If not dairy, how can I get my calcium?

In an earlier post I had mentioned the importance of vitamins and minerals and had promised to give you a few ideas to start you off on a few of these. I decided calcium had to be first because of the relevance it has in our diets and how our bones suffer if we are not mindful of getting enough of it. Remember: The body does not assimilate calcium unless you exercise. Even a 30-minute walk will do the trick.

For a long time, I thought dairy was the best source of calcium available for humans, but recent research has contradicted this belief. First of all, if you think about it we are the only mammals that continue to have dairy throughout most of our life. And as research shows, women’s breast milk is very different to cow’s milk: one is high in glucose, the other is high in protein. Humans need glucose for their brains to develop. Cattle need protein for their bodies to grow rapidly and be able to stand up a few hours after they are born. You can read a more detailed study on the subject of the intake of calcium and milk on this website. 

So, what does this mean? Don’t rely solely on cow’s milk to get your calcium needs, instead diversify, look for alternatives. Almonds, broccoli, turnip greens and chia seeds are all great options.

Here I share with you a few easy recipes that can be used in any meal and at any time.

  1. Gomashio: Has 10 more times calcium than milk and is easily absorbed by the body. You can make it at home or buy it at a natural health store near your home.

Recipe:15 tablespoons of black sesame or white sesame and 1 tablespoon of sea salt.

Roast the sesame seeds, continually move with a spoon to avoid sticking or burning (you have to be careful because they burn easily) and when they disintegrate between your fingertips it means they are fully cooked. In a mortar or food processor mix the salt and sesame seeds and ground. If you are not going to use it immediately, keep in an airtight container in the fridge because it loses its properties.

Uses: It can be used instead of salt, in salads, in porridge. Anywhere really, it tastes delicious.

Click here if you want to read further on the benefits of gomashio.

  1. Chia seeds: Besides being high in omega 3, these seeds have a high content of calcium. Click here if you want to read more about chia seeds. 

A few weeks ago I wrote a post on smoothies, if you click here you will find a few recipes that include chia seeds.

You can also use chia as a snack, a chia pot is always a great alternative.

Ingredients: 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, ½ cup of coconut milk (or any vegetable milk you like) and a natural sweetener (brown rice syrup, stevia, honey).

Mix everything together and put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. You can can then top it with whatever you want: coconut flakes, blueberries, strawberries, dark chocolate…

  1. Broccoli: It is a great vegetable, it is easily made and can be used in many recipes.

Recipe: Boil water. Put the broccoli in the boiling water for about 1 minute and then take it out. I top it with some homemade or organic store bought hummus and use it as a snack or part of my lunch.

The most important thing about a healthy diet is to diversify. Don’t eat always the same food, don’t be afraid to try new foods, colour your plate with healthy foods and enjoy what you eat. The rest will start coming naturally to you.