Did you know, calcium is the most abundant mineral found in our body?
We all know how calcium is very important for our health. Calcium constitutes a major part of our bones and teeth and plays a major role in nerve signalling, heart and muscle health.
However, that being said, despite being the most needed mineral in our body, most of us suffer from calcium deficiency in our lives. That can be due to various reasons. But do not worry anymore, we have got you covered. Through this article, we will be sharing some calcium rich foods that will help you to recover from your calcium deficiencies.
Also, if you are wondering that being vegan or having lactose intolerance can prove to be problematic to find the correct calcium source for your body, you are wrong. Keep on reading the article as the calcium rich foods suggested are not all dairy products.
Why do we need calcium in our body?
As we all know calcium is the key component of the bones and muscles in our body. The benefits of calcium for our body is unmatched and some of the important merits of calcium are:
- Bone needs plenty of calcium and Vitamin D throughout childhood and adolescence to reach their peak strength and with the help of calcium, ailments like osteoporosis can be prevented in older people.
- Calcium supplements and diets high in calcium reduces the risk of cancer of colon and rectum.
- Having a sufficient amount of calcium in your diet will lower the potential danger of heart and other cardiovascular ailments.
- Consuming enough calcium improves cholesterol levels and curtains the hazard of high blood pressure.
What effect does calcium deficiency have on our body?
Symptoms generally noticed due to calcium deficiency in the body are:
- Confusion or memory loss
- Muscle spasms and cramps
- Numbness and tingling in hands, feet and face
- Hallucinations and depression
- Weak and brittle nails
- Easy fracturing of bones
Top calcium rich foods to go for!
The list of calcium rich foods cannot just start without milk, one of the best and cheapest sources of calcium for our body.
- 1 cup of cow’s milk (239ml)- 287-351 mg of calcium.
However, nutritional intake varies according to fat or nonfat milk.
- 1 cup of goat’s milk (239ml)- 337 mg of calcium.
Additionally, milk also contains substantial amounts of proteins, vitamin A and vitamin D.
If you are looking for an alternative for cow’s milk, soy milk can be an excellent option for you. Bestowed with calcium carbonate and Vitamin D, it produces an equal amount of calcium for the body like cow or goat’s milk. It also contains less saturated fat as compared to whole milk.
2.Cheese and Yoghurt
Cheese and yoghurt are excellent foods rich in calcium.
- Parmesan cheese- 331mg / 33% of RDI per ounce
- Softer cheese like brie- 52mg / 5% of RDI per ounce
- 1 cup of yoghurt- 30% of RDI
- Low-fat yoghurt- 45% of RDI
Our body tends to absorb calcium faster from dairy products as compared to plant products.
Hard cheese is low on lactose and therefore can be consumed by people who are lactose intolerant. Consumption of cheese will lower the risk of heart diseases and metabolic syndromes.
On the other hand, yoghurt not only provides abundant calcium content for our body, but it also enhances the overall metabolic health of the body.
Tiny powerhouses of mammoth amounts of nutrients, seeds are not only one of the foods rich in calcium, but also proteins and healthy fats.
Some of the seeds abundant in calcium are poppy, celery, sesame and especially chia seeds.
- 9 grams of poppy seeds- 126mg of calcium / 13% of RDI
- Sesame seeds- 9% of RDI
- 2 tablespoons of chia seeds- 179mg of calcium
Chia seeds also have boron which promotes muscle and bones healthy and also helps the body to metabolize calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.
- 3 oz of canned Sardines with bones- 325mg of calcium
- 3 oz of canned Salmon with bones- 180mg of calcium
- 3 oz of canned shrimp- 125mg of calcium
Canned sardines and salmons are loaded with calcium due to their edible bones. These fishes also provide high-quality proteins and omega-3 fatty acids which are good for your heart, skin and brain.
There is a reason why our grandmothers and mothers fuss over including green vegetables in our diet. These vegetables are a treasure trove of vitamins and minerals and some of them are abundant in calcium.
- 190 grams of cooked collard greens- 266mg of calcium.
- 1 cup of broccoli- 87mg of calcium
- 2 cups of raw chopped kale- 180mg of calcium
- 1 cup of okra- 82mg of calcium
Research has shown that broccoli has the potential to reduce the risk of cancer and also cover calcium deficiencies.
Apart from the above-mentioned food sources, there are some other food items that can be a great source of calcium content too like:
1 cup of whole almonds- 385mg of calcium
- Dried figs
8 figs or 1 cup- 241mg of calcium
½ cup of any reliable brand- 275-861mg of calcium
- White beans
1 cup- 161mg of calcium
- Sunflower seeds
A single cup- 109mg of calcium
One cup of prepared edamame- 98mg of calcium
- Sweet potato
One large sweet potato- 68mg of calcium
One large orange- 74mg of calcium
- Butternut squash
1 cup- 84mg of calcium
1 cup- 32mg of calcium
1 cup- 116 grams of calcium or 12% of RDI
Our body needs 1000mg of calcium per day. We are pretty sure that by including the above mentioned calcium-rich food source in your diet, you will be easily able to fulfil the deficiency of your calcium content in your body.
People suffering from severe calcium deficiency are also advised to intake calcium supplements along with their daily diet. However, if you are including calcium supplements, make sure it is from a reliable source and it does not produce any unwanted side effects in the body.
Calcium is an important component of our bone structure but we advise you not to overindulge in calcium rich foods as it can lead to constipation and formation of kidney stones.
People who are vegan or lactose intolerant, including some of the above-mentioned food items in your diet, can be extremely beneficial for you and will help you to fulfil the required calcium intake of the body. Now go on to include calcium rich foods in your diet and reap the benefits of it.