Calcium is the most abundant mineral found in humans, with almost 99% stored in our bones. We all know that calcium is important for our bone and teeth health and that low levels can lead to osteoporosis, but did you know that severe calcium deficiency can manifest in symptoms like numbness, fatigue, poor appetite, irregular heartbeat, muscle cramps and tingling in the fingers.
In TICM, calcium supports the mind and relaxes the nervous system. It cools and soothes heat while providing nourishment to the cells and Blood. It helps heat related symptoms and supports the Kidney and Heart the most, balancing the water and fire elements. Heat in the heart results in agitation, anxiety and worry. Heat in the colon causes constipation or uncomfortable, burning diarrhea. It helps menopause hot flashes which relates to Kidney female organ. Calcium helps lower Blood pressure, help with PMS symptoms and defend against cancer and diabetes.
In TICM, bones are connected to the Kidney. Calcium enters the Kidney and provides nourishment to the bones. Everything in TICM is perfectly related.
Modern day diary is NOT great source of calcium. It produces nothing mucous and phlegm which is called "dampness" in TICM, and many people are sensitive to digesting it, not to mention the added hormones in conventional dairy. Sheep and goat milk is much easier for most to digest and is consumed well in the Mediterranean regions. Chinese culture we do not consume much dairy at all but have healthy levels of calcium through a diet full of variety.
Best calcium sources:
TICM foods: black beans, sesame.
Vegetables: celery, carrots, cucumber, parsnips.
Bones: eat the bones of anchovies and sardines.
Walking: helps the body regulate minerals on the bones.
Seaweed: wakame, kelp and kombu help in absorption of calcium.
Nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, poppy seeds, pistachios.
Bone broth: bone broth contains bone marrow which is full of calcium as that is where the calcium is stored.
Greens: kale, spinach, Swiss chard, lettuce, parsley, dandelion greens, watercress, spirulina, wheatgrass, beet greens.
Magnesium is vital for calcium absorption. Watch out for the following items that deplete calcium such as caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, stress, carbonated drinks, processed foods and for women, their menstrual cycle. For the menstrual cycle, use Blood building herbal medicine once a month after your period to replenish your Blood.