I was trying to learn more about calcium, specifically our daily needs and bioavailable (meaning ways that our body can most effectively absorb and utilize) ways to meet our needs.
Calcium seems to be a hot debate. Some people swear by the fact that we need 3 glasses of milk a day for daily calcium needs and other people say that that is not necessary. They say that they can get calcium from other sources including dark leafy greens and small fish bones. Some people say that the milk is important for the calcium and others say it is the interplay of both vitamin D and calcium together since calcium may need other vitamins and minerals present in order to be absorbed. The RDA for calcium for women ages 19-50, is between 1000mg and 2500mg per day. This in itself, indicates to me that calcium requirements are largely personal and that finding your right amount may be different from someone else’s. That said, it also appears that calcium does seem to be important.
So in my quest to figure out our family balance of calcium, I found that real milk is a perfect source of calcium for my kids and that sardines and tahini (my favorite) are wonderful sources for me, since I can be reactive to milk. I found that Dr. Hyman’s article on dairy gave me interesting insights, including dairy choices that might work better for us and an alternative view on milk as a necessity. I found that Dr. Chris Masterjohn’s podcast on calcium supplementation introduced me to the idea that you can get calcium from bone powder, and I found that Nourishing Traditions had some wonderful information on helpful supplementation of calcium. So my take is that calcium is important, getting enough matters, and making sure to get it from sources that agree with your body matters most of all!
With that said, here are my two favorite ways to meet calcium needs in my body using tahini as one of my sources:
Tahini Dip/Dressing – blend together: 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh ginger, 1 teaspoon of honey, the juice of a lemon, 1/8th teaspoon real salt, 1/2 cup of tahini and water to your desired consistency. I add the water in increments depending on if I want it to be more of a dip or a dressing. I use this on my meat, salads, and I have even been known to have a tablespoon of it right out of the refrigerator when I am hungry and in a hurry!
Tahini Chocolate Bark – on low heat, gently melt together 1/2 cup tahini and 1/4 cup coconut oil. Remove from heat and whisk in 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/8th teaspoon salt, and 1/4 cup of maple syrup or honey (you can adjust this amount up or down depending on your desired sweetness level.) Line a dish or small rimmed pan with parchment paper and pour chocolate mixture in. Put in freezer to set. Break off a hunk whenever you desire a mouthful of deliciousness!
Both of these recipes take less than 5 minutes to prepare which is an added bonus too! Wishing you well on your calcium detective journey!