Tag Archives: green leafy vegetables

Where Do You Get Your Calcium?

We have been trained since childhood that dairy products are good strong bones and teeth, in other word they are our best source for getting calcium.  But it turns out that the Dairy Industry has been the source of almost all of this information!  Let’s look at some facts as reported in The China Study.

  • Casein, which makes up 87% of cow’s milk protein, promotes all stages of the cancer process”
  • “Plant protein did not promote cancer cell growth, even at higher levels of intake”
  • “Milk has been linked to Type I diabetes, prostate cancer, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases…casein, the main protein in dairy foods has been shown to experimentally promote cancer and increase blood cholesterol and atherosclerotic plaque”

And interestingly,

Whoa!

Given the research linking dairy products with heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis and autoimmune diseases, I have decided to look for other, plant-based sources of calcium!

First of all, how much calcium do we need?  The recommended daily allowance for calcium is 1,000 mg for adults 19-50 and men over 50, and 1,200 mg/day for women over 50.

Vegetables, Nuts and Seeds, Grains, Legumes and Beans, and Fruit are great sources of calcium.  And, green vegetables also have calcium absorption rates of over 50 percent, compared with about 32 percent for milk. (3)

VEGETABLES (per cup)
Bok Choy 330 mg
Bean sprouts 320 mg
Collard greens (cooked) 260 mg
Spinach (cooked) 250 mg
Turnip greens (cooked) 200 mg
Kale 180 mg
Mustard greens (cooked) 100 mg
Swiss chard (cooked) 100 mg
Seaweek (Wakame) 120 mg
Okra 130 mg
Broccoli 45 mg
Fennel 45 mg
Artichoke 55 mg
Celery 40 mg
Leeks 44 mg
NUTS, NUT BUTTERS AND SEEDS
Almonds 1/4 cup 95 mg
Tahini 1 Tbsp 65 mg
Sesame seeds 1Tbsp 63 mg
Brazil nuts 1/4 cup 55 mg
Hazelnuts 1/4 cup 55 mg
Almond Butter 1 Tbsp 43 mg
GRAINS
Cereals (calcium fortified, 1/2 cup) 250-500 mg
Quinoa, cooked, 1 cup 80 mg
Brown Rice, cooked, 1 cup 50 mg
LEGUMES AND BEANS
Soy beans, cooked, 1 cup 200 mg
Tempeh, 1 cup 150 mg
White beans, cooked, 1 cup 140 mg
Tofu, 4 oz 120 mg
Navy beans, cooked, 1 cup 110 mg
Chickpeas, cooked 1 cup 80 mg
Pinto beans, cooked 1 cup 75 mg
FRUIT (per cup)
Rhubarb 350 mg
Figs, dried 300 mg
Apricot, dried 75 mg
Prunes 75 mg
Orange 70 mg
Kiwi 60 mg
Blackberries 40 mg
OTHER
Blackstrap molasses, 1 Tbsp 135 mg

Lastly, it is important to look at factors that leach calcium from our bones: (3)

  • Animal Proteins
  • Salt
  • Caffeine
  • Refined Sugar
  • Alcohol
  • Vitamin A supplements
  • Nicotine
  • Aluminum containing antacids
  • Antibiotics, steroids, thyroid hormone drugs

Sources

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Go Green!

This is reposted from one of my favorite blogs, Socially Fit 

The Health benefits of spinach…Go Green!

The health benefits of spinach are numerous and its ability to help prevent disease is well known.  So it’s no surprise that you’ll find spinach at the top of many super food lists. Spinach and other dark leafy greens like kale, collards, swiss chard, turnip greens and bok choy are loaded with calcium, folic acid, vitamin K and iron.

Spinach is also rich in vitamin C, fiber and carotenoids. Add its lutein and bioflavanoids and spinach is a nutritional powerhouse.  The calcium content in spinach (and other dark leafy greens) strengthens bones.

The A and C vitamins in spinach plus the fiber, folic acid, magnesium and other nutrients help control cancer, especially colon, lung and breast cancers. Folate also lowers the blood levels of something called homocysteine, a protein that damages arteries. So spinach also helps protect against heart disease.

The flavonoids in spinach help protect against age related memory loss.

Spinach’s secret weapon, lutein, makes it one of the best foods in the world to prevent cataracts, as well as age related macular degeneration, the leading cause of preventable blindness in the elderly. Foods rich in lutein are also thought to help prevent cancer.

As you can see, the health benefits of spinach are numerous. The vitamins and calcium, combined with the overall nutritional value make this vegetable and its dark leafy green cousins top picks for healthy food choices.

Fresh or frozen, add greens to your food menu as often as you can.

How to Get More Spinach in your Diet:

  • Add spinach to lasagna to up the nutrient content of this tasty comfort food
  • Add spinach to your favorite vegetable soup recipe
  • Sauté spinach with a bit of garlic for a tasty super food combination. Try it on top of a baked potato.
  • Make quick and easy spinach dips to eat with crunchy raw vegetables and whole grain breads like pumpernickel, and enjoy the health benefits of spinach while you nibble on your favorite veggies
  • Use fresh spinach instead of lettuce to add a twist to your favorite sandwiches
  • Add spinach to omelets and frittatas
  • Add spinach to your next protein shake
  • Make spinach a staple for all meals (substitute for a bed of rice)

Don’t be afraid to go green, the benefits are endless!

Your friends at Socially Fit.

http://www.cookingnook.com