Calcium from Your Garden

calcium magnifying glass42Font175I probably should have named my site, “Grow Your Nutrients” since minerals are as essential for good health as vitamins. Take for example, calcium. Calcium is an excellent mineral to discuss because when you talk about health benefits of consuming calcium, you have to discuss magnesium.

Calcium is a tricky mineral, you see. The dairy lobby leads us to believe that the more milk we drink the better off we will be. But that’s advertising and misleading advertising, at that.

Calcium is essential. I’m not denying that. But it’s also essential to balance calcium with magnesium, or the results can be decidedly less than good.

For instance, when you consume a lot of calcium and little magnesium, you can find yourself with bone spurs, headaches, a higher level of pain, if pain is a factor in your life.

When I was a Realtor I subscribed to a newsletter written by women pharmacists who dealt over and over again with the need for magnesium to avoid osteoporosis. It sounds like I have it wrong, doesn’t it? I mean, we’re bombarded with warnings about poor bone density resulting from lack of calcium.

Despite going against conventional, telly advert wisdom, I followed their advice. I began using a magnesium supplement every time I had any milk related product, like yogurt, ice cream, cheese, etc., and I was rewarded ~ when I had a bone density test, I was told mine was excellent. I was going on 60 at the time. I remember how surprised the man and woman looked who were administering the test. I’m pretty sure they had seen me as someone who would for sure be easy to convince to use their pharmaceutical product to help with bone density.

 

 

No room for a cow ? ? ?

No worries ~ No need ! ! !

Check out the calcium in these vegetables compared to the calcium in a cup of milk. And, since we need magnesium in order to make the best use of calcium ~ after all we don’t want calcium used for headaches or bone spurs, vegetables are a super source of calcium AND magnesium.

Collards known as Spring Greens in England

Collards known as Spring Greens in England

Collards or Spring Greens ~ When I lived in London I LOVED spring greens, I didn’t know they’re called collards here in the U.S.

1 cup chopped ~~ 357 mg calcium

38 mg magnesium
220 mg potassium
4 grams protein
1 cup milk ~~ 300 mg calcium

 

Kale

Kale

 

Kale ~ Kale is a curly leafed, fast growing vegetable. I like Russian kale with its red mid vein, but maybe it doesn’t have as much calcium as other kinds.

1 cup chopped ~~ 170 mg calcium

23 mg magnesium
296 mg potassium 3 grams protein
3 grams protein
1 cup milk ~~ 300 mg calcium

 

More calcium in vegetables is usable

With kale and other vegetables your body can use/absorb 50% to 70% of the calcium. It can use only 30% of the calcium in milk. Run the numbers and with kale you get about 107 mg of calcium, while with milk you get 91mg. Kale wins!

The other thing with calcium is that your body needs vitamin D in order to use calcium. 30 minutes in the sun, without sunscreen, does the trick. If you are using astaxanthin, you’ll not get burned and not have to screen from the sun.

Milk comes fortified with D, but apparently not enough given that sun screen use and vitamin D deficiency go hand in hand.

Turnip Greens

Turnip Greens

 

Turnip Greens ~ Again, Easy to grow. Plus, since you can pick greens from different plants they last a long time. And, in the end you can eat the turnip, too.

1 cup chopped ~~ 105 mg

32 mg magnesium
292 mg potassium
2 grams protein
1 cup milk ~~ 300 mg calcium

 

 

 

Arugula

Arugula

Arugula ~ Grows like a wonderful, peppery weed. It will come up year after year if you let it go to seed and give it water.

1 cup chopped ~~ 32 mg calcium

90 mg magnesium
74 mg potassium
.01 gram protein
1 cup milk ~~ 300 mg calcium

 

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Broccoli, Rabe, Rapini

Broccoli, Rabe, Rapini

Broccoli Rabe or Rapini ~ When full grown, Rapini’s spiked leaves surround clusters of green buds that resemble small heads of broccoli.

1 cup chopped ~~ 516 mg calcium

118 mg magnesium
1499 mg potassium
17 grams protein
1 cup milk ~~ 300 mg calcium

 

Ripe Tomatoes

Ripe Tomatoes

 

Ripe Tomatoes ~ Tomatoes are so much fun to grow. I love growing cherry tomatoes because I can pop them into things without much chopping. I also grow brandywine.Tomatoes are great in salads, sandwiches, soups, and on pasta. Yum!

1 cup chopped ~~ 26 mg calcium

22 mg magnesium
523 mg potassium
1 gram protein
1 cup tomato paste ~~ 90 mg calcium
1 cup milk ~~ 300 mg calcium

 

 

Indian Spinach also known as Lamb's Quarters

Indian Spinach also known as Lamb’s Quarters

 

Lambs Quarters ~ On my first visit to Las Vegas, NM an American Indian pointed out “Indian Spinach.” He said I should know it. It’s tasty and common. You most likely have some growing in your yard.

1 cup cooked ~~ 464 mg calcium

41 mg magnesium
518 mg potassium
6 grams protein
1 cup milk ~~ 300 mg calcium

 

 

squash Blossoms Scaled Sm 5 6 14xcfZucchini ~ Huge, eye catching flowers are followed by rapidly maturing squash. Picked small they’re called courgettes.

1 cup cooked ~~ 23 mg calcium

40 mg magnesium
455 mg potassium
1 gram protein
1 cup milk ~~ 300 mg calcium

Where to Grow Veggies ?

TubTrugsgardeners-tub-trug50

If you don’t have a yard for your garden, you can grow veggies in TubTrugs or other containers.

I began using containers when the armadillo bugs were eating more of my strawberries than they left for me. Now I have a whole garden on my deck, in TubTrugs.

 

 

 

 

 

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