Sunday, February 8, 2009

Kale Smoothie = Calcium

Ok, I can't help it, I have to launch off--- I try not to do this too often because I know my dietary beliefs are sometimes very different than others, but his one is near and dear to my heart. Since nursing my daughter, I have become even more concerned about getting more calcium in my diet because I know when you don't get enough calcium through your diet, your body will start leaching it from your bones. So, because I am not really a fan of dairy, for more reasons than just flavor, I look to my greens to increase my intake. You have to be careful when looking into calcium concumption because there is more there than meets the eye. For instance, it's not just the amount of mg/per serving, but it's the amount of mg that are actually useable and absorable to your body. An example, one cup of kale yeilds 170 mg of calcium while 1 cup of milk yeilds 302 mg of calcium. BUT- here's where is gets interesting- your body can absorb/use 50-70% of the calcium from kale (107 mg) while it can only absorb/use 30% of the calcium from milk (91mg). So, in short, greens (to me) seem to be like the wiser choice for concumption- especially because they are also LOADED with a ton of other vitamins and minerals- like vitamin A, C, folic acid, and fiber. (** Note: calcium requirements for 1 day are 800-1200 mg for an adult, and increase to 1600 when your prego). Here are some really interesting pages if you are interested in reading more. Calcium1 and Calcium2. Oh, and one more side note while we're here- a major component in ABSORBING calcium is Vitamin D3- which comes from the sunshine. You MUST have Vitamin D3 in order to be able to absorb dietary calcium, which means you should have AT LEAST 30 minutes of sunshine per day. On days when I know don't get this, I take this great suppliment called Osteo-sun. OK, so should I get to the recipe now??? HA! I try to make a kale smoothie 4 times a week, if not everyday- of course it's easier in the summer when you have more fresh fruits, but it's do-able with frozen fruit too. I use my Vitamix (my favorite kitchen appliance because it makes smoothies, soups, ice cream, sorbets, hummus, nut butters, sauces, fruit juice, baby food.... need I go on???!!) to make my smoothies, but you can also use a blender. I add a combination of the following depending on what I have on hand: 1 banana 1 orange 1 handful of frozen mango 1 handful of frozen pineapple 1 shake of frozen blueberries 4-5 frozen or fresh strawberries (with green tops!) 1 handful of frozen raspberries and/or blackberries 4-5 stems of raw kale (I pull the follage off the stem because the stems are bitter) 1 inch of juice (cranberry, orange, pomegranet, pineapple, whatever you have, of course, I think juice NOT from concentrate is better, although it's more expensive) ** If your blender gets stuck or your smoothie is too thick, add more juice. If you don't use frozen fruits, add some ice to the mixture.)

Here's what I start with, an estimation of the amount of fruit:

Then I add my Kale ( and or red cabbage, cauliflower, tomatoes) juice, and flax seed:
Finished product:
See, even Emery like it!
Like I said above, I use a combination of these ingredients depending on what I have- with the exception of the kale- I always use kale!!! (You can use spinach, but your body doesn't absorb as much calcium from it due to the high concentrate of oxalate, kale has a low concentrate of oxalate). Anyways, have fun with the combinations, try different flavors and experiment! No two smoothies ever taste the same in my house- and try them on your kids, my 11 month old loves them!

GREAT CALCIUM SUPPLYING SNACK to have on hand: raw almonds! They have 750 mg of calcuim per cup! Wow-zers!


annemarie1019 said...

First of all...6:45am for a posting to your blog...can your mind even think at that hour!?!? How one forgets the joys of babies and young motherhood! Love your recipes..I am going to try this one with Kale before Lisa steals my vita-blender! Keep up the great work! Anne-Marie

Natalie Barker said...

Just made myself a kale smoothie and loved it! Thanks for the tip. I have a vague memory of putting kale in soup a long time ago when we would get a CSA box from Cal Poly because I felt guilty for usually throwing it away (so bad). No more! It will now be a staple for me :) Keep the healthy recipes comin'.

The Ryska Family said...

How funny, that one of our regular breakfast is a Kale (or spinach or swiss chard) smoothie! One great thing you didn't mention is that the combination of Vit C (from Strawberries, OJ, etc) help Iron absorbion, which is also a much needed nutrient. Especially for us pregos. I do a combo of banana, plain yogurt, frozen blueberries, oj, wheat germ, and kale (or swiss chard). Kade loves it, he dances when we prepare it : )

Detox Dieter said...

For the last 3 years (since I moved back to PA from FL), I started an organic garden. I obtained organic kale from a farmer 3 years ago and decided to try it out for green smoothies, even though I knew nothing about growing it. All 3 years, my kale has done amazing - better than any other veggie in my garden! I have so much kale, this year especially, and I've been freezing it raw. Turns out wonderfully!
I'm glad I read this article because I wondered if kale was like spinach and calcium from it being absorbed in the body - now I know! Thanks.
I also wanted to add here that calcium utilization depends on the parathyroid glands, so if someone you know has a calcium deficiency, they really should check into if their parathyroids are functioning properly.

Andrea said...

Detox Dieter,
Thanks for your comment, and I was curious, how do YOU freeze your kale- whole or blended and frozen into ice cubes??? or do you have another trick we could try??
And thanks for the tip on the parathyroids-- so so interesting! (and, one more thing, I am so jealous of your garden!!! how fun!!!)
Thanks again for visiting!