Last week I took the dive into furthering my education and started my one year course with The Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
Something really hit home for me the other day while watching one of my online classes. It wasn’t so much the statement that was said but the impact I thought that the information would have on people in our society. They said very simply, “a portion of seaweed and sesame seeds contain more calcium than a glass of milk”.
Now, if you are from the U.S. you grew up being told that you need to drink milk to get calcium and build strong bones. And honestly back in the 50’s when people were milking their own cows and drinking raw milk it probably was one of the best ways to get your calcium. These days we are finally starting to learn (because we are finally starting to ask questions and care) that the ultra processed cows milk we drink has probably been stripped of most of it’s nutrients leaving a sugary beverage produced from animals raised on GMO grains. Is it time to start looking for our calcium elsewhere?
Their are many other foods that are high in calcium:
- Sesame seeds
- Leafy green vegetables
But lets get back to Seaweed. Seaweed is a great source of calcium and what’s even better is how sustainable of a crop it is. It has no carbon footprint, relies on sunlight as energy to produce food and reproduces at rapid speed. This is great news for the environment. Next is their nutrients….
Seaweed – High in chlorophyll and antioxidants. Contains calcium, magnesium, trace minerals, vitamin A & C ,cancer fighting omega-3 fatty acids, lignans and are a great source of iodine (which is important for maintaining a healthy thyroid).
Now, what about those sesame seeds?
Sesame seeds – High in calcium, also contain trace minerals, magnesium, iron, vitamin B1, dietary fiber and lignans.
Point is you can get all the nutrients you need in a variety of foods. Perfect example, calcium doesn’t just come from milk. It is time to start questioning the mass marketed ingredients and look outside the box. What you were told as a kid might not be the case anymore. As you may notice nutritional guideline change every year, more information and studies come out each year and it’s always evolving. The only way to learn is through exposure. So turn of your TV and start digging deeper.
- 2 cups Mixed seaweed (red dulse, wakame & sea palm fronds are all great options)
- 3 Tablespoons Brown rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Toasted sesame oil
- 1 Tablespoon Tamari
- 1/4 teaspoon Sea salt
- 1/2 inch piece Ginger minced
- 1 ea. Scallion sliced thin
- 1 Tablespoon Sesame seeds
Soak the seaweed in cold water for 5 minutes. Drain and squeeze out excess water.
Add the remaining ingredients, stir well and refrigerate 1 hour-overnight before eating.
Sarah Burchard is the author of The Healthy Locavore, a natural foods chef and experience host whose writing focuses on cooking, holistic health, supporting community and eating locally grown and made foods.