Calcium is one of the many essential minerals required by the body. Bones, teeth, nails, cells, body tissues, blood, and other body fluids all require calcium.
- Calcium helps our body in,
- Building strong bones and teeth
- Prevents osteoporosis
- Preventing blood clots
- Sending and receiving nerve signals
- Relaxing muscles
- Releasing hormones and other chemicals
- Keeping the heartbeat normal
At every age getting an adequate dose of calcium is therefore very important. A cup of milk contains just 350 milligram of calcium whereas an adult human body requires about 1000 mg of calcium per day, in which women over 50 years and everyone over 70 years should get 1200mg of calcium (1).
Foods Which Offer Calcium More Than Milk
There are certain foods which contain high calcium content even more than milk can give.
An ounce of chia seeds contains 179mg of calcium (2). Chia seeds also contain boron which helps metabolize calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium promoting healthy bones and muscles.
It can be mixed to smoothies, oatmeal, or yogurt to add a little bit of crunch and also calcium to the diet.
The fat is healthy but the calorie count is high, therefore, it should be consumed in moderation.
Eating nuts help lower the blood pressure and body fat and risk factors of other metabolic diseases.
Tofu is another excellent source of calcium. The calcium content might vary depending on the brand and the firmness of the product. Half a cup of tofu contains 86% of RDI of calcium(4).
Salmons and Sardines
These oily fishes have high-quality protein and omega-3 fats which are essential for heart, brain, and skin.
Mercury present in seafood is in fewer amounts in both salmon and sardine. Also, these fishes contain high levels of selenium which is a mineral which reduces the mercury toxicity.
A cup of sunflower seeds contain 109mg of calcium(7). They also contain magnesium which helps balance the effect of calcium and regulates nerves and muscle health.
Sunflower seeds also contain vitamin E, copper which promote bone strength and prevent bone loss.
Consider taking just a handful due to excess of calories in it.
One tablespoon of sesame seeds adds 88 mg of calcium to a person’s diet(8). They also contain zinc and copper which is equally beneficial for health.
A study conducted on the effect of sesame seed supplementation on clinical signs and symptoms of the patients suffering from osteoarthritis showed positive effects in the treatment(9).
Sweet potatoes are a rich source of calcium, potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C. It is a well-known dish all over the world as it is low in fat and calories.
One large sweet potato contains 68mg of calcium(10).
Beans and Lentils
Beans and lentils are rich in fiber, protein, iron, zinc, folate, potassium, and micronutrients. It also serves a decent amount of calcium in the diet.
This high nutritious value of beans is a reason why plant-rich diets are considered so healthy.
Cheese is an excellent dairy source of calcium. Parmesan cheese has 331mg per ounce which helps meet the 33% of RDI (13).
Calcium from dairy products is absorbed more easily than from the plant source
Despite being high in fat and calories it is known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and type2 diabetes.
Calcium is a very important mineral required in the daily diet. Just consuming a glass of milk might not fulfill it. There are various other food substances which help meet the recommended daily intake of calcium and most of them are plant-based.
You can choose from the above option and bid adieu to the deficiency of calcium.
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