Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Calcium

Often when discussing foods and herbs I tell you what nutrients they contain. Today, I want to go a little deeper and talk about a particular nutrient so that you can understand it's importance and tell when you are deficient in it. I'll try to do this from time to time so that our discussions will make more sense. Today I want to start with Calcium. Everyone has heard of calcium and it's amazing ability to build bones, but it has so many other functions in the body. Calcium has been called "the knitter". It gets this reputation because it is the leading element in promoting healing or "knitting" anywhere it is necessary. Here is an interesting fact, a person weighing 150 pounds contains approximately 3 pounds, 12 ounces of calcium in their body.

Functions that Calcium Serves in the Body

  • Builds bones and teeth and heals all tissue;

  • Helps scars heal;

  • Essential in forming hemoglobin, blood-clotting, and maintaining the alkalinity of the blood;

  • Fights germs, scurvy, and infection;

  • Present in cartilage, fluids, certain tissues;

  • Soothes nerves;

  • Prevents asthma, hay fever, tuberculosis and rickets.

Signs of Calcium Deficiency

  • Dental cavities; following a whole foods diet rich in calcium can actually reverse and repair existing cavities. It's important to note that a diet high in sugar will cause calcium to precipitate out of bones and teeth. When the teeth are weakened, germs can penetrate the teeth and cause cavities.

  • Lack of strength;

  • Fear and indecision;

  • Aches, pain, and fatigue;

  • Profuse perspiration;

  • Lack of willpower;

  • Hemorrhaging and anemia;

  • Cramps in calves; "growing pains" in children are attributed to the need for more calcium;

  • Boredom or brain fatigue;

  • Digestive problems;

  • Bone softening and osteoporosis;

  • Rickets or scurvy;

  • Lung ailments;

  • Fevers and abscesses; difficult to heal wounds can turn around by increasing calcium in the diet;

  • Menstrual disorders; especially hemorrhaging and cramping. (Menstrual blood contains 40 times the calcium of regular blood, so excessive flow will quickly deplete calcium.

One thing to note is that the endocrine system is largely responsible for controlling the absorption of calcium. If the endocrine system is out of balance, signs of calcium deficiency may develop. We struggle in developed countries with endocrine imbalance due to diets high in sugar and processed foods and enormous amounts of stress. It's so important to balance your Endocrine system to keep all of your body systems functioning properly.

There are several other important things to keep in mind regarding calcium. Cooking breaks down much of the calcium in food. Food prepared raw or lightly steamed is more nutrient dense. Cereals, prepared by slow-cooking or steaming are excellent wources of calcium. There is 40% more calcium in the outer leaves of cabbages and most lettuces.

Highest Calcium Foods

Here is a great list of foods that contain the most calcium. Agar, almonds, avocados, barley, beet greens, beans, blackstrap molasses, bran, brazilnuts, broccoli, brown rice, brussel sprouts, buckwheat, raw butter, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cheeses (hard and cottage: raw), chia seeds, coconut, yellow cornmeal, raw cream, dandelion greens, dulse, egg yolk, figs, filberts, fish, gelatin, greens, Irish moss, kelp, kohlrabi, lemons, lentils, raw milk, millet, nettles, oats, onions, parsnips, prunes, rice polish, rhubarb, rye, sesame seeds, walnuts, watercress, wheat (whole).

I love that list! Just when you are wondering how you will supplement your diet with more calcium, you realize that you have so many choices and things to experiment with.

Have a great day and enjoy!

Karla

2 comments:

kilax said...

Thank you for this list! I am a vegetarian, and also do not each much dairy, so of course, people always ask me how I get my calcium. Now I can point out all of the things I eat on your list! And some I have been eating raw!

Living A Whole Life said...

So glad I could help! Stay tuned as I plan to break down more minerals and vitamins; and give great whole food and herb sources!

Karla

This blog is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this blog is intended to replace the advice of a physician. We recommend consulting a physician before embarking on diet changes or a fitness routine. In addition, we recommend that you thoroughly research alternate points of view and make your own decisions as an informed consumer. You are ultimately responsible for your health.