by Eve Lees
Surprising calcium sources
Add a new, high calcium food to your diet: Little-known as a calcium source, Poppy seeds provide 126 mg calcium in one tablespoon. You can find them in any health food or grocery store (check the baking aisles). Alternate poppy seeds with other seeds you may be currently using – flax, sesame, chia, or hemp. Grind them in your coffee grinder and sprinkle them on your fresh fruit or mix into yogurt. Add them to your salads. Or add them in their whole form to your whole grains, directly after you've cooked the grains.
Incidentally, don’t worry about the opium alkaloids, such as morphine, in poppy seeds. You’d have to eat them in large amounts for it to affect your nervous system. But it’s still wise to be sensible with your intake as they are high in fat. One tablespoon is a serving. And always vary with other seeds in your diet.
Chickweed is also rich in calcium (yes, that’s the annoying weed on your lawn). It offers 150 mg in ½ cup. Pick it off your lawn and toss it into your salads, as long as you know it’s pesticide-free!
Most of us know legumes and canned fish (with bones) are rich in calcium. Other overlooked calcium sources include 6 figs (115 mg), 1 tablespoon celery seed – not the salt – (115 mg), 1 cup cooked collard greens (350 mg), and 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses (90 mg). NOTE: Although molasses is really just another highly processed, refined food (it’s what’s left after refining sugarcane or sugar beets into sugar), it’s probably just as good as popping a calcium pill. Mix some into a glass of warm milk.
Eve Lees is a Nutrition Coach and a Freelance Health Writer & Speaker.