One interesting fact about the nutrient, Calcium is that it is one of the most abundant minerals in the human body. In addition, calcium can also be sourced in a myriad of food and drinks. If you are lactose intolerance or tired of getting your calcium from the usual food sources such as dairy products, be well aware of the fact that there are lots of food items other than dairy where you can get high calcium doses. In this article, we will discuss the importance of calcium and ways on how you can get them through a healthy, well-balanced diet.
Go Beyond the Dairy Aisle- Some Facts about Calcium that you need to Know
Aside from calcium’s crucial role as strong bones and teeth builder, this mineral has so much more to offer. Other functions of calcium are as follows:
- Calcium helps the body to maintain full-functioning blood vessels
- Health doses of calcium in the bloodstream helps in regulating bood pressure
- In the case of Diabetes Type 2, it helps in the preventing insulin resistance from occurring
Ideally, adults should consume at least 1,000 mg of calcium daily; that which is equivalent to:
- one tall glass of skim milk
- one thick slice of cheddar cheese
- one cup of Yogurt
It actually looks attainable to get the calcium the body needs. Unfortunately, majority of Americans still fail to meet calcium requirements. According to a survey, only 16% of the female population between the ages 20 and 29 is able to meet ideal calcium requirements.
The primary sources of calcium are yogurt, milk, cheese, and other dairy products. We should not however limit our food choices in that calcium may also be found in other foods items. Seafood, legumes, fruits, and leafy greens are also excellent sources of calcium. Yes! Many food and drinks are fortified with calcium ad well. When consuming non-traditional calcium sources, it is very important to pair their intake with Vitamin D, as thos nutrient increases and speeds up the rate of calcium absorption.
Here is a long list of calcium-rich foot items and recipes that you can make for ideal calcium intake to be possible on a regular basis:
Natural Calcium Since majority of Americans are not getting enough calcium from raw and natural food due to their dependence on nutrient-fortified foods and supplements, it is important to take note of grocery items that you should stock up on to ensure optimal calcium intake.
1. White Beans
– 191 mg of DV in 1 cup of canned white beans.
These creamy and light legumes are excellent sources of not only calcium but iron too. Ideally, white beans are added to pasta dishes as well as veggies. You may also replace chickpeas with white beans when making hummus.
2. Canned Salmo
n- 232 mg in ½ cup can of salmon with bones
Salmon is undeniably expensive, thus it is unrealistic to include this item to our daily meals. What we can do however to get calcium from it is by buying canned salmon. The bones in the salmon actually deliver the calcium we need. When preparing canned salmon it’s important not to remove the bones. Simply mash the bones together with the salmon during preparation. Canned salmon has softened bones that fall apart once you mix it with the meat. For reference, canned salmon also contains high amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids.
– 321 mg in 7 sardine fillets
Sardines are the healthiest fishes available. Apart from calcium, sardines also supply Vitamin D and Omega-3 fatty acids. Sardines are best eaten with rice or as toppings in Greek salad preparations.
4. Dried Figs
– 107 mg in 8 whole dried figs
This sweet does not only have calcium but is extremely rich antioxidants and fibers. Dried figs can be eaten as is in between major meals or can be made into healthy, delicious jam preserves.
5. Bok Choy
– 74 mg in 1 cup
The versatile Chinese cabbage, Bok Choy is packed with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Calcium. It’s high in fiber that makes it one of the best veggies to eat if you wan to improve digestive health too. Bok Choy is best prepared stir fried with bits of garlic in olive oil.
6. Blackstrap Molasses
– 172 mg in 1 tablespoon Blackstarp molasses is a natural sweetener featuring a darker color and richer flavor than regular molasses. Aside from the iron and vitamins that you get, it also contains calcium. Blackstrap molasses is definitely one of the most versatile sweeteners as it can used in sweet and savory food preparations.
– 188 mh in two cups of chopped Kale
Kale is a superfood as it is rich in nutrients and antioxidants. One of the nutrients you obtain from Kale is calcium. Kale can be eaten fresh as base for any type of salad, or can be prepared as part of a pasta or soup dish.
8. Black Eyed Pease
– 185 mg in ½ cups canned
Black Eyed Pease Black eyed peas are beans filled with a wide variety of nutrients such as potassium, folate, and calcium to name a few. Instead of slathering your bread with fattening, opt to make homemade black eyed peas spead instead.
– 72 mg in ¼ cup dry roasted nuts
Almonds are one of the most nutritionally-dense nuts available. Grab a handful or more of these nuts as its packed with Vitamin E, iron, potassium, and calcium. Apart from being an excellent light snack, you can also sprinkle almonds on top of salads, and even make it as homemade almond butter for breads and other baked goods.
– 65 mg in 1 medium-sized fruit
Apart from the Vitamin C goodness that orange is known for, it is also enriched with calcium. Oranges are very versatile in that it can be a part of a healthy breakfast, light snack in the afternoon, or an important ingredient that will bring zest to any of your cooked meals.
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