May 31, 2014

Calcium: Not just for your bones

Calcium content deserves to be considered in our daily diet choices. Many of us are unaware that to keep operating, our bodies will take calcium from our teeth, bones and nerves if there is not enough of this important mineral in our diet. The central nervous system, blood’s clotting ability, certain brain functions and of course our teeth and bones all depend on calcium for optimal health and strength.
Muscles rely on calcium for communication between the nerve fibers and muscle tissue, allowing our muscles to work and move. In the brain, calcium is critical in converting electrical impulses into chemical signals, then triggering neurotransmissions that help the signals get to where they need to go.
Without enough this important mineral, we soon run into problems both physically and mentally. Calcium deficiency has been linked to everything from ADD in children, anxiety and nervousness, loss of bone density, achy joints, and even painful ovulation in women. Increasing calcium intake from day twelve through day sixteen can ease mid-cycle pain.
The old adage of a tooth being lost with each child carried and birthed is often the case for women who fail to provide their bodies with the extra calcium needed as their little one develops. Lack of calcium, along with not enough rest can play a major role in a nursing mom not having enough milk to satisfy to satisfy her baby. Leg cramps during pregnancy are sure sign your body is begging for more calcium.   

It’s important to take in enough calcium throughout your day, and finding it is easier than you think.

5 ways to get more Calcium into your diet
  • Including dark, leafy greens in your diet is an easy way to up your calcium intake. Spinach, Kale, and Bok Choy are all easy to find, and easy to use. Plus, they taste delicious and provide up to 150 mg of calcium.

  • Blackstrap molasses has been used for years as a sweetener, especially in baked goods.  However, molasses has more benefits than just a great flavor.  Full of vitamins and minerals, one tablespoon of dark molasses will provide you with 172mg of calcium.

  • Liquid extracts of herbs high in calcium, magnesium, and silicon are easily assimilated and used by the bodyteeth, and bones. Check out Herbal Calcium for a great, plant-based calcium source.

  • Dried nuts are an easy, convenient snack to reach for that packs the punch when it comes to calcium.  Grab a handful of almonds in between meals, or use a food processor to blend them into creamy Almond Butter, a healthy alternative to Peanut Butter.

  • Chia seeds are all the rage these days, making them readily available in your local grocery store.  They’re packed into everything from granola bars, to juices, to breads.  Let the seeds soak overnight in Almond or Coconut milk, honey, and cinnamon for a tasty breakfast pudding filled with Calcium.

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