Calcium Check

At your next meal, you might want to eat more wholesome, calcium-rich foods. These plant foods are some of the best sources of calcium, which does more than just build bones and prevent osteoporosis.

Researchers think that calcium from wholesome foods may protect the body from cancer, by helping to prevent abnormal cell growth. For example, calcium can help to protect against colon cancer by preventing the growth of colon polyps, growths in the large intestine that are precursors to colon cancer.

In February 2009, a groundbreaking study about cancer prevention and calcium was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Scientists observed 492,810 people over 7 years, and found that those who consumed more calcium had less risk of colorectal cancer and other cancers of the digestive system.

Those who consumed the most calcium from their diets were the healthiest. The men who consumed the most calcium (1,530 milligrams daily) had a 16 percent lower risk of colon cancer than men who consumed the least calcium, while the women who consumed the most calcium (1,881 milligrams daily) benefitted by having 28 percent lower risk of colon cancer than women who consumed the least. This clearly shows that women have a lot more to benefit from calcium-rich foods!

The study stated that in order for calcium to have its protective effects, it should be
consumed from foods, not supplements. This is because the body needs other nutrients to aid absorption of calcium and to work with calcium to prevent diseases. The best nutrients come untouched in wholesome, natural forms—a principle of Nutritional Immunology. Such nutrients are packaged by Mother Nature so that they are safely and easily absorbed into the body.

With such benefits from calcium, it makes perfect sense to take stock of calcium-rich foods in your diet. For your daily calcium intake, try plant foods and herbs such as soy, pearl, broccoli, kale, walnuts and wakame. They are not only good sources of calcium, but also many other nutrients that the body needs for good health. Bon appétit!

1. Linsey Tanner. Calcium Cuts Risk of Some Cancers. AOL News. 23 Feb 2009.

2. Grau MV et al. Prolonged effect of calcium supplementation on risk of colorectal
adenomas in a randomized trial. J Natl Cancer Inst 2007 Jan 17; 99:129-36.