What do almonds, sesame seeds, soy beans, chickpeas and collards all have in common? They are all great sources of the mineral calcium needed to build bone, moderate muscle contraction, maintain heart beat, as well as regulate blood clotting and proper nerve function to name only a few functions.
On my last visit to my doctor she asked me if I was drinking at least 2 glasses of milk every day. She said that I needed this to get the recommended daily calcium intake of 1000 mg.
“Is there any other food that is high in calcium?”, I asked.
Her answer, “No. Other food sources contain very little calcium.”
I wasn’t convinced. So, I went home and did some research only to find out that there are other amazing food sources of calcium.
Calcium rich foods:
Almonds, 1 cup, 600 mg Sesame seeds, ½ cup, 1100 mg Sunflower seeds, 1 cup, 260 mg Hazelnut butter, 3 oz., 159 mg Collards, ½ cup, 74 mg Organic Soybeans, 1 cup, 460 mg Organic Tofu, 1 cup, 258 mg Chickpeas, 1 cup, 80 mg Wakame (seaweed), 3 ½ oz., 150 mg
Did you know that cow’s milk is the # 1 allergen?
Many people have an intolerance to cow’s milk. This means that they do not produce enough of the enzyme lactase to digest the carbohydrate lactose in milk. Lactase deficiency can cause gas, bloating, cramps, diarrhea and even constipation. If you are not digesting milk properly, this means that the calcium is not being absorbed properly in the intestine.
It may not be blasted on the TV commercials or advertised on big billboards, but nut and seed milks are a wonderful source of calcium. And, you can make them yourself! You can use nut and seed milks like any other milk- on your cereal, in baking or drink it by the glass. I have included a recipe for a nut milk below. Try it at least once. If you are not super keen on the DIY method, nut and seed milks can be purchased at grocery or health food stores. Just be sure to read the label as some products have high amounts of sugar added.
Almond and Sesame Milk
½ cup almonds ½ cup sesame seeds 3 cups water Pinch of sea salt You can sweeten or/add flavour by adding add honey, vanilla, dates, a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, maple syrup.
- Using 1 cup of water, soak the almonds overnight to soften the skin. Then take off the skin and discard.
- Put peeled almonds in the blender with the sesame seeds and 2 cups of water.
- Blend on high for 90 seconds.
- Strain using a fine sieve or nut milk bag (found at health food stores).
- If you are adding flavors or sweeteners to the milk, put back in blender and blend with the other ingredients for 30 seconds. If dates or other dried fruits are added for flavor, strain again.
- Store the milk in the fridge and use within 5 days. You can double or triple the recipe using a 2:1 ratio of nut/seeds to water.