From an early age, we are taught to drink our milk, and it gets ingrained in our minds. We never stop to wonder why, we just know that it is expected of us. If you think about it, it seems pretty odd to drink the milk of another species. Being that we are the only species that does that, it has to make you wonder. With the ever expanding dairy farm operations, disgusting information has come to light. What once started out as innocently milking an utter into a bucket has turned into a massive, horrible process. Cows and their calves undergo torturous practices and are pumped full of unnatural things in order to produce more milk. The animal activist in me is screaming after watching some of the disturbing undercover videos from dairy farms.
I know that it is expected of us to drink milk because we need calcium, but it's not as if there are no other sources of calcium out there. In fact, there are many other options that contain more calcium than milk does. You do not have to give up milk, if you don't have a problem with it, but just be informed. For those of you who have an intolerance to milk, this article is for you too. The best thing about technology advancements these days is that you have so many more options. Back in the day, your choices were very limited for lactose free foods, but now they are everywhere. There are so many alternatives to milk, and milk products, that you don't have to worry about missing out on simple pleasures.
Almond milk is a crucial part of my day. I put it in my coffee, in my breakfast shake, and in my oatmeal when I have it. In my opinion, it's better than milk. Not only that, but it has more calcium than milk does by a long shot. Almond milk also has less fat than regular milk, and has virtually no cholesterol, saturated fat, or lactose. I often substitute almond milk for cow's milk in recipes, and my family doesn't even notice. Win.
Kale is the superfood of the decade, and that's not even an exaggeration. This leafy green has taken health stores by storm, in the form of chips, smoothies, and drinks. There is a reason why people have gone crazy over kale. This veggie packs only 30 calories per cup, and contains 101 milligrams of calcium, more Vitamin C than an orange, and twice the amount of Vitamin A needed per day. There are tons of different ways you can prepare kale, depending on your personal tastes. One cup a day doesn't cut it, however, you get about 1/10th of your daily requirement of calcium per cup.
If you are familiar with the vegan/vegetarian lifestyle, you are probably well-acquainted with tofu. The possibilities are endless with tofu, as it can take on the flavor of whatever you are cooking it with. Tofu is normally used as a form of protein for those who swear off meat, but it is loaded in calcium as well. In fact, tofu has a whopping 434 milligrams of protein in half a cup. That is almost half of your daily requirement!
When all else fails, there are always supplements you can take to make sure you get enough calcium. We know how important it is for our bodies, and the bad things that can happen in the event of a deficiency. Studies have shown that supplements can increase bone density, which helps prevent major problems. Osteoporosis is a very common bone disease, especially as one ages. Taking calcium supplements can help prevent osteoporosis as well, which prevents multiple fractures in the long run as well.
The truth is, you don't need milk. I'm no doctor, but it seems that it has just as many disadvantages as possible advantages. If you are hanging on to the cow's milk for calcium reasons alone, rest assured that its not your only option. There are plenty of options that can be even better for you than dairy. As always, do your research and decide what is the right choice for you. Just make sure that you are giving your body the essential vitamins and nutrients it needs, and you will be just fine.