During the holiday season, milk is perfectly paired with cookies. Most adults get their daily dose of milk with cereal or just a touch with coffee. Milk contains healthy fats and calcium that growing bodies need to build strong bones and healthy brains.  But research shows both adults and kids lack the calcium needed for strong bones.  So why is it we aren’t getting enough calcium in our diets?

The three most common reasons are as follows: (1) An increase in lactose intolerance, (2) introduction of sugary sports drinks as part of a regular diet and (3) the bad press surrounding the use of hormones in the dairy industry.  However, in addition to milk, there are a variety of foods that contain calcium and can help children get sufficient levels of calcium in their daily diet. Some examples include: milk, cheese, spinach, broccoli, oranges, nuts, beans, corn tortillas and seeds.

The overall goal is simple:

  • Eat or drink the recommended amount of calcium-containing food
  • Allow maximal absorption from the gut
  • Store as much calcium in the bone as one can
  • Prevent losses from the bone over the years

So how can chiropractic care help?  A chiropractor, like Dr. Robert Fast at the Back Pain Clinic Belleville,  will directly address the cause of thinning bones. Osteoporosis is rarely a lack of calcium in the diet but a lack of physical activity and improper hormones. Hormones are affected by stress, toxicity, poor nutritional choices, spinal misalignments and lack of physical exercise. Chiropractic care can help balance hormones, improve how the body responds to stress and facilitate healing.

To maximize the beneficial effects of increased bone density in adults, we need to enhance the consumption, storage, and preservation of calcium in kids and teens. This starts with adequate and appropriate intake of milk or substitute drinks, plenty of exercise, replacement as needed for pregnancy and lactation, and the minimizing of carbonated beverages.

Any dietary source of calcium will count toward the child’s daily intake, but low-fat milk is clearly the most efficient and readily available. Lactose-free milk, soy and rice drinks have recently become more easily obtainable and less expensive.

As Dr. Fast always recommends, parents should contact their child’s pediatrician for specific details about calcium consumption or questions regarding supplements in a chewable form.