Calcium is one of the most abundant minerals in our body. While most of our calcium resides in our bones and teeth, it’s also important for muscle contraction, nerve health, enzyme activity and cell formation.
Our bodies need ample, regular daily amounts of calcium to function properly.
If we don’t get what we need, our bodies start pulling excess stores from our teeth and bones, which is not healthy. So… where do we get the Calcium from?
Did you know that eggshells are a great, inexpensive, natural source of calcium or do you keep buying Calcium supplements from a drug store?
Eggshell calcium is probably the best natural source of calcium. It is easy for our bodies to digest it and to absorb. It’s generally low in heavy metals and reasonably absorbable. So, how do you get your own eggshell calcium? It’s dead easy, just make sure you get the good eggs in the first place – the thicker the shell, the more nutrients! Use your eggs as you please and keep the shells…
Making your own eggshell powder
- Your favorite tool for smashing eggshells (a potato masher is pretty fun).
- Coffee grinder, preferably a burr grinder. Burr grinders will break down the eggshell more evenly, which I think will help prevent digestive irritation.
- Fine-mesh sifter or strainer.
1. Cleaning the eggshells
- Option 1: killing microbes without cleaning
If you’re confident of the source and cleanliness of your eggshells, it might be worth preserving the membrane in the eggshells for its potential health benefits. However, this might make the end product more prone to spoilage.
- To take this approach, bake the eggshells for 10 or more minutes at 170°F. This should kill most bacteria.
- Option 2: cleaning and killing pesky microbes at the same time
If your eggshells are store-bought, they may have been treated with chlorine and/or mineral oil.
- To take this approach, rinse the outside of the shells and then put them in a large pot.
- Boil them for 15-20 minutes. This also separates most of the membrane, which you can remove if you’re concerned about long-term storage. It’s easier to do this while the water is still boiling by scooping out floating solids and the foamy ring that will form.
- Allow the eggshells to dry completely (you can bake them to speed up the process).
2. Smashing the eggshells
- This is the fun step. Put the eggshells in a bowl and smash them until they are broken down to a size that can make it through the coffee grinder.
3. Grinding the eggshells
- Put the eggshells in the grinder, and grind them on the finest setting available.
- If there’s still a lot of visible eggshell shards that snuck past the grinder, it can be worth running everything through the grinder a second time.
4. Separating out the fine powder
- Use a fine-mesh sifter or strainer to separate out the fine powder that you’re going to be consuming from any larger chunks. This is an important step to prevent digestive irritation, particularly if you use a blade grinder.
One whole medium sized eggshell makes about one teaspoon of powder, which yields about 750 – 800 mgs of elemental calcium plus other microelements, i.e. magnesium, boron, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, sulphur, silicon, zinc, etc. There are 27 elements in total. There should be around 400mg of elemental calcium in 1000mg of the eggshell powder. If you’ve removed the membrane, the powder should be very stable and shouldn’t require special storage. It’s best to consume the powder by dispersing it in whatever you’re drinking, it is rather flavorless.
Other ways to use eggshell calcium around your home:
- Use it as an abrasive element to your natural cleaning products, by adding it to a soapy water solution.
- Add a small amount of powdered eggshell calcium to the coffee grinds in your coffee maker to counteract bitter-tasting coffee.
- Sprinkle around the base of plants to allow it to act as a slow release fertilizer, as the calcium and minerals can nourish your garden!
- Combine some finely powdered eggshell calcium with an egg white for a nourishing face mask.