Regardless of what the media says, dairy is not king when it comes to calcium. Milk products are unhealthy and can damage your wellbeing. So if you are considering a dairy free diet – go for it. If you eat the right foods, you can get all the calcium you need for healthy bones, teeth, nerves and muscles.

Dairy is Toxic to the Body

There's nothing wrong with earning a substantial profit from raising livestock. The problem arises when farmers earn money at the expense of others' health. Dairy farmers get big bucks from raising tons of cows and keeping them alive long enough to produce unnatural amounts of milk. This is where antibiotics and hormones come into play.

When the cows are given hormones and forced to produce mass amounts of milk, they can develop a mammary gland infection known as mastitis. The mechanical milking methods can contribute to, or exacerbate this bacterial infection.

Mastitis causes pain, heat, redness and swelling of the udders, and can be potentially fatal to cows. This condition is torture for the livestock, and the puss and blood from the udders can get into the milk during the milking process. In order to manage mastitis, cows are pumped with antibiotics.

Not only do farmers use antibiotics to manage mastitis, they use the drugs to treat other diseases that happen as a result of their cows living in crowded, unsanitary conditions. In the end, all of the chemicals used to raise dairy cows end up in the milk supply.

When milk is pasteurized, it is heated so that it's safer to drink. The heat from this process doesn't get hot enough to kill all of the dangerous bacteria. However, it does reach temperatures high enough to kill the healthy bacteria and enzymes that are important for digestion.

The body cannot assimilate a large portion of the calcium obtained from pasteurized milk. This can contribute to osteoporosis and lactose intolerance. In addition, pasteurized milk contains chemical additives that are used to suppress odor and restore taste.

When milk is homogenized, it is passed through a tiny filter to reduce the size of fat molecules. Homogenization makes it easier for milk protein to enter the bloodstream and possibly cause intolerance and milk allergy.

Unless you can get your hands on raw milk, it's best to avoid consuming dairy products altogether. If you can't resist the urge to drink milk, buy dairy that is labeled "Certified Organic." This type of milk still contains additives, but it doesn't contain synthetic chemicals, and the animals that supply the product are treated more humane.

Healthy Sources of Calcium

There are a lot of ways to get your daily calcium intake without consuming dairy. You can eat green vegetables like:

• kale
• turnip greens
• okra
• bok choy
• mustard greens
• collard greens
• broccoli
• Chinese cabbage
• spinach

Calcium from these sources digests more efficiently, and is absorbed better by the body. You can also get calcium from:

• almonds
• salmon
• sardines with bones
• oranges
• limes

What About Soy Milk?

Soy milk is a popular alternative to cow's milk. People love putting this stuff in their cereal and coffee. Don't believe the hype about soy milk; it's not healthy. Consuming soy can cause low testosterone in men, and abnormal menstrual flow, cramping and reproductive problems in women.

People who consume too much soy may also experience:

• fatigue
• lack of energy
• low libido
• weight gain
• poor skin
• depression
• hair loss

Consuming dairy can increase the number of toxins in your body and put you at risk for preventable health problems. Thankfully, you can get the calcium you need from sources like green vegetables, and some types of fish and fruit.