2-4tsp daily if you want to avoid milk. 100gm of sesame seeds contain 1400mg of calcium. You can also make a paste of sesame seeds by grinding them with fresh coconut, a pinch of salt and jaggery. Drinking two glasses of soya milk daily will not only provide you with adequate calcium, but also give you the much needed isoflavones, which help prevent osteoporosis. Snacking on soya nuts helps the calcium to trickle in through the day, as 100gm of these nuts contain 240mg of calcium. Now, that you know this, rest assured that you can improve your calcium intake, without depending on milk.