View Full Version : calcium? hmmm......is raw the best?
02-05-2006, 09:52 PM
so i am fairly new to raw. i have been struggling a bit, but i am NOT giving up. here's the thing. maybe you can help. i have been doing a lot of research on protein and calcium. while i agree that vegetable sources of these two are MUCH better than the animal sources, i have been reading a lot of research that cooked veggies, especially spinach gives you a much greater return on calcium. i think it is still important to get protein and calcium and i want to make sure i am smart about this. does anyone have any info on cooked veggies compared to raw and the amount your body can actually digest. spinach, collards and broccoli are all a great source of calcium. but the sources i read this on only stated the amount in cooked versions. http://www.pcrm.org/health/Preventive_Medicine/strong_bones.html
that is the study i read. it said that the raw versions tend to hold onto the calcium so your body doesn't absorb it. no way am i returning to animal products to get my calcium. but is cooked really all that bad? hmmm....i guess this post has more to do with calcium than with protein. i'm just interested to see what kind of info you guys have on this.
02-05-2006, 10:10 PM
This might give you some hope and faith in raw sources of calcium. Just try to keep in mind that the animals in the wild who rely on greens and other natural foods for their nutrients don't cook them to release/absorb nutrients better...we (humans) are the only ones who do that! ;)
Lady Green Jeans
02-05-2006, 10:45 PM
Good question regarding calcium. I searched literally for years on this question. Spinach was always coming up as a great source. Cooked vs raw has always been controversy. Cooked, the calcium becomes inorganice and the oxalates prevent aborption. Raw to me is best and I've added baby spinach to my green smoothies most recently. Result is I am feeling better. I used to start my day with a brazil nut, banana, cinnamon, maca, cacoa nib, agave smoothie with a heaping T of unhulled sesame for calcium. Great drink but like to shake it up once in awhile to keep it fresh.
Check out fitday.com for some other alternatives for good calcium rich sources.
In good health and happiness
02-05-2006, 11:04 PM
thank you sooooo much!!!!!!!! that was a great list of foods. i know veggie sources are awesome for calcium. i just want to make sure my body is getting everything it needs. :)
An EXTREMELY important factor here is ensuring you get enough vitamin D - this can apparently influence calcium absorption by as much as a factor of 20. On a vegan diet, this would mean ensuring you expose a good proportion of your skin to at least 30minutes of direct sunshine every day (not during the middle of the day - this would be detrimental to your skin health).
Another important co-factor for calcium assimilation is magnesium, which many commentators currently believe should be consumed in a 1:1 ratio with calcium, rather than the previous reduced emphasis placed upon magnesium, in relation to calcium intake. On a raw diet, nuts and seeds are a good source of magnesium (e.g. almonds), but try to soak them for a few hours before consumption, to neutralize phytic acid content. Also bear in mind the net mineral balance - many nuts and seeds are also high in phosphorous, which is useful to a degree, but which, in excess, is counter-productive as it can be acid-forming.
Also important is ensuring a good (slightly alkaline 7.3-7.4) pH balance. As you are doubtless aware, greens are good alkalinizing agents, owing to their mineral balance (and ionized water is even more alkalinizing). If your internal pH level is erring on the more acidic side of 7.3, then your body will be using any available calcium, be it from the diet or from the bones, to neutralize excess acidity, thus hindering any attempts at calcium 'building' for calcium deficiency conditions such as osteoporosis.
So, in short, by all means do research calcium content and assimilability of foods but it is critical that you bear in mind that internal bodily factors and nutrient co-factors will affect calcium absorption at least as much as, and probably far more than, the intrinsic characteristics of the calcium-containing foods themselves, such as absolute calcium content and calcium binders such as oxalic acid etc. These internal bodily factors and nutrient co-factors are (sadly) SO OFTEN overlooked :rolleyes:
All the best,
02-06-2006, 08:49 AM
Are there other ways to get Vit D? I don't get outside enough, partly because of the fact I turn into a lobster when I do and partly because of my job. I know that eggs and milk were always the big ones. I never did milk since I had a latose problem anyway, so eggs were my main source of it.
There are claims, by some, that sunflower and onion sprouts contain some vitamin D (e.g. http://www.isga-sprouts.org/nutritio.htm), but I have yet to verify this and I must admit that I remain sceptical at the present time (even if they do contain vitamin D, I would wish to further ascertain if this is an 'analogue' form or if it is truly assimilable in the same manner as naturally-metabolised vitamin D from sunshine exposure).
In the northern hemisphere (e.g. Scandinavia) school children are routinely exposed to full-spectrum lighting so that their bodies may metabolise Vitamin D despite long hours of darkness in the natural environment, due to their geographical location. I do not know the precise specifications of these full spectrum lights and I imagine they must be rather expensive but I'm sure you could find the relevant details if you search the net for them.
Here's a bit more on Vit D:
02-06-2006, 09:37 AM
Here are some food ideas and the amount of calcium they contain:
1/2 cup hummus 66 mg
1/2 cup almonds 188 mg
1 tablespoon sesame seeds 88 mg
1 orange 92 mg
1/2 cup dried figs 144 mg
1/2 cup rhubarb 174 mg
1/2 cup broccoli 89 mg
1/2 cup kale 90 mg
1/2 cup collard greens 74 mg
1/2 cup spinach 61 mg
Some more on calcium:
02-06-2006, 07:00 PM
I think one of the main reasons people cite cooking vegetables as a way of making them more digestible is that cooking usually bursts the cell walls, which can be hard to do by just chewing. If you're worried about availability of certain nutrients, I think blending or juicing vegetables is a great way to make sure you're getting access to all the nutrients the veggies have to offer. I also suspect that our digestion of said vegetable matter gets better and more efficient as we strengthen our digestive systems with raw foods.
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