I was going to write an article about vegetarian sources of iron until I read a book called "Diet For A New America". The book brought up some nutritional points about how excessive dairy consumption is linked to Osteoporosis and Anemia. Since it's not part of my diet, I've almost forgotten that it even exists. I thought it might be helpful, for my own memory, to write an article about its effects on the body and how it can inhibit certain minerals and nutrients.
When many people think vegetarian they also think protein deficiency and anemia. To make up for the loss of meat and protein in their diets, some vegetarians will increase their consumption of dairy products. When calories from dairy begin to replace calories from whole grains, legumes, and vegetables the body is flooded with excess protein, poor quality calcium, and very little iron.
We already know that Osteoporosis is the result of long-term acidity in the blood. In short, the bones must give alkalizing calcium to the blood whenever it becomes too acidic. Protein causes more acidity in the body than any other nutrient. Dairy is high in protein. A cup of cheese contains a day's worth of calcium (1000mg) , but it also contains over 35g of protein. Studies have found that 75g and more of protein intake results in high levels of calcium loss in the urine. One cup of kale, however, contains 10% of the day's calcium (100mg) and only 2g of protein. If you add in chlorophyll and trace minerals, you can see that the kale is a much more effective source of calcium. Dairy, which lacks trace minerals, natural vitamin D, and chlorophyll, simply dumps protein onto the body and flushes out calcium - not good for the bones. Calcium in the blood also means kidney stones, gallstones, and calcification in the joints that can lead to arthritis and other similar conditions.
Dairy also blocks the absorption of minerals like iron. If one replaces vegetables, legumes, and grains with dairy they are also replacing minerals, fiber, anti-oxidants, and vitamins with excess protein, hormones, and mucus. Furthermore, iron depends on vitamin C for absorption. Animal products contain no vitamin C, but almost all plants are an abundant source of this wonder nutrient. When comparing dairy to vegetables, in the name of iron, it takes 50 gallons of milk to equal one bowl of spinach in iron content. Green vegetables also contain chlorophyll which helps to build our blood and retain iron in our cells.
In addition to inhibiting iron and creating added acidity, inorganic dairy products are full of toxic compounds like antibiotics, steroids, hormones, GMOs from corn and soy feed, and stress chemicals. All of this is passed onto the consumer in their bowl of cereal, pint of ice cream, and cup of yogurt. If you love your body, stay away from dairy products.
If you feel you must eat dairy products, switch to those made from goats. Goat's milk contains a nutritional profile similar to human breast milk, which allows it to digest more easily. Goat's milk should be raw and should come from goats that are free to graze on omega-3 rich grasses and herbs in beautiful pastures and woodlands. It should come from a friend who, you know, is treating the goats more like family than machines. The milk should not be mechanically pumped, but taken intimately by hand and in small amounts. Using raw goat butter as a base for soups, or throwing some shaved goat's cheese over greens can be nutritionally sound and non-acid forming.
That being said, dairy products are not a necessity in terms of receiving adequate nutrition - whether it's from cows or goats. I, personally, think that if we can alleviate the stress from animals by eating a plant-based diet we can live healthier, more compassionate lives that will raise the vibration of our whole planet. I recommend switching from a glass of milk to a glass of Stinging Nettles infusion. The following information comes from Susun Weed's website:
"Stinging Nettle builds energy, strengthens the adrenals, and is said to restore youthful flexibility to blood vessels. A cup of nettle infusion contains 500 milligrams of calcium plus generous amounts of bone-building magnesium, potassium, silicon, boron, and zinc. It is also an excellent source of vitamins A, D, E, and K. For flexible bones, a healthy heart, thick hair, beautiful skin, and lots of energy, make friends with sister stinging nettle. It may make you feel so good you'll jump up and exercise."
Did you catch that? "One cup of nettle infusion contains 500mg of calcium." That's half the daily amount that is recommend! Do you know how simple it is to make a Nettles inusion? Simply take one ounce (or 1 cup) of dried Nettles and add it to the bottom of a mason jar. Boil water on the stove and pour it over the Nettles, then cap the jar and let it steep overnight while you sleep. Strain the liquid into another jar in the morning and refrigerate. It will keep for several days. One cup of this mineral rich tea will flood your body with minerals, vitamins, chlorophyll, and, perhaps most important, the ancient wisdom of the Nettles plant. A wisdom that is silent, invisible, and can only be felt. You may read more about the numerous benefits of Nettles here.
Take this information with a grain of Nettles and try it for yourself. Go to your local healthfood store or herb shop and ask them for several ounces of dried Nettles. Incorporate more kale, almonds, rice, beans, and seaweeds into your diet each day. Nettle infusions and a varied whole food plant-based diet will ensure you adequate calcium, iron, protein, and every other nutrient needed for survival.