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Calcium Rich Foods: The Importance Of Calcium And Where To Get It

Calcium is vital for our bones and teeth. Nearly 99% of this vital mineral is stored in our bones and teeth while 1% is stored in our blood and soft tissues. And to maintain this needed level we should add the calcium rich foods listed below. 

Is Calcium Important?

Calcium rich foods

As said above calcium is important for the growth and development of our bones and teeth. Calcium also helps maintain a healthy cell function system. Calcium is also needed for supporting your muscles and nerve functions. It helps to regulate blood pressure and maintains hormone levels. It also works as the communication between the cells. In short, calcium is needed by our body for practically every process. As much as calcium is critical for our body, the body cannot produce it on its own. That’s why it’s important to add some calcium rich foods in our diet.

What Can You Do?

Though there are plenty of supplements that provide us calcium, our body best absorbs calcium from the food we eat. Yes, some antacids also have calcium in them. But do you know the recommended amount on a daily basis is 1,300 milligrams (mg) for any human being? Yes, children, pregnant and lactating women included. 

Where Does The Body Use Calcium?

Calcium has many benefits for our body. Here’s a small wrap up on them. 

Cellular Function:

Our body has to maintain a specific level of calcium in the blood at all times. This makes sure our cells function properly all the time. Even a slightest dip in the level of calcium in your blood can make your body take calcium it needs from your bones. 

Bone Health

Our body tears and wears out daily. And our body keeps on repairing it for us. Likewise, our bones suffer as well. Before you reach the age 30, our bond building level is higher than breaking. But after the age 30, it gets reversed. That’s the reason older people have more brittle bones than younger people and are always at risk of breaking them. 

Calcium rich foods

Osteoporosis is one such disease that disrupts the balance of bone building and bone breakdown. To reduce the risk of having osteoporosis, you need to build your calcium level before you reach the age 30 and maintain it afterwards as well. And for this it is important you consume the required daily amount of 1,300 mg. This way your body won’t take any calcium from your bones. 

Blood Pressure Control:

Our blood vessels need to contract so they can relax. Which is why they need calcium and to maintain a healthy blood pressure as well. Even studies show that in order for our body to get this calcium and the benefit from it, it needs it from the food as it’s absorbed better from foods. So we should eat more calcium rich foods. 

Decrease The Risk Of Kidney Stones:

Calcium helps prevent kidney stones as it decreases the oxalates by absorbing them. Oxalates are found in many plant foods such as raspberries, beets, spinach and sweet potatoes. And oxalates are directly associated in developing kidney stones. Calcium absorbed from foods works better than that from supplements. 

Of course it doesn’t mean you should not eat them but there are plenty of calcium rich foods. Some good news for vegans and lactose intolerant people, most of them are not dairy products. 

Foods Abundant With Calcium

Yes there are many supplements available in the market. But even scientists and nutritionists say your body gets half of its calcium requirement from the food you eat. 

Here is  list of some foods that are calcium rich foods:

Dairy products:

There’s no doubt dairy products are rich in calcium and are best absorbed by our body. And products like cheese, milk and yogurt are definitely the best source of calcium. Though plant and fortified foods are not that much accepted by our body. 

Soybeans:

Dry roasted soybeans are a great source for calcium. A half-cup alone has 230 mg of calcium in it. So, if you’re a vegan or dairy intolerant person, this is a great source for you. 

Dark Green, Leafy Vegetables:

Collard greens, cooked kale, and spinach are also an abundance of calcium. Collard greens alone have the highest calcium amount. A half-cup gives your body 175 mg of calcium. 

Calcium-Fortified Foods:

If you’re the fortified food and juice person, this is for you. Orange juice is naturally fortified while there are some cereals that are fortified with calcium as well. Calcium citrate malate is better absorbed than other fortified juices. While the fortified cereals can give you 1,000 mg of calcium per single serve. 

Other Calcium Rich Foods Are:

Canned Salmon:

Apart from dairy products there are other calcium rich foods that are abundant in calcium. Canned salmon is also another dietary food that’s full of calcium. 3 ounces of canned salmon alone can give you 181 mg of calcium. Calcium also has Vitamin D, and Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium much better. 

Figs

Only five fresh or dried figs alone can provide you with 135 mg of calcium. As said above, oranges are high in calcium, including papayas. 

Flour Tortillas:

If you’re a carb lover, this is great news for you. A 10-inch flour tortilla has 90 mg calcium packed in it. 

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Canned Baked Beans:

Who doesn’t like eating canned baked beans? And when they are nutritious, it couldn’t get any better. Only four ounces of canned baked beans provides 160 mg of calcium. And they also are a great source of fiber as well. 

Yogurt:

Yogurt is an excellent dairy product. It’s a well-known pro biotic that’s packed with calcium. Most yogurts are rich in probiotics. Probiotics is a type of beneficial bacteria that helps improve your immune functions. Which further helps improve our hearts health and enhances nutrition absorption as well. 245 grams or a cup of yogurt provides 23% of DV for calcium. It’s also packed with a heap of phosphorus, and Vitamins B12 and B2 as well. 

Low fat yogurt on the other hand is even higher in calcium by 34% of the DV in 245 grams alone. 

What do you think?