Why Do We Need Calcium?
Calcium is one of the most abundant minerals in the body. Almost all calcium is stored in bones and teeth, where it supports their structure and hardness.
Calcium plays a role in many other important body functions, such as maintenance and regeneration of bone, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, contributes to normal heart rhythm and helps to release hormones and enzymes.
How Much Calcium Do I Need Per Day?
Easy Ways To Boost Your Calcium Intake:
Make kale chips. Using room temp and dry kale leaves, gently tear and place on a baking tray. Bake on 100 degrees Celsius for as long as it takes for them to crisp up. Sprinkle with salt and/or chilli flakes.
Add seaweed to meals. Toast Nori Sheets on a grill or over open lame for a few seconds. Tear into lakes using your hands and put in salads, soups or just like that as a snack.
Sprinkle sesame seeds onto salads or roast vegetables
Use tahini spread (un-hulled is highest in calcium) on seeded/sprouted or sourdough bread.
Make your own tahini-rich hummus or other dips. Add Parsley to make green and further increase calcium content.
Make tahini-based salad dressings. Olive oil, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of tahini, finely chopped parsley, 1 clove of crushed garlic.
Add a tablespoon of chia seeds to porridge, bircher muesli or to smoothies
Cook mussels for dinner once a week. They are also a great source of omega 3!
Have at least 3/4 cup of green vegetables or dark green salad leaves at every meal.
Have a tin of fish (BPA Free and Wild Caught) for lunch 1-2 times a week. Be aware of fish intake and mercury.
Bone broths. Have one bowl daily.
Food Sources of Calcium
While dairy products are an excellent source of protein, it is important to remember that calcium is available in a variety of different food sources. There are lots of ways you can boost your calcium intake whilst still eating a diverse diet.
Some of the highest sources of calcium per 100gm are actually found in plant-based foods! So if you can't tolerate dairy or prefer to eat plant-based, use this plant sources table as a guide to help you meet your recommended daily intake.
Tip: The nightshade family of fruit and vegetables (eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, goji berries, white potatoes and tomatillos) are high in oxalates, compounds bind to calcium in the gut, therefore inhibiting calcium absorption.
There is no reason to avoid these vegetables altogether, but for maximum absorption and utilization try where possible to eat calcium away from nightshade foods!