Talk about calcium, and the images of bones and teeth immediately pop up in the head. In fact, the word ‘Calcium’ is synonymous with ‘bone health’ for most people who only have a basic notion of the essential mineral.
While this notion is not entirely incorrect – since bones and teeth store 99% of your body’s Calcium – the importance of the remaining 1% of the mineral cannot be overlooked. Calcium is not only important for the bones and teeth but also plays a vital role in normal blood clotting, contributes to muscle health and heart health, and also prevents obesity.
Calcium’s role in maintaining the body’s overall health is indispensable. But are you playing your role in maintaining sufficient levels of Calcium in your body? The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of Calcium ranges from 1300 mg for adolescents to 1000 mg for adults. However, not everyone manages to meet these essential requirements.
Read on to learn about 7 Calcium-rich foods that can make your body stronger and healthier. And no, we aren’t going to talk about just milk and milk products.
Chia seeds are a goldmine if you want to fulfill your daily requirements for essential minerals. Besides being rich in protein, carbs, and fiber, these tiny seeds are abundant in Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, and Phosphorus.
Just five tablespoons (70 grams) of chia seeds can give you 35%, or 350 milligrams, of your required daily value (DV) of Calcium. Besides, you also get 30% of the DV of Iron, 50% of the DV of Phosphorus, and 58% DV of Magnesium.
If you want a well-rounded dose of essential vitamins and minerals, make sure to include Chia seeds in your daily diet plan.
Though soybeans are mainly known for being rich in protein, they are also a prominent source of Calcium. Likewise, soy foods such as tofu and natto also provide a substantial amount of the mineral.
A hundred grams of cooked soybeans are packed with 10.5% of the daily requirement of Calcium, along with over 18 grams of protein, 8.4 grams of carbohydrates, and 6 grams of fiber. These legumes also contain a fair amount of vitamins B1, B9, and K1 and minerals such as copper, manganese, and phosphorus.
As a big bonus, soybeans are also believed to bring down the risk of cancer and can help relieve menopause symptoms in women.
Almonds can come in handy whenever you want to get a small dose of Calcium on the go. These seeds of the Almond tree are power-packed with many valuable nutrients, including Calcium.
One cup (100 grams) of almonds provides you with 214 mg of calcium, which is also 21.4% of the DV. These nuts also contain a wide variety of other nutrients. They are rich in antioxidants, protein, fiber, and minerals such as manganese and magnesium.
The presence of magnesium in almonds also helps maintain blood sugar levels. So, they can also be a go-to food for people with diabetes.
Did you know? Kashmir is the major producer of almonds in India, accounting for over 90% of the total almond production in the country.
Okra is one of the most widely consumed vegetables in India. So, if you’re an Indian, chances are highly likely that you have eaten this in the past.
This green, long, finger-shaped vegetable is loaded with many essential vitamins and minerals, and Calcium is just one of them. One hundred grams of raw Okra contains 82 mg of Calcium, which is roughly 8% of the RDI. In addition, it also provides your body with protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, B6, and K, and magnesium.
If you love eating Okra dishes, you are already ahead of many people as far as a healthy diet is involved.
Some leafy vegetables
Leafy green veggies are known to be rich in a host of essential nutrients. Some of these vegetables, such as kale,
collard greens, and spinach, are rich in Calcium.
Kale and collard greens are very high in calcium and low in oxalates, which prevent the absorption of calcium into the body. As a result, these vegetables are better sources of calcium than spinach, whose high oxalate composition obstructs proper absorption.
Besides the above three vegetables, other green leafy vegetables, such as cabbage and beet greens, are also rich in calcium and other minerals.
You might be wondering by now if calcium is only found in vegetables. This is obviously not the case. Non-vegetarians naturally have a wider range of options available when it comes to nutrients.
If you are a non-vegetarian looking for calcium-rich food that is rich in taste as well, sardines are one of the best options available. Just like most fish, sardines are rich in protein, omega-3, and, of course, calcium. One hundred grams of sardines carry 29.3% of calcium’s DV, enough to be considered a rich source of calcium.
Chia seeds are not the only kind of seeds rich in calcium and other nutrients. Sesame seeds are another powerhouse of calcium. As far as calcium is concerned, sesame seeds beat chia seeds by a large margin.
Merely 90 grams of sesame seeds are enriched with 70% of DV of calcium. Moreover, these seeds also contain loads of other vital minerals, including iron, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, zinc, and many more. They also contain other essential nutrients such as vitamins, protein, carbs, and fiber.
It is not surprising that these seeds are rich in so many essential nutrients; after all, seeds are the foundation of plant life.
Milk and its products
No calcium discussion is complete without the mention of milk and milk products. And it is not without reason.
Milk is the most common and widely consumed source of calcium. Even if you have never eaten any of the above-mentioned calcium-rich foods, you have had milk countless times in life. 100 g of cow’s milk contains 123 mg of calcium.
Milk products are in line with milk in terms of calcium. Cheese– a common dairy product– is also an excellent source, with calcium content as high as 864 mg per 100 grams for some kinds of cheese. Yogurt, another milk-based product, contains 127 mg of calcium per 100 grams.
The bottom line is this: grab any dairy product you like the most and include it in your diet.
In the end
This leads us to the end of this nutritious blog! We talked about healthy foods rich in the mineral that makes up much of our bones– Calcium. We saw how vital calcium is beyond bones and teeth and told you about eight calcium-rich foods you must include in your diet to fulfill your daily calcium requirements.
The foods mentioned above are highly rich in calcium. But, do you know what contains more calcium? This blog! Tell us what you think of this calcium-packed blog in the comments below. If you like it, don’t be shy about sharing it.