Super calcium enriched sesame seeds!

So.... I've decided to start talking about nutrition as I follow an Ayurvedic and vegan lifestyle and diet. I'm often asked how do you get your calcium and protein etc and in relation to Ayurveda this often comes up as traditionally some dairy is used to reduce and balance Vata.

In India the cow is revered as the sacred Mother and worshipped, and cows milk is considered one of the most sattvic food in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, as written in the ancient Vedic scriptures over 5,000 years ago.

Here in the West however, with intensive factory farming, particularly in the last 50 years or so, the dairy cow is considered little more than a product to produce milk and endures great suffering. And we are informed and encouraged that dairy is the only and best way to attain calcium in our diets.

Ayurveda and Yoga traditions teaches us to live a life of Ahimsa - meaning non violence to all living beings so by using commercial dairy here in the west sadly means contributing to such suffering.

However, there are many nourishing and nutritional ways to balance

Vata and live with an Ayurvedic and / or vegan lifestyle.... so... I would

like to talk a little about how to increase calcium in your diet and the fantastic properties of sesame seeds .......

Sesame seeds are a powerhouse of organic minerals, packed with calcium, magnesium, copper, vitamin B1, zinc and dietary fiber.

These super powerful seeds are food that supports bone and general health.

Just one quarter cup of sesame seeds contain 351 mg of calcium while one whole cup of non-fat milk has 316.3 mg, and one cup of whole milk has only 291 mg of calcium.

As a plus, sesame seeds are alkaline in nature whereas milk is acidic.

In recent studies animal protein in fish, poultry, red meat and eggs tend to leech calcium from the bones and encourage it’s passage into the urine. Plant proteins however have been found not to have this affect.

Rich in amino acids, these tiny potent seeds give a powerful boost

for 1/4 cup of sesame seed has approx 5 1/2 gms of protein!

Those who have osteoporosis may consume enough calcium, but just

not from right source and so may suffer from too much acidity. In order to reduce the acidic build up, produced from breaking down dairy and

animal proteins ( dairy being a commonly promoted ‘source’ of calcium) the bone-building mineral must be removed from the bones in order to neutralize the blood pH.

This in turn can tax the organ systems and in the long-term contribute

to bone brittleness and dryness in the joints causing conditions such

as osteo -arthritis and osteoporosis which are conditions of increased Vata .

By consuming plant-based sources that are high in calcium such as

leafy greens, chia seeds, sesame seeds, broccoli to name a few....

a balanced pH is ensured and the bones can remain strong.

How am I doing so far, are you still with me..? Ok lets talk some more about the wonderful benefits of sesame seeds.....

Sesame seeds add a delicious, nutty and delicate texture to many

Asian and South Eastern dishes. They are also the main ingredients in tahini (sesame seed paste) and the yummy delicious Middle Eastern sweet pudding or sticky treat called halva.

And ........

Sesame seed oil is a favourite with Ayurveda, especially used in

massage ( abyhanga ) head massage and nasya therapy ( therapeutic nasal cleansing ) and other Ayurvedic therapies as it is super

nourishing and high in anti - oxidants .

Sesame Seed Oil has been used as a healing oil for thousands of years

and the list of benefits of sesame seed oil is long.

Mentioned in the Vedas as highly healing and therapeutic for humans , sesame seed oil is naturally antibacterial for common skin pathogens, antiviral and often used as an anti inflammatory agent.

When used in massage it is deeply nourishing while also pulling toxins ( ama ) to the surface of the skin.

A handful of sesame seeds chewed slowly and throughly each morning will not only help your bones, but also ignite your digestive enzymes ( agni ) and help strengthen your gums and teeth, along with a sesame seed oil mouth wash / gargle ( gandusha ) which helps to pull toxins

from the tissues, your teeth and gums will be super healthy!

And not forgetting to do your morning self massage ( abyhanga )

with some warm sesame seed oil , you will start each day feeling fabulous, dazzling all those you meet glowing with inner sesame seed

oil magic !

Ok, so now for some nutrional information that I've researched:

Approx 36gms Sesame Seeds contain :

  • CALCIUM................. ......35.3%

  • COPPER........................ 163.3%

  • MANGANESE................. 44.5%

  • PHOSPHORUS............... 32.3%

  • MAGNESIUM................. 31.5%

  • IRON............................ 29.3%

  • ZINC............................ 25.3%

  • VITAMIN B1 ................. 23.3%

  • SELENIUM ....................22.5%

  • FIBER ............................17%

Other sources of calcium: ( in milligrams )

Collards (1 cup ) ....................................................................358

Oatmeal ( 1 cup )...................................................................326

Figs dried ( 10 )..................................................................... 269

Tofu (1 cup) ..........................................................................258

Spinach (1 cup )................................................................... 244

Soybeans (1 cup )................................................................ 175

Mustard greens (1 cup )...................................................... 150

baked beans (1 cup).......................................................... ..128

Swiss chard (1 cup ) .............................................................102

Broccoli (1 cup, boiled)...................................................... ...94

Kale (1 cup )............................................................................94

Butternut squash (1 cup).................................................. ...84

Pinto beans (1 cup ).............................................................. 82

Chick peas (1 cup ) ................................................................80

Sweet potato (1 cup )........................................................... 70

Green beans (1 cup )............................................................ .58

Barley (1 cup)..........................................................................57

Brussels sprouts (8 sprouts)................................................ 56

Raisins (2/3 cup) ....................................................................53

​​ So ...if you want to increase your calcium intake, or are worried

you're not getting enough calcium - go and munch on a handful of

sesame seeds, sprinkle some into a salad, stir fry or make a creamy

tahini spread ...the possibilties are endless.... !!

I could talk more about the benefits of sesame seeds but that's

enough for today.... And practice your daily Yoga as exercise increases calcium reabsorption in the bones... ;-)

Om Shanti....

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