How To Make Calcium Supplements from Eggshells
Many of us were brought up to eat eggs reasonably carefully, making sure that we didn’t accidentally eat a piece of shell. In fact, as long as it’s small enough to go down safely, it probably would do more good than harm!
The Chicken and the Egg
Eggshells are a brilliant source of calcium. Consisting of 95% calcium carbonate, the composition of essential minerals can be enormously beneficial to our bones and teeth.
Many chicken owners grind up the shells and feed them back to their chooks. If that’s what you do, then hold back a few to supplement your own diet! If you buy your eggs, then for the purpose of making these supplements, search out organic, free-range eggs if possible.
How to Take It, How to Make It
The supplement couldn’t be easier to make. You’re basically aiming to grind the clean eggshells into a very fine powder, so that it can be taken easily.
We generally need around 1000 – 1500 mg of calcium every day (1 tsp of eggshell powder equals around 1000 mg). While it’s possible to get some of that from a balanced diet, taking a supplement can sometimes be necessary.
Calcium carbonate is more bioavailable when taken in doses of no more 500 mg at one time, so you could aim for two or three doses throughout the day, unless you’ve been guided by a medical professional to aim for anything more or less than a standard dose.
Another way of storing eggshell powder is to make up your own batch of supplements, by filling empty capsules (gelatin and vegetable cellulose types are widely available online) using a paper funnel and storing in a clean, dry jar.
- Eggshells – as many as you can use/have
- An electric or manual coffee/spice grinder or pestle and mortar
- Clean, dry jar with lid
- Empty supplement capsules (optional)
1. Use your eggs as usual, but retain the shells. Wash them in hot water, removing any dirt. Don’t take out the membrane inside – it’s rich in minerals.
2. Boil the shells for five minutes and leave to dry. You can place them in an oven set to a low heat for 15 minutes if you want to speed things up.
3. Once completely dry, place in your pestle and mortar or grinder and grind/pound to a very fine powder.
4. Sieve to remove any remaining large particles and place into a clean, dry jar with a lid.
5. If you want to fill empty capsules, then secure one half of each of the capsules using non-toxic putty or dough as a base.
6. Now make a papper cornet and fill the capsules, then store them in a clean, dry jar.
Uses and Calcium Supplement Shelf Life
It’s believed that the calcium carbonate in the eggshell powder becomes more bioavailable when added to certain other foods and liquids. Vinegar, lemon juice and live yoghurt are all good for that. Many people sprinkle the powder on cereal – particularly granola or muesli – or mix it into a fruit smoothie-type drink.
In fact, the latter option is a particularly good one. If you add a banana to a homemade smoothie, the magnesium it contains helps with bioavailability and calcium absorption. Eggshell powder has other uses too – some add it to toothpaste or mix it with a little coconut oil for a natural exfoliator.
Kept dry and out of direct sunlight, the calcium powder should last for 2 months, possibly more. If you unscrew the jar and it smells bad, then start again – it’s possible that some moisture got in there.
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