Calcium is an essential mineral that builds our bones healthier. Almost every cell from the body utilizes calcium in some way, including muscles and all systems. Your body uses calcium to make your bones and teeth healthier and give them the strength to perform their activities smoothly.
Bone is a rigid organ that protects internal organs, produce red and white blood cells, store minerals, and provides support for the body. It is full of calcium that makes our bones strong and flexible. As we age, the calcium level from our body reduces, and our bone gets weak. It is not only applicable to older people but also for everyone at all phases of their life. That is the reason why your doctor always recommends to add calcium-rich foods in your diet.
Your body is better able to absorb calcium from food than it can from supplements. It’s necessary to include calcium-rich foods in your diet, limit those that deplete calcium, and get enough magnesium and vitamins D and K to help calcium do its job.
How much calcium does our body need?
The recommended daily intake of calcium –
- Adults (men and woman) – 1,000 mg per day
- Women over 50 years of age – 1,200 mg per day
- Old age group over 70 years old – 1,200 mg per day
- Children aged 4–18 – 1,300 mg per day
Calcium-rich food sources
We all know milk is the best source of calcium, but you may be surprised by knowing all the different foods that can work amazingly to fulfill your calcium requirements. Here are the best calcium-rich foods that you can add to your diet –
Milk is one of the best sources of calcium we all know. Milk is easily absorbable and digestible that is available every time. One cup (237 ml) of cow’s milk has 276–352 mg, depending on whether it’s whole or non-fat milk. Goat milk is also a rich source of calcium, providing 327 mg per cup (237 ml). Additionally, milk is a good source of proteins, vitamin A, and vitamin D.
2: Soy milk
Soy milk is an alternative for lactose-intolerant people. Fortified soymilk is an excellent source of calcium, vitamin D, and proteins. On average, cup soymilk enhanced with calcium contains 340 mg.
These tiny, nutritional powerhouses are rich in calcium, such as chia seeds, poppy seeds, and celery. It also contains essential fatty acids and proteins that make your bone and overall health healthy. Chia seeds contain-Boron that promotes the growth of bones. It helps the body to metabolize calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium.
All dairy products like yogurt are a rich source of calcium. Particularly low-fat yogurt is a good source of fiber, and a cup of low-fat yogurt contains 245 grams of calcium. Greek yogurt has proteins and less calcium.
Another addition to the foods which are rich in calcium-cheese is a good source of calcium and proteins. Your body absorbs calcium from dairy products fast than plant sources, so try to add more dairy products in your diet. Parmesan cheese has the most, with 331 mg of calcium. It is one of the most delicious and everyone’s favorite source of calcium.
Almonds are a rich source of calcium, fatty acids, vitamin E, antioxidants, and proteins. They help to strengthen your bones, keep your heart healthy, and improve memory power. Just 1 cup of whole almonds contains 385 mg of calcium, which is more than one-third of the recommended daily amount. However, a handful of almonds are full of fats and calories, so you should limit their intake to smaller portions.
7: Beans and lentils
We all know beans and lentils are high in fibers, proteins, and other nutrients, but some are rich in calcium too. Beans and lentils like soybeans, green beans, red millets, and peas-contain enough calcium that you should never out on calcium requirements.
8: Canned fish
Canned fishes like canned salmon and sardines can be a good option of calcium if you are non-vegetarian. Its bones where most of the calcium resides. Their bones are edible and soft. You can mash and serve them, so they’re undetectable in many dishes. Create a spread to serve on toast or make fish cakes. And if you like whole sardines or chunks of salmon, add them to salads.
If you are vegan and diet conscious, then tofu would be a smart choice to fulfill your calcium requirements. Tofu is naturally gluten-free and contains no cholesterol. Raw, firm tofu with added calcium packs 861 mg of calcium per half-cup. It’s also an excellent source of protein so add it to scrambles, stir-fry, salads, and more.
Raw and dried figs are full of fibers, antioxidants, proteins, with a lot of calcium. This sweet-dessert like fruit contains 242 mg of calcium per cup of dried figs. They can be eaten as a snack or as a part of your salads.
Calcium is an essential mineral that should obtain enough through your diet. If you are running low in calcium, it can lead to muscle atrophy (stiffness and rigidity), dysfunction of nerves, and reduced appetite. Likewise, excess calcium can also pose a threat to your body. Hence, the key is to consume a balanced amount of calcium as your body requires.
Read more about: 10 Food For Strong & Healthy Bones