How many of you find yourself bloated, gassy or have troubled bowels after eating dairy?

We’ve all donned a milk moustache from time to time, however dairy could be more harmful to us than we think. I often use to question myself that surely we need milk to be healthy and have strong bones and teeth? Well that’s just not the case.

Actually, dairy is a common inflammatory only slightly less prevalent than gluten. How many of you find yourself bloated, gassy or have troubled bowels after eating dairy? You probably just write it off as ‘one of those things’ when the real issue is the cow produce. The problems aren’t solely on the inside either as acne and dry skin can break out too. This can come from the compounds inside the dairy products, or the fact that it’s been pumped full of hormones and nasty antibiotics from the cows it came from.

This isn’t just from lactose, it’s usually from the proteins inside the dairy that our bodies struggle to break down. If you’re lactose intolerant then your body simply doesn’t produce the correct enzyme needed to break down that type of sugar. Those who do have the correct enzyme can have bad reactions due to the proteins. The two proteins in dairy are casein and whey, most prominent in milk. Most people think that it’s the amount of protein in protein shakes that makes them feel a little peaky when in fact it’s the type of protein. Switching to a dairy-free alternative tends to relieve the symptoms.

Dairy is also highly acidic which causes the body to conversely react in order to maintain a neutral internal PH balance. How does it do this? By dragging out alkaline sources stored in your bones such as magnesium, calcium and potassium, this raises risk to reduced bone density and diseases like Osteoporosis. You may want to think again about milk giving you strong bones. In fact, too much calcium can cause stomach issues and digestion problems.

Where will I get my calcium from?

Vegetables actually contain a high amount of calcium, especially leafy greens like spinach and kale.

Here is a great list of dairy-free calcium containing alternatives. The daily recommendation for calcium is 700mg for adults as well as children over 4 years.

  • Bok Choy – 74mg per cup
  • White Beans – 191mg per cup
  • Dried Figs – 107mg per 8 figs
  • Kale – 99mg per cup
  • Black-eyed Peas – 370mg per cup
  • Almonds – 72mg per 20 nuts
  • Oranges – 65mg per orange
  • Turnip Greens – 197mg per cup

This doesn’t mean you should have war flashbacks from the ‘Got Milk?’ campaigns but it does mean that diary on a regular basis probably isn’t the best idea. As long as you eat from a varied range of fruits and vegetables you shouldn’t need dairy to keep healthy.
In addition the dairy industry isn’t the best for the environment check out this great documentary, after all the more informed we are the healthier the decisions we make.

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