We all worry about maintaining our health at the best of times, doing so after a collapse will be difficult to say the least. Bone heath MUST be maintained at all costs. A weakening of the skeletal system is quite normal with advancing age but getting into the situation where we are more prone to weak bones or even osteoporosis when the only people we can rely on are ourselves needs to be avoided for as long as possible.
Healthy bones depend on us having enough essential nutrients,vitamins and minerals to maintain optimum density. Calcium is the main requirement, but the addition of vitamin D, easily obtained from sunlight ‘fixes’ the calcium more efficiently than taking calcium alone.
Eggshells are primarily made of calcium in its elemental form. Eggshells also contain trace elements, 27 of them in all, that make the composition of eggshell very similar to our own teeth and bones.
The average requirement of calcium is 1000mg a day for an adult. More is required by rapidly growing teenagers, pregnant women and people aged over 70. A teaspoon of powdered eggshell contains about 800mg of calcium, . Your body would not be able to deal with more than 500mg of calcium at one time so split the dose if you are getting the bulk of your calcium from supplements. Many foods are rich in calcium so it’s unlikely you will need more than half a teaspoon,( 400mg) of the eggshell supplement.
Foods rich in calcium
Dried herbs are almost all rich in calcium with savoury coming top with a whopping 2132mg per 100g which is about 85mg per tablespoon.
Cheeses all contain calcium but very hard cheeses such as Parmesan comes top with 1376mg per 100g which is about 69mg per tablespoon.
Sesame seeds provide more calcium when they are dried or roasted giving 989mg per 100g which is about 64mg per tablespoon.
Almonds will provide 267 mg of calcium per 100g or 74mg for 20 almonds.
Milk and yogurt skim milk/yogurt comes in at 415mg per cup and full fat products at 276mg per cup
Leafy Greens All vary but come in at between 196 and 105mg per cup if chopped.
Nuts All contain calcium. Brazil nuts the most 213mg per cup or 45mg for 6 average nuts.
Obviously this is not an exhaustive list, many foods carry calcium within them and its worth finding out how your long term storage food measures up.
Calcium is best taken with food as it absorbs better that way. Some people advocate taking magnesium at the same time as calcium. Both are absorbed in the intestines and the one you take most of is readily absorbed and the other mostly excreted.
The recommended daily dose for magnesium is between 310-400mg daily. Most of the food in a prepper pantry is magnesium rich, grains, legumes, peanut butter, beans of all kinds dried fruits and nuts are all magnesium rich. Taking supplemental magnesium is a personal choice, something you must decide on.
Even if you don’t have chickens (geese or ducks) of your own you can save eggshells now and turn them into a calcium supplement. Organic eggs are best for this as the better the nutrients the chicken eats then the better the nutrients in the eggshell.
It’s important that the eggs are carefully washed before you crack them to remove bacteria from the outside of the shells.
Making powdered eggshell calcium.
- Wash the outside of the egg before you crack it. Set it to one side and enjoy whatever you’re cooking.
- Gently rinse the eggshell to remove albumin (white) but leave the membrane on the inside of the egg in place, it contains trace elements that are beneficial.
- Leave them to dry out, overnight is sometimes long enough but they do need to be totally dry. Make sure they are protected from flies etc.
- Grind the eggshells into a fine powder. You can use a food processor, coffee grinder or even a mortar and pestle but the aim is to get the finest powder you can.
- Store the power in a screw top jar in a cool, dry and preferably dark place. The back of the food cupboard is ideal.
- Use as required.
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Contributed by Lizzie Bennett of Underground Medic.
Lizzie Bennett retired from her job as a senior operating department practitioner in the UK earlier this year. Her field was trauma and accident and emergency and she has served on major catastrophe teams around the UK. Lizzie publishes Underground Medic on the topic of preparedness.