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Calcium and Sesame Seeds

Calcium is the most abundant mineral found in the body. There is some calcium  in our blood which the body regulates very tightly, but the majority is stored in our bones and teeth where it acts as a reservoir that the body uses if we do not have enough calcium to support vital functions.  
Why you need it 
Calcium is one of the nutrients that we need for healthy, strong bones and teeth.  It is also needed for vascular contraction and dilation, for the production of many hormones, nerve pulses and muscle function, and can impact blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Female athletes, menopausal women, anyone with a dairy intolerance and some vegetarians need to pay special attention to their calcium intake, but the good news is that calcium sources are varied and plentiful.
What you find it in
Sardines, kale, Chinese cabbage, almonds, broccoli, dairy products, and salmon (with bones) are all excellent sources of calcium.  One of the best sources is sesame seeds.  Consuming alcohol, fizzy drinks, caffeine, excess salt, processed grains and excessive protein can lead to loss of calcium.  
Seasonal Tip
Sesame seeds have a high oil content, so when selecting them ensure there is no sign of moisture in the packaging as they may be rancid.   Combine sesame seeds with rice vinegar, soy sauce and crushed garlic for a dressing to liven up noodles, salads or vegetables.  Sesame seeds are the main ingredient in tahini - sesame seed pulp that's available all year in jars. Add tahini to soups, stews, and batters to add a great nutty flavour.

By Nutritional Therapist Roisin Cooke, graduate of CNM (College of Naturopathic Medicine) in Edinburgh. 


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