Archives for December 4, 2012

Where Do You Get Your Calcium?

We have been trained since childhood that dairy products are good strong bones and teeth, in other word they are our best source for getting calcium.  But it turns out that the Dairy Industry has been the source of almost all of this information!  Let’s look at some facts as reported in The China Study.

  • Casein, which makes up 87% of cow’s milk protein, promotes all stages of the cancer process”
  • “Plant protein did not promote cancer cell growth, even at higher levels of intake”
  • “Milk has been linked to Type I diabetes, prostate cancer, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases…casein, the main protein in dairy foods has been shown to experimentally promote cancer and increase blood cholesterol and atherosclerotic plaque”

And interestingly,

Whoa!

Given the research linking dairy products with heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis and autoimmune diseases, I have decided to look for other, plant-based sources of calcium!

First of all, how much calcium do we need?  The recommended daily allowance for calcium is 1,000 mg for adults 19-50 and men over 50, and 1,200 mg/day for women over 50.

Vegetables, Nuts and Seeds, Grains, Legumes and Beans, and Fruit are great sources of calcium.  And, green vegetables also have calcium absorption rates of over 50 percent, compared with about 32 percent for milk. (3)

VEGETABLES (per cup)
Bok Choy 330 mg
Bean sprouts 320 mg
Collard greens (cooked) 260 mg
Spinach (cooked) 250 mg
Turnip greens (cooked) 200 mg
Kale 180 mg
Mustard greens (cooked) 100 mg
Swiss chard (cooked) 100 mg
Seaweek (Wakame) 120 mg
Okra 130 mg
Broccoli 45 mg
Fennel 45 mg
Artichoke 55 mg
Celery 40 mg
Leeks 44 mg
NUTS, NUT BUTTERS AND SEEDS
Almonds 1/4 cup 95 mg
Tahini 1 Tbsp 65 mg
Sesame seeds 1Tbsp 63 mg
Brazil nuts 1/4 cup 55 mg
Hazelnuts 1/4 cup 55 mg
Almond Butter 1 Tbsp 43 mg
GRAINS
Cereals (calcium fortified, 1/2 cup) 250-500 mg
Quinoa, cooked, 1 cup 80 mg
Brown Rice, cooked, 1 cup 50 mg
LEGUMES AND BEANS
Soy beans, cooked, 1 cup 200 mg
Tempeh, 1 cup 150 mg
White beans, cooked, 1 cup 140 mg
Tofu, 4 oz 120 mg
Navy beans, cooked, 1 cup 110 mg
Chickpeas, cooked 1 cup 80 mg
Pinto beans, cooked 1 cup 75 mg
FRUIT (per cup)
Rhubarb 350 mg
Figs, dried 300 mg
Apricot, dried 75 mg
Prunes 75 mg
Orange 70 mg
Kiwi 60 mg
Blackberries 40 mg
OTHER
Blackstrap molasses, 1 Tbsp 135 mg

Lastly, it is important to look at factors that leach calcium from our bones: (3)

  • Animal Proteins
  • Salt
  • Caffeine
  • Refined Sugar
  • Alcohol
  • Vitamin A supplements
  • Nicotine
  • Aluminum containing antacids
  • Antibiotics, steroids, thyroid hormone drugs

Sources

Some History of the Tomato

I thought this history of the tomato was rather interesting and so I am reposting it from a website called Veggie Care.

Did you know that …  tomatoes-6231

The tomato is native to South America, not Europe?

Northern Europeans thought the tomato was poisonous?

In the late 1800’s the Supreme Court classified the tomato as a vegetable so it could be taxed!

Tomato History

The Tomato History has origins traced back to the early Aztecs around 700 A.D; therefore it is believed that the tomato is native to the Americas. It was not until around the 16th century that Europeans were introduced to this fruit when the early explorers set sail to discover new lands. Throughout Southern Europe, the tomato was quickly accepted into the kitchen, yet as it moved north, more resistance was apparent. The British, for example, admired the tomato for its beauty, but believe that it was poisonous, as its appearance was similar to that of the wolf peach.

(A visitor named David had this to add to the history of the Tomato. Thanks David!)

“…most Europeans thought that the tomato was poisonous because of the way plates and flatware were made in the 1500’s.

Rich people in that time used flatware made of pewter, which has a high-lead content. Foods high in acid, like tomatoes, would cause the lead to leech out into the food, resulting in lead poisoning and death. Poor people, who ate off of plates made of wood, did not have that problem, and hence did not have an aversion to tomatoes. This is essentially the reason why tomatoes were only eaten by poor people until the 1800’s, especially Italians.

What changed in the 1800’s? First, and most significantly, was the mass immigration from Europe to America and the traditional blending of cultures. Many Italian-Americans ate tomatoes and brought that food with them. But also, and perhaps equally as important, was the invention of pizza. There is no pizza without tomato sauce, and pizza was invented around Naples in the late 1880’s. The story goes that it was created by one restaurateur in Naples to celebrate the visit of Queen Margarite, the first Italian monarch since Napoleon conquered Italy. The restaurateur made the pizza from three ingredients that represented the colors of the new Italian flag: red, white, and green. The red is the tomato sauce, the white was the mozzarella cheese, and the green was the basil topping. Hence, Pizza Margarite was born, and is still the standard for pizza. And what could have led more to the popularity of the tomato than pizza!”

It was not regarded as a kitchen vegetable until the times preceding The Civil War Period in the United States. From this point forward, tomatoes have become a staple item in the kitchen throughout the world. Each area of the world has its own tomato history and how it is used in everyday dining. It appears though that tomatoes have had the largest impact on American eating habits, as they are responsible for enjoying over 12 million tons of tomatoes each year.
Fruit or Vegetable?
An interesting aspect of tomato history is the classic debate: Is the Tomato a Fruit or Vegetable? I guess that depends on whom you are asking. By definition, a fruit is the edible plant structure of a mature ovary of a flowering plant, usually eaten raw; some are sweet like apples, but the ones that are not sweet such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, etc. are commonly called vegetables. Botanists claim that a fruit is any fleshy material that covers a seed or seeds where as a horticulturists point of view would pose that the tomato is a vegetable plant. Until the late 1800’s the tomato was classified as a fruit to avoid taxation, but this was changed after a Supreme Court ruling that the tomato is a vegetable and should be taxed accordingly.

When it is all said and done, the history of the tomato has classified as a poisonous beautiful plant, a tax-avoiding fruit, and a taxable vegetable. Nonetheless, the tomato is the most popular vegetable in America and enjoyed by millions all over the world.

Read on:Reposted from http://www.tomato-cages.com/tomato-history.html