Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Calcium - A Key Life Mineral
One of the four "macro" minerals, calcium is a key mineral to sustain life. In addition to creating healthy bones, calcium is needed for proper digestion, metabolism function, detoxification, muscle and nerve contraction and relaxation and is involved in thyroid activity and many other functions.
Many doctors recommend calcium supplementation, especially for women to help prevent osteoporosis. Many people today are actually deficient and may suffer from excess tooth decay, irritability and insomnia. Muscle cramps may partly be the result of a calcium deficiency. On the other hand, some people have too much or even biounavailable calcium in their bodies, meaning they're unable to utilize the calcium, potentially leading to calcium deposits in various organs and tissues (especially if they're over 35) and other issues like arthritis, osteoporosis, arteriosclerosis, slower metabolism and even constipation.
Deficiency occurs not only because much of what we eat is low in calcium (especially refined flours, conventional produce grown in mineral-deficient soil), but also due to higher consumption of sodas - their phosphoric acid content may reduce calcium levels.
If you are one of the many people that has issues with dairy from cows, the good news is you can also increase your consumption of calcium in other ways, since it's abundant in:
- Cheese, yoghurt and kefir from goat and sheep's milk (raw if possible)
- Fresh carrot juice - on its own, add some apple to sweeten, or celery to lessen its sweetness
- Eggs yolks - those of pastured hens are full of nutrients, no need to be afraid of them
- Bone broths, homemade, with the bones of lamb, beef, chicken, veal
- Dark, leafy green veggies like kale, Swiss chard, collard and mustard greens - and broccoli!
- Almonds and the more easily digested almond butter (preferably organic)
I realize some of the options here may be a little "out of the box" for you, but see if you can add even one of them to your family's menu this month and see how you like it - your bones and your body will thank you! Broccoli can be added to most any meal. Almond butter is an easy one to try - taste is similar to peanut butter and you can eat it in the exact same way! J