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Chinese dietary therapy often recommends that people limit or eliminate dairy products from their diet. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, dairy is considered a cold food that leads to damp accumulation, particularly in people who have a weakness in their Spleen energy. Symptoms of dampness include lethargy, loose stools, feelings of heaviness, cloudy thinking, excess sputum(particularly in the sinuses), certain types of headaches, and accumulations such as cysts and tumors. The concern for some who want to follow this dietary advice, is whether they will be able to get adequate amounts of calcium from a dairy-free diet. This is certainly a concern as most adults require around 1,000 mg of calcium a day to maintain bone, muscular, vascular and hormonal health. There is disagreement about the exact quantities of calcium in foods, but if a person were avoiding milk, increasing the amounts of the following foods should provide enough calcium for most individuals.

Nuts and Seeds

Sesame seeds (most sources list the calcium content of 1 oz of these to contain more calcium than one 8oz glass of milk)

Sunflower seeds (also high in iron)

Almonds

Soybeans

Brazilnuts

Pecans

Sesame tahini

Legumes

Beans (garbonzo, pinto, soy, canellini)

Tofu (especially calcium-treated)

Dark Leafy Greens

kale

collards

turnip greens

dandelion greens

mustard greens

arugula

chard

chicory (curly endive)

Vegetables

Broccoli

Bok Choy

Acorn squash

Fruit

Figs, dried

Orange juice, calcium-fortified

Kiwi

Grains

Cereal (calcium-fortified)

Amaranth

Brown rice

Oatmeal

Corn tortillas

Fish and Seafood

Oysters, raw

Salmon (canned with bones)

Sardines (canned with bones)

Mackerel

Other

Blackstrap Molasses (also high in iron)

Greek yogurt (although dairy, this is not considered a damp-producing food)

 

 

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