calcium

What you didn't know about calcium!

What is it important for?

  • Bones and teeth
  • Required for muscle contraction
  • Blood pressure regulation
  • Nerve transmission
  • Involved in blood clotting
  • Aids the cell membrane control the movement of substances in and out of its cell
  • Maintenance of blood pH and electrolyte balance
  • Muscle contraction and function
  • Regulation of hormone release
  • Cell division regulation
  • Involved in heart beat regulation

Did you know…...? 

Calcium makes up between 1-2% of an adult’s body weight!

So how can we include it in our daily diet?

Many non-dairy foods are rich in calcium; so you can be dairy- free and still get plenty into your diet!

  • Dark green leafy vegetables including kale, collard leaves, parsley, watercress, broccoli ( spinach though rich in calcium, contains oxalates which reduces its absorption)
  • Beans; soy beans
  • Seeds and nuts;  almonds , Brazil nuts, walnuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
  • Wholegrains; buckwheat
  • Sardines (with bones) tinned wild salmon ( with bones!), tofu
  • Dairy; goats milk, cow’s milk, cottage cheese, yoghurt, cheese

An easy calcium rich recipe idea...............

Crispy Kale Chips
  • Wash and chop kale removing the really thick stems, 
  • Dry the kale properly- gently pat dry a clean tea towel
  • Melt some coconut oil in a baking tray and coat the kale
  • Add a sprinkle of Himalayan rock salt or sea salt, pepper, crushed almonds, sesame seeds and nutritional yeast flakes
  • Put in oven on a very low heat ( approx 70 degrees) 
  • Keep checking the kale and take out the crispy bits so they don’t burn
  • Crispy kale chips can be made in a dehydrator instead of the oven.

My weekly ‘Nutrient Spotlight’ written for Fields to Fork Organics

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Spectacular Spinach!

Spinach is bursting with a variety of nutrients which all contribute to its many health benefits. Spinach offers anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer protection in addition to its cardio-vascular, bone and eye protective properties.

The key antioxidants in spinach (vitamin A, C, E and minerals zinc and selenium), can help to reduce excessive inflammation in the body. This can help to reduce the risk of many health conditions including cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Recent research has unveiled a new phytonutrient in spinach which is believed to give anti-inflammatory protection to the lining of the digestive tract. Thus possibly helping to alleviate conditions such as IBS, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. 

Spinach is particularly high in carotenoids which have been shown to have protective properties against progressive prostate cancer. These nutrients are also thought to play a role in preventing eye related problems.

The high vitamin K, calcium and magnesium content of spinach are great for bone health and can therefore help to protect against conditions including osteoporosis.

To cook, lightly steam or boil for 1 minute, add to soups, omelettes, and toss in at the end of a stir fry. Alternatively, try adding spinach to a spicy dhal, superfood salad, or layer up in a veggie lasagne.

My weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ written for Fields to Fork Organics

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Ravishing Radish!

radishes.png

This peppery tasting vegetable packs a nutritional punch when it comes to the many nutrients it contains. It is a great source of minerals namely potassium, manganese, magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus and zinc. 

Notably, the radish is rich in vitamin C, which is a nutrient that needs to be replaced daily. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin and can be dramatically reduced in the body, with stress and environmental factors such as cigarette smoke. This important vitamin aids the rebuilding of body tissues and blood vessels and is vital for immune support. 

Radishes act as a natural diuretic and by increasing the production of urine, will actively promote kidney and urinary health. Radishes contain sulphur-based compounds, which help to regulate the production of bilirubin and increase the flow of bile from the liver to the gallbladder, and into the small intestine. The radish is consequently a natural detoxifier with superb digestive supporting properties.

Radishes make a brilliant crunchy crudité, and can be grated, pickled or sliced into a tasty cabbage and radish slaw. However radishes are particularly delicious blended into a zingy dip or combined with thinly sliced beef, watercress, spring onions and ginger to create a mouth watering Japanese style roll up. 

My weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ written for Fields to Fork Organics

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Classy Cavolo Nero

cavolo nero.jpg

Otherwise known as Tuscan kale, cavolo nero has its own rich, intense flavour. This relative of kale packs a punch in terms of nutrients containing vitamins A, C and K, the minerals calcium, manganese, and iron and a variety of antioxidants.

As with other cruciferous vegetables cavolo nero is rich in sulphur containing phytonutrients. These help the liver to process toxins so that they can be excreted. It is thought that this activity contributes to the vegetable’s anti-tumour properties and may help to prevent a number of cancers.

Early findings suggest that cavolo nero may have neuro-protective effects on people suffering from multiple sclerosis, but further research is needed to identify the mechanisms.

The antioxidants lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene, present in cavolo nero, are especially beneficial for eye health. Research indicates that these nutrients may help to protect against age-related macular degeneration.

This versatile vegetable can be sautéed or steamed, tossed into stir-fries, salads or smoothies. It will especially impress sautéed with onion, rosemary, chilli and garlic to create a delicious, antioxidant boosting dish.

My weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ written for Fields to Fork Organics

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Savour the Flavour of Kohlrabi!

This nutrient packed vegetable will add crunch to any dish! As part of the brassica family, kohlrabi has a sweeter more mellow flavour that its veggie relatives, cabbage and turnip.

Kohlrabi’s nutrient content includes vitamins minerals and phytonutrients. The calcium magnesium, phosphorus, manganese and potassium contribute towards kohlrabi’s bone supporting properties. 

Furthermore, the glucosoinolates (found in all brassica vegetables) are thought to have anti- cancer benefits. These nutrients will be especially potent when eating fresh, raw kohlrabi, due to increased enzyme activity. However, when adding to a cooked dish, chop the kohlrabi and allow it to sit for around 10 minutes first, to optimise these health benefits.
 
This is a versatile vegetable; to prepare, just peel off the outer tough layer of the bulb with a veggie peeler. kohlrabi is delicious grated into a cold ‘rabi-slaw ‘, sliced into a crudités or chopped into salads. It may also be blended into a vegetable soup, roasted with sweet potato, carrots, peppers and squash, stir-fried or steamed.

Alternatively, mix grated kohlrabi with beaten eggs and ground almonds and pop in a pan with some coconut oil to create tasty ‘rabi fritters’.

My weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ written for Fields to Fork Organics

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Fabulous Fennel

Fennel plants at the market   

Fennel contains a myriad of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients and has countless health benefits. Furthermore, it has been used for centuries as a herbal remedy for congestion, digestive problems and to promote breast milk flow, menstruation and urine flow. 

Clinical studies have indicated that the phytonutrient anethole has anti-cancer properties and can reduce inflammation. The research found that anethole inhibits the promotion of a harmful molecule which can alter genes and cause inflammation. 

Fennel promotes bone health due to it’s combination of iron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and manganese. Fennel’s potassium, calcium and magnesium composition can help to lower blood pressure and the fibre content will help to reduce cholesterol levels. Heart disease is associated with elevated levels of the molecule homocysteine in the body, however, fennel’s folate content can help to prevent it’s build up.
 
Fennel consists of a crunchy white bulb, pale green stalks and feathery green leaves from which flowers grow and where the seeds are found.
 
All parts of the fennel can be used in your cooking. The stalks are a delicious addition to a soup base or stock .They can be sautéed with fennel leaves and onions. Additionally, the leaves can add a subtle liquorice aroma to many a dish. The seeds can spice up any meal, be brewed as herbal drink or just chewed to promote good digestion. The bulb can be chopped into salads, steamed, sautéed or roasted as a delicious starter or side.

My weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ written for Fields to Fork Organics

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Superb Swede!

Swede is bursting with nutrients and consequently boasts many health properties. Not to be confused with the turnip, swede has yellow or white flesh and is much larger than the turnip.


Swede, like other cruciferous vegetables, is rich in glucosinolates. Studies indicate that these phytonutrients have anti- cancer properties. Swedes are also packed with antioxidants including vitamin C, carotenoids, zinc and manganese. 


The fibre content in swedes helps promote a healthy digestive tract, whilst the magnesium, calcium, potassium and phosphorus content help to support bone health.


Swedes can be eaten raw, grated like a cabbage. Alternatively roast your swede with onions, carrots and sweet potato, add it to soups and stews or mash it into a healthy vegetable ensemble.

My weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ written for Fields to Fork Organics
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K is for Kale!

Kale is one of the richest sources of vitamin K, but it also boasts high vitamin C and vitamin A content, and is packed with a variety of other vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.

Vitamin K is vital for bone health and blood clotting. We produce about half of our vitamin K requirement in our gut; however we need to obtain the rest from our diet. The calcium and magnesium content in kale will also contribute to protecting our bones from conditions such as osteoporosis.

Furthermore, kale is leading source of a selection of remarkable glucosinolates. When digested, these special phytonutrients are transformed to anti-cancer compounds by the body.

Before cooking kale, apply some lemon juice to the leaves and let them sit for a few minutes to maximise the health benefits.

Kale can be prepared in a variety of ways; try crunchy kale chips, a crisp kale salad, or a creamy kale risotto.  Alternatively sauté kale, ginger and garlic in to a mouth watering dish or top a broth styled soup with some strips of wilted kale.

My weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ written for Fields to Fork Organics

If you are interested in reading more ‘Nutritional Nuggets’, top tips and the latest nutrition news, sign up to my monthly newsletter at www.marcellerosenutrition.co.uk