For decades we have been bombarded by advertisements from the dairy industry telling us that milk strengthens our bones. Well, If you think you and your kids need milk to grow strong bones , then think again. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s a fact , that we need calcium for strong bones and milk has 300 mg per cup of calcium in it. Therefore, it seems logical that milk strengthens our bones. But, contrary to popular belief , the higher the intake of dairy the greater the risk of osteoporosis.

The problem with using milk as a source of calcium is twofold. To begin with, we actually absorb very little calcium from milk. Milk is also rich in phosphorous and the protein caesin. They both can combine with calcium and prevent the absorption of calcium. It is also a well-accepted fact that in order to absorb calcium to its fullest, we need magnesium. Milk contains very little magnesium.

But to make matters worse, the protein in milk actually pulls calcium out of our bones. This happens because animal protein in milk increases the production of acid in the blood which is neutralized by calcium released from the bones. Therefore , even if you are fortunate enough to absorb some of calcium in milk, the surprising net result is an actual calcium deficit because the milk is also robbing you of your calcium stores. If you remove the calcium from the bone you remove the integrity of the bone itself. In essence, you’re adding fuel to the fire.

The best and most effective way to maintain healthy bone mineral density and to avoid osteoporosis in the future is to eat plenty of fresh or lightly steamed green vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, and watercress, and exercise, exercise, and exercise. Regular exercise generates healthy ‘strain’ on bones and muscles that causes nutritional and mechanical changes to bone. At a micro level when bone is under load (with muscles pulling at their insertion) bone formation activity and nutrients absorption occurs. Weight bearing exercises such as walking , jumping, jogging, and weight-lifting are good for developing good bone density. However, if you don’t like veggies and exercising, then you can take a calcium supplement but the source of calcium should be either calcium citrate, or calcium lactate, not calcium carbonate, which is poorly absorbed by the body.

If you simply enjoy the taste of milk and dairy products then by all means continue to consume them but don’t rely on dairy as your sole source of calcium. Plant–based sources are obviously a better choice for strong bones. You can’t always trust what the advertisers are telling you, after all they’re really just out to make a dollar. Unfortunately, many mainstream health practioners ignore these facts and still recommend that we drink lots of milk for strong healthy bones.

Calcium content of foods (per 100-gram portion) (100 grams equals around 3.5 ounces):


Human Breast Milk 33 mg 

  2. Almonds 234 mg

  3. Amaranth 267 mg
Apricots (dried) 67 mg

  5. Artichokes 51 mg

  6. Beans (can: pinto, black) 135 mg

  7. Beet greens (cooked) 99 mg

  8. Blackeye Peas 55 mg

  9. Bran 70 mg

  10. Broccoli (raw) 48 mg

  11. Brussel Sprouts 36 mg

  12. Buckwheat 114 mg

  13. Cabbage (raw) 49 mg

  14. Carrot (raw) 37 mg

  15. Cashew nuts 38 mg

  16. Cauliflower (cooked) 42 mg

  17. Swiss Chard (raw) 88 mg

  18. Chickpeas (garbanzos) 150 mg

  19. Collards (raw leaves) 250 mg

  20. Cress (raw) 81 mg

  21. Dandelion Greens 187 mg

  22. Endive 81 mg

  23. Escarole 81 mg

  24. Figs (dried) 126 mg

  25. Filberts (Hazelnuts) 209 mg

  26. Kale (raw leaves) 249 mg

  27. Kale (cooked leaves) 187 mg

  28. Leeks 52 mg

  29. Lettuce (lt. green) 35 mg

  30. Lettuce (dark green) 68 mg

  31. Molasses (dark-213 cal.) 684 mg

  32. Mustard Greens (raw) 183 mg
  33. Mustard Greens (cooked) 138 mg
  34. Okra (raw or cooked) 92 mg

  35. Olives 61 mg

  36. Oranges (Florida) 43 mg

  37. Parsley 203 mg

  38. Peanuts (roasted & salted) 74 mg

  39. Peas (boiled) 56 mg

  40. Pistachio Nuts 131 mg
  41. Potato Chips 40 mg
  42. Raisins 62 mg

  43. Rhubarb (cooked) 78 mg

  44. Sauerkraut 36 mg

  45. Sesame Seeds 1160 mg

  46. Squash (Butternut) 40 mg

  47. Soybeans 60 mg

  48. Sugar (brown) 85 mg

  49. Tofu 128 mg

  50. Spinach (raw) 93 mg

  51. Sunflower Seeds 120 mg

  52. Sweet Potatoes (baked) 40 mg

  53. Turnips (cooked) 35 mg

  54. Turnip Greens (raw) 246 mg

  55. Turnip Greens (boiled) 184 mg

  56. Water Cress 151 mg