Best Calcium-Rich Foods & Their Benefits

Best Calcium-Rich Foods & Their Benefits

Best Calcium-Rich Foods & Their Benefits

Does Your Body Need Calcium?
Calcium is one of the body’s most prevalent minerals, is best recognised for its vital function in maintaining healthy bones, and is also involved in many critical biological processes. Many of us were taught as children that drinking milk helps build strong bones. While this is true, milk is just one option that meets your calcium needs. Whether you’re looking to comprehend the importance of calcium or looking for ways to incorporate it as part of your daily routine, this blog will offer helpful insights.

What is Calcium?

About 99% of calcium is found in the bones and teeth in the human body, providing structural support and strength. The remaining 1% circulates in the blood and soft tissues. Most individuals should consume a minimum of 1,000 mg of calcium daily, although some groups, such as teenagers, postmenopausal women, and older people, require more.

Function of Calcium

While calcium is commonly associated with its role in bone health, it is involved in numerous physiological processes throughout the body. Calcium is involved in vital functions such as muscle contraction, nerve transmission, blood clotting, and enzyme activation. Calcium also plays a role in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system, regulating hormone secretion, and supporting cell communication.

It’s essential to understand that the body uses a mechanism known as homeostasis that precisely regulates calcium levels. Insufficient calcium consumption can lead the body to release calcium from the bones to maintain proper levels, which may gradually result in a loss of bone density. Therefore, consuming an adequate amount of calcium through a balanced diet or adding supplements is necessary for overall health and well-being.

Calcium Test

Calcium Rich Foods

While there are several supplements available, it is recommended that at least half of your calcium consumption comes from your food. Calcium-rich foods that can help you maintain your calcium levels include:

  • Dairy Products:Dairy is an excellent source of calcium, but one should avoid it if they’re lactose intolerant. Some examples of dairy products are milk, cheese, and yoghurt etc.

 

  • Greens:Leafy green vegetables are loaded with highly absorbable calcium and other healthy nutrients. Some of them are spinach, kale, collard greens, broccoli and bok choy.

 

  • Tofu and Soy Products: They are some plant-based foods that are rich in calcium. Calcium from tofu is absorbed at the same rate and efficiency as those from cow’s milk. Products include tofu (firm or silken), edamame (young soybeans) and tempeh.

 

  • Nuts and Seeds: Out of all the nuts, almonds contain the most calcium content. Others that are rich in calcium are sesame seeds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, brazil nuts etc.

 

  • Fish with Edible Bones: Canned salmon (with bones) and sardines are examples. Fish is rich in calcium and phosphorous, especially fish with bones, i.e., canned fish.

 

  • Legumes: Legumes such as chickpeas, white beans, black beans, and lentils are great sources of calcium that you can add to your everyday diet.

 

  • Fortified Foods:Fortified food, such as cereals, can help you achieve your daily calcium requirements. In fact, certain cereals can contain up to 1,000 mg per serving. There are also fortified orange juice and fortified plant-based milk alternatives (e.g., almond milk, soy milk).

 

  • Other Sources:Some other sources of calcium are amaranth, quinoa, molasses, seaweed (kelp, wakame) etc.

Conclusion

Incorporating various foods into your everyday meals and snacks can help ensure a sufficient calcium intake. However, it is essential to note that calcium absorption can vary depending on factors such as vitamin D levels, overall diet, and individual health conditions. If you have specific dietary restrictions, allergies, or concerns, it’s best to consult with a doctor or registered dietitian for a personalised diet and supplements if needed.

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