Words by: Hello Glow
We hear about the benefiits of calcium all the time, but sometimes it takes more than that to really understand why it's such a crucial part of our diets. A few months ago, I broke my shoulder blade in a freak dog-walking accident (it was as embarrassing as it sounds). After ignoring the pain for weeks, I found myself at the orthopedic surgeon’s office in the company of motorcycle riders and athletes with similar injuries. One of the first things my orthopedist recommended was boosting my calcium intake—pronto. We’ve heard it over and over, but this vital mineral is crucial for strengthening bones and preventing injuries. Surprisingly, calcium also plays a role in everything from heart health to maintaining proper body weight, so it’s important that you get enough of it every single day.
One of the best, cheapest, and most bioavailable sources of calcium is eggshells. Yes, regular old eggshells. And with nothing more than a coffee grinder and a few clean shells, you can whip up your own calcium powder in less than an hour. So go ahead and give your smoothies (or juice, soup, or morning elixir) a boost with this DIY eggshell calcium powder.
I’ve been on a smoothie kick for breakfast lately. It’s one of the few meals of the day that I feel like I can load up on fruits and veggies without having to force it. Not only do I just feel healthier when I eat them, but I love how smoothies make an awesome base for adding other vitamins and minerals to my diet.
Calcium is one of those minerals that’s important for bodily processes but can be tricky to get enough of the old-fashioned way. It’s found in leafy greens and broccoli, but you need to eat a lot of them to see any noticeable benefits. And supplementation isn’t always a perfect solution, either. Over the counter calcium supplements can be rough on the stomach and difficult to absorb.
Whole-food sources of calcium, on the other hand, are a totally different story.
Eggshells are made almost entirely of calcium carbonate, which is exactly what makes up our nails, teeth, and bones. They’re also loaded with protein, magnesium, selenium, strontium, and other compounds that are said to be good for bones and joints. Because they’re a whole food (not a man-made supplement), it’s easier for our bodies to absorb and assimilate the nutrients found in eggshells. And the best part is that they’re 100% free and zero-waste. Simply save your old shells (I like to freeze mine until I have enough saved up), and you can help cut down on food waste in your kitchen.
If you have a small family or don’t usually eat a lot of eggs in one sitting, I recommend stockpiling your shells over time. You’ll be sanitizing the shells before making your calcium powder, so you can simply put the leftover eggshells in a container in the refrigerator while your build up a stash (make sure to rinse them out first). If left in the fridge for fewer than five days, I have never had any issues with the shells starting to smell. If you need more time to accrue your shells, simply store them in the freezer until you have enough.
Then, simply toss a half a teaspoon’s worth of calcium powder in your morning smoothie to give it a nutritional boost.
Once you’ve saved up 10 to 12 shells, place them in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Boil them for 15 minutes to sterilize completely.
Spread the shells on a baking sheet. Bake at 225F for 20 minutes to dry them out.
Using a coffee or spice grinder, grind the shells to a very fine powder. You can also use a blender for this, but I find that a coffee grinder makes the finest powder, so you don’t have any large eggshell pieces in your smoothie. A finer powder also mixes better with other drinks, like coffee or juice.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of your calcium powder to your daily smoothie for about 400-500 mg of calcium (feel free to tweak your daily intake depending on your specific needs and recommendations from a healthcare provider). Store in an airtight jar in a cool, dry cupboard for up to a month.
October 11, 2020
I seem to be having an issue with a sognificant build up of air pressure when grinding the eggs. Am I alone in this? Depending on my method of grinding, it's causing my lids to get stuck on, or pop off. No one else seems to have mentioned this but I have a problem every.time. Help?
Also, do you peel the membranes out of the shell or leave them in?
October 12, 2020
Hi Taryn, we are so sorry to hear you are having trouble with this. It's difficult to know exactly what might be causing this. Perhaps there is still some moisture in the shells or maybe it's the type of grinder being used? We wonder if it might help to grind using short pulses and releasing pressure between sets. And as far as the membrane goes, you can leave those right in the shell. Hope this helps!
September 26, 2020
Egg shell powder availability
September 21, 2020
I have tried the egg shells. I' love them. My nails are growing. Lets see what happens on my next bone density test. I love the gritty taste
That's fantastic news, Delores! We hope all goes well and that you continue to enjoy your calcium powder.
September 20, 2020
As a child I always had craving for eggshells. My parent's would fight me to get them out of my hands because I would just eat them unsterilized. I grew up in Armenia and my family had chickens so our eggs were hormone free and organic. I munched on them until my family gave up on trying to fight me for them. Growing up I never broke a single bone in my body. And I was a very accident prone child and once even fell on my neck pretty badly during my gymnastics lesson, only to get up shake it off and continue practicing. I credit it to the eggshells. Recently I read a study about eggshells having restorative abilities in sports medicine since I am in a doctorate program for optometry with hopes of doing a sports vision therapy. I quickly got to searching how we can consume them safely. Very great article. Will be using these methods most definitely.
What an incredible story! Thank you for sharing that with us and thank you for the wonderful feedback you've given. We are so happy to hear you enjoyed this blog and wish you continued health.
August 26, 2020
If you really want to get crazy thrifty - but only do this with organic or free range eggs
August 28, 2020
We hope you enjoyed this DIY! Thanks for supporting small family farms!
August 24, 2020
its really gr8...i have been storing eggshell for long, waiting for better use other than scrubing of pots
Definietly give these tips a try!
doesn't boiling them loose potency ?
Boiling them just ensures a clean eggshell due to any micro-bacteria that may have started to develop due to water condesation in your refirdgerator. The shells will not loose any potency, this technique is just for safety.
August 20, 2020
Due to the health needs of a (now formerly) diabetic cat I started making my own cat food 2 1/2 years ago. The kitty is no longer diabetic, & alla' the cats now sport soft, shiny coats. My veterinarian recently had an analysis done of the recipe I use, & it was discovered to be lacking in calcium. I do a lot of baking & I save my many egg shells which I crush & add to my pet duck's food. Last night on a whim I threw a bunch of eggshells into the meat grinder as I was making a batch of cat food. I'll check w/ my vet & find out the DMR for calcium for cats & she can hopefully translate that into a measurement for me. Thanks for your informative article! :D
August 21, 2020
Hey Jeanne, We are so happy to hear that your furry friends are enjoying our eggs! We are glad this article has helped you! Thanks for your continued loyalty towards small family farms!
August 13, 2020
what is the process of prepare egg shell & wher did i selling egg shell? i want this information
Hi there. Instructions for preparing and turning egg shells in to calcium powder can be found in the above blog post (toward the bottom half of the post). In order to acquire the egg shells you will either have to purchase and consume eggs at the store and save the shells as you use up the eggs or, if you're not much of an egg eater, we recommend asking someone you know who is to save their egg shells for you. Hope this helps!
August 05, 2020
Couple comments: I do not boil my eggshells to sanitize, nor do I rinse them first. At least in the US, eggs are washed prior to packaging anyway, and the insides are largely sterile on their own as long as the shell/membrane hasn't been compromised.
So instead, I use "drying in the oven" as the first step, which sanitizes them as well; just pop them straight into a 250-degree oven, open ends up, as I crack them into the skillet/bowl. I leave them in there just 5-10 minutes, until the inside membrane starts to darken, then take them out, let them cool for a few minutes, and store in ziplocks partially crushed. That way the full membrane is preserved, whereas boiling can remove much if not most of the non-shell components. I do mine at 250 degrees rather than 225, for no other reason than it's a bit farther beyond boiling temperature.
Now if I cannot get them in the oven right away for some reason, then I will bag and freeze them until I can do the oven thing.
This method also allows me to store the baked shells on a shelf at room temp, because I discovered that refrigerated/frozen shells form condensation when you take them out of the freezer, which adds unwanted moisture when it comes time to grind them up.
Once ground, I put the powder in an empty and thoroughly dry plastic water bottle, and also add a desiccant packet from one of my other used supplements to the bottle of eggshell powder (I keep a supply of those desiccants on hand; certain ones can be recharged in the oven).
I also make sure to eat only organic free-range eggs, because the resulting shells seem to have a higher mineral content (they are harder and thicker). Yeah, they're also pricier than the cheapo grocery store eggs, but when I factor in the calcium supplements I'm NOT buying anymore, I'm still saving money. The 24-pack of brown eggs from Sam's Club is the most affordable I've found so far.
Just my $0.02.
Thank you for sharing this info, Yoban. We are so glad you've had such a positive experience with creating your own calcium powder as well.
July 29, 2020
If i eat eggshells will that provide all my calcium need? I heard someone said in order for calcium to be absorbed i need magnesium, k3, potassium, selium and copper, zinc. Manganese. Is this true.? Is half teaspoon 3 × daily too much? After one month if the eggshells are not finished do i have to do a new batch
Hi Delores, while we know eggshells are a great source of calcium and love supplementing our own beverages with a little egg shell calcium powder, we recommend consulting your health care provider regarding how much would be right for you and any tips they may have for increasing absorption. Glad you stumbled upon this blog!
July 01, 2020
What about shells from hard-boiled eggs? If you've already boiled an egg for 10+ minutes, can the shell (inside and out) be considered clean enough to eat once dry and ground into powder?
July 06, 2020
That's a great question, Jake. We think that should be just fine. We hope you have great success with this!
June 10, 2020
Bones, teeth, etc. are NOT made of calcium carbonate. They are made of calcium phosphate.
August 27, 2020
I have been making my own calcium egg powder for many many years, (I was always unable to take calcium supplements which would make me sick). Before so I was medically diagnosed with osteopenia. Since then, 10 years later, by taking my own eggshell supplement I have reversed my diagnosis. So I would have to disagree with your comment.
October 08, 2020
I'm wondering if this can reverse osteoporosis too? I'm age 73.
October 09, 2020
Hi Meg, thanks for reaching out! While eggshell powder is a great calcium supplement, with properties know to help strengthen bones, we can't make any claims on how it may impact osteoporosis. We'd recommend consulting your doctor on this.
May 04, 2020
Thanks I’ve just tried this in my porridge. It makes the texture very gritty though, not sure I like my porridge this way.
May 05, 2020
Hello! Sorry to hear your porridge wasn't the best with calcium powder. Sometimes we find if we haven't ground the eggshells quite enough, it makes for a more gritty texture in whatever we add it to. Smoothies (berry smoothies especially) are really good at masking any grittiness.
May 02, 2020
So a ninja blender or bullet won’t make a fine enough powder correct?
June 24, 2020
Magic bullet is perfectly fine for grinding eggshells to a fine powder.
August 18, 2020
I do not recommend a magic bullet. I used my magic bullet to grind eggshells a few years ago and stuffed the inner plastic surface of the bullet cup.. the plastic is became very rough on the first usage.
Hi Marcela. While a coffee or spice grinder is recommended for grinding the eggshells into a finer powder, you could certainly use a blender instead. You may just need to blend the eggshells a little longer in order to grind them into a finer powder.
April 28, 2020
How else could I consume the egg shell powder - if not in a smoothy?
June 28, 2020
My granma adds them to Her garden soil.
June 29, 2020
She sounds like a wise woman, Shavanna.
You can add it and mix it in cake batters, cookie dough, ground beef, omelettes, quiches, coffee, tea, etc.
April 30, 2020
Great question, Rosalie! You can put the eggshell calcium powder in soups, juice, tea, and coffee among other liquids that it can easily be stirred into.
You can sprinkle it on any gravy, cheese etc you consume daily.
April 04, 2020
Should I remove and peel away the membrane on the inside of the shells?
June 25, 2020
Sorry... rather than connective tissue I meant collagen. Egg membrane contains collagen and various other protein required for good health.
No, as it contains connective tissue. Very healthy for you!
April 06, 2020
Hi Roo, great question! There's no need to remove the membrane on the inside of the shell before processing your shells. So long as you make sure to rinse them thoroughly before storing or boiling them, you should be good to go!
March 19, 2020
If we steam our eggs to cook them for eating, are the egg shells then sanitized enough and not need additional baking?
Hi Corie! Thanks for the question. We would still recommend baking the eggshells versus steaming them. Typically the shells themselves need to be very dry in order for the powdering process to work. We hope this helps!
March 11, 2020
How long are the ground shells good for after you prepare them and grind them? Best way to store them?
March 12, 2020
Hi Phyllis! Thanks for reaching out. According to Hello Glow, it is recommended to store the prepared and ground egg shells in an airtight jar in a cool, dry cupboard for up to a month. Please let us know if you have any other questions!
February 19, 2020
Do the egg shells go off as had a tub for about a year maybe two and just found in cupboard
Hi George, thanks for the question. Per Hello Glow's recommendations above, we recommend keeping additional shells in the freezer if you're saving them for longer than 5 days. Sounds like your tub may be time to compost. Please let us know if you have any additional questions.
January 26, 2020
I love this... My friend has chickens and we're saving the shells together! I also like the idea of the blackstrap molasses for the magnesium.
January 27, 2020
That's awesome, Murad! Shells are infinitely useful. They make really nutrient-rich compost, too!
November 18, 2019
This is Awesome!!!! Thank you for sharing.
November 27, 2019
We're so glad you've found this interesting. Thanks for the feedback, Janice!
August 21, 2019
I have been using eggshells for a while now and also good to strengthen teeth. Don't forget to add magnesium, I use Blackstrap molasses
August 23, 2019
Hi Rose! That sounds like an excellent way to use eggshells. Magnesium is definitely an important nutrient to get every day - it's always a great reminder that adding it to our diets can be quite beneficial.
I rinse and microwave my shells as soon as I use the eggs and save them in a zip lock bag until I have enough to powder. I use a nutribullet for this. Then I used the powder around my tomatoes, peppers and other veggies in the garden. Helps with blossom end rot.
March 08, 2020
For those that boil their shells first to sanitize, save the water for watering tomatoes or any other container garden or house plant that requires calcium to thrive!! Zero waste 👍
March 09, 2020
We love this idea, Carol! Thanks so much for helping us all reduce our waste and improve our vegetable gardens and house plants!
Hello Kay! Thank you for taking the time to leave this comment. We love the idea of prepping the shells as soon as you use the eggs and saving them up until you have enough. We'll have to try the powder on our plants as well - what a great tip!
April 29, 2020
does boiling and baking ffects the calcium content of eggshells?
Great question, Sarah. The answer is, very little--the eggshells still retain much of their calcium content. These parts of of the process are also key to the sanitation and dehydration of the egg shells that lead to developing a finer, longer lasting supplement.
January 22, 2018
April 19, 2019