by Andrea Sperling

 I went to get a bone density scan last week.  I had to fill out a medical form which contained four boxes for me to check as to where I got my calcium. My only options were: Cheese, Milk, Yogurt and  Vitamin Fortified Orange Juice.

The average adult needs approximately 1000 mg a day of calcium, according to the National Institutes of Health. Kids need a little more. Where was the box for fish?   Three canned sardines in oil with bones have 325 mg of calcium or 33% of the daily requirement for calcium.

Where were was the boxes for trendy kale, collard greens and other leafy vegetables? One cup of raw, chopped kale has 100 mg of calcium, or 10% of the daily minimum requirement.

What about tofu? One half cup of firm tofu has 253 mg of calcium or 25% of the  daily requirement.

And what about the beans? Nuts? Seeds?  Sesame seeds, particularly black sesame seeds, are one of my favorite sources for calcium. One tablespoon of whole, dried black sesame seeds has 88 mg of calcium or 9% of the daily requirements for calcium.

I love making gomasio with the sesame seeds. Gomasio (Goma means sesame, and shio means salt in Japanese) is  used in sushi rolls, but I also love sprinkling  it in a salad,  miso soup, atop a piece of fish, or even in a savory bread. My daughter loves it on  popcorn. Gomasio has been used by macrobiotics for a long time  because it's alkaline and a good alternative to  our mostly acidic diets.



1 oz (½ cup)  nori seaweed, finely crumbled  

1/2 tsp sea salt  

¼ cup black sesame seeds


Dry toast the seeds in a pan on the stove until they have a nutty aroma.

Combine with seaweed and salt and store in a cool, dry place.

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