(article by Natural Mentor)
For a long while, the dairy industry has done a great job convincing us that milk is essential for optimal health. Few people know that our worldwide obsession with calcium started in the 1950s under pressure from the American dairy industry. Before then, historically, people didn’t consume much calcium and had very few problems with osteoporosis.
Their primary claim is that milk makes strong bones (mostly due to its calcium content). This information campaign was initiated with good intentions—namely to decrease the incidence of osteoporosis and other degenerative bone conditions. But we all know the unfortunate truism that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
There’s an increasing amount of evidence demonstrating that milk is incredibly destructive to your health in a variety of ways. Now the jig is really up, because a new study has thoroughly disproved milk’s main claim to fame.
Here’s the truth: milk not only doesn’t prevent bone fractures and bone weakness, but it actually makes them weaker. And it leaves behind some other nasty side effects in its wake.
The study that drew these conclusions left little room for doubt. Researchers studied the milk consumption habits of over 60,000 women for 20 years and over 45,000 men for 15 years. They found that women who drank over three glasses of milk per day had a 60% greater risk of breaking a hip, and 16% greater risk of breaking any bone.
Judging by the fact that over 50% of Americans consume more than three glasses of milk per day (and 10% consume a gallon or more), it’s safe to say that milk is causing fairly widespread health issues.
And it’s not just your bones that are affected
Over the course of the study mentioned above, researchers noticed something quite unnerving: the bodies of milk drinkers showed many more signs of oxidative stress and inflammation.
As we’ve learned before, these two states of imbalance can be traced to nearly every imaginable disease and ailment. When left in a state of oxidative stress and inflammation, the body is constantly predisposed to illness and degeneration.
What this means for milk drinkers is a medley of unpleasant effects: decreased immune response, increased pain and joint inflammation, cognitive decline, shortened life span, and gene transcriptional changes (which can lead to everything from birth defects to cancer). It’s even been demonstrated that for every daily glass of milk they drink, women increase their risk of dying from any cause by 15%, and that in the same scenario, men increase their risk by 3%.
That’s right: you’re more likely to die if you drink milk…so you should probably stop doing so.
Ditch the milk, eat these foods instead.
Luckily, there’s plenty of foods and drinks that aren’t wolves in sheep’s clothing when it comes to bone support (and overall health optimization).
If the thought of giving up milk is a tough one, know that there’s plenty of healthy alternatives. Check out this article to learn all about them. For now, let’s look at a few bone support superstars that you would do well to consume on a regular basis.
We’ll start with the one that might be the most surprising: chocolate. Dark chocolate is packed with magnesium, which offers bone support for helping your body convert vitamin D into calcium. The higher cacao content, the better—anything above 70% will have less sugar and fillers, and more of the good stuff that your body wants. 100% raw cacao is your best choice of all; in fact, it offers a bevy of other benefits too, and is often called one of the healthiest foods on the planet.
Magnesium is the activating mineral for close to 400 different enzyme reactions in the body – more than any other mineral. And close to 70% of the population is deficient in this critical mineral.
Another commonly enjoyed treat that works wonders on the bones is yogurt. You would think that, because yogurt is literally made with milk, it would pose the same health dangers. But a Swedish study found that exactly the opposite is true: every daily serving of fermented yogurt reduced women’s risk for hip fractures and death from any cause by 10-15%.
The clear difference between milk and yogurt is its rich probiotic activity, which supports your microbiome, the internal mega-colony of microorganisms that optimizes nearly every aspect of your health.
Pomegranates are also excellent for preventing bone loss. They powerfully combat oxidative stress and inflammation, which helps create an internal environment that is resistant to age-related bone loss and degenerative disease.
One study found that pomegranates are also particularly good at preventing menopause-related bone loss. Rats who had their ovaries removed (to trigger the onset of menopause symptoms) reverted to the pre-menopausal rate of bone mineral loss after just two weeks of taking a pomegranate juice extract.
Lastly, there’s the mighty black cumin seed. We’ve discussed the endless health benefits of this incredible seed before, so it might not come as a surprise that it deserves an accolade for bone support too. Research has shown that not only does nigella sativa support overall bone strength and density, but it also reverses osteoporosis.
Old habits die hard.
You might be asking: is milk really that bad for your bones? If so many people believe the claim that it’s a bonafide bone-strengthening serum, doesn’t it have to be true? And what all those commercials? Surely all the milk companies aren’t lying…
Sadly, the distortion of facts to maintain the public acceptance of a blatant falsity is business as usual for Big Food. The verdict is in: conventional milk is a toxic byproduct of a corrupt industry…and drinking it will do nothing to help your bones.
But by switching to raw milk or milk alternatives, and by including the foods and drinks suggested above in your diet, you’ll be aligning yourself with the lifestyle that will actually support your bone health. It’s hard to switch old health habits—especially when those habits represent the status quo—but it’s worth it.