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10 Food Sources Of Calcium For Your Bones

By Riddhi Parmar +2 more

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.

Do You Know 

  • Adults need 700mg of calcium per day. source: nhs.uk
  • Good sources of calcium include milk, cheese, green leafy vegetables, and tofu. source: nhs.uk
  • Vegans can get calcium from fortified plant-based drinks, tofu, and sesame seeds. source: nhs.uk
  • Cheddar cheese, shredded, contains 306mg of calcium per 1½ oz. source: NCBI
  • Buttermilk provides 285mg of calcium per 8 fl oz. source: NCBI Bookshelf

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

Did you know that calcium plays a vital role in our growth and development? When we’re born, our bodies already have a small but significant amount of calcium, ranging from 26 to 30 grams. As we grow, this calcium level increases rapidly, reaching approximately 1,200 grams in women and 1,400 grams in men by adulthood.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

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 – 

1: Milk  

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.

When it comes to calcium absorption, not all foods are created equal. Dairy products and fortified foods have a higher absorption rate of about 30%, while certain compounds in plants can decrease absorption by forming indigestible salts with calcium. For instance, spinach has a much lower absorption rate of 5%, compared to milk at 27%.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

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. 

3: Seeds  

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.

4: Yogurt  

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. 

Did you know that the calcium content of food can be influenced by its fat content? It’s fascinating how foods with higher fat levels tend to have slightly lower amounts of calcium. By opting for lower-fat options, you can not only make healthier choices but also ensure you’re getting the most out of your calcium intake.

Dr. Smita barode, B.A.M.S, M.S.

Also Read: Is Celery Good for You? Analyzing the Research-Backed Benefits

5: Cheese  

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. 

6: Almonds  

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. 

Also Read: What is Trypophobia: A Deep Dive into the Fear of Holes

7: Beans and lentils  

We all know beans and lentils are high in fibres, 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. 

9: Tofu  

If you are vegan and diet conscious, then tofu would be a smart choice to fulfil 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.

10: Figs  

Raw and dried figs are full of fibres, 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.  

11: Whey Protein

Whey is a type of protein found in milk that has been well studied for its potential health benefits. It is also an excellent protein source and full of rapidly digested amino acids, which help promote muscle growth and recovery. Whey is loaded with calcium. Some studies have also shown that whey-rich diets to increased weight loss and improve blood sugar management.

12: Leafy Greens

Leafy green vegetables are incredibly healthy and many of them are high in calcium, including collard greens, spinach and kale. Leafy vegetables like spinach are high in oxalates, which are naturally occurring compounds that bind to calcium and impair its absorption. 

13: Rhubarb

Rhubarb is rich in calcium, fibre, vitamin K and smaller amounts of other vitamins and minerals. It also contains prebiotic fibre, a type of fibre that can promote the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut.

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

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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