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Calcium Rich Food: What To Include In Your Diet?

Snehil Sharma

Written by Snehil Sharma

Calcium Rich Food

Table of content

Everyone has grown up listening to their elders that calcium-rich food is essential for strong bones. And the right source of it is a dairy product only. But is that the whole story? How should you get the required calcium? In addition, if you are a 90’s kid, you must have seen many TV commercials featuring athletes and celebrities proudly wearing milk mustaches gazing into the camera and asking, Are you a milk Lover?

Besides this, have you ever strived to figure out that the message is valid? Although milk is an essential source of calcium, you may be surprised by all the different calcium food available. You can also include those food items into your diet to reach the recommended calcium daily. So, let’s learn more about that calcium-rich food. 

Calcium Rich Food

What Is The Role Of Calcium Rich Food In Your Health?

Calcium is a crucial mineral for human health and is primarily stored in your bones and teeth. Therefore, calcium is the reason your pearly whites are that strong.

  • Firstly, calcium transport enzymes and hormones through blood circulation
  • Moreover, calcium keeps your muscles, nerves, and blood vessels functioning well
  • Also, it keeps maintaining healthy blood pressure. 

Recommended Calcium Rich Food Intake

Many of us are not getting enough calcium in our diets. Actually, the amount of calcium our body needs each day depends on our age. Below are some recommended amounts for adults, according to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements.

GenderAgeRecommended Value
Male19-701,000 mg
 71 and older1200 mg
Female19-501,000 mg
 51 and older1,200 mg

However, you can see, that the recommended calcium intake goes up for women at the age of 51, while it doesn’t go up for men until after age 70. So, it’s important to focus on calcium intake.

Foods Rich In Calcium

Many foods can add up calcium content to our diet other than dairy products. So, let’s have a look and understand more about calcium intake. 

1. Vegetables And Fruits

Firstly, most green leafy vegetables including broccoli, kale, and spinach are calcium-rich. In fruits, an orange has more calcium than a glass of milk. Let’s understand more in detail about the calcium value in other fruits and vegetables. 

calcium rich fruits and vegetables
Food Serving SizeCalcium
Orange, calcium-fortified One349 mg
Collard greens, cooked 1 cup268 mg
Spinach, cooked 1 cup245 mg
Bok choy, cooked 1 cup158 mg
Kale, cooked 1 cup177 mg
Broccoli, cooked 1 cup62 mg

2. Nuts And Seeds

Then, in nuts and seeds, there is a robust amount of calcium present. Embracing chia or sesame seeds into a smoothie, salad, or morning cereals will also be effective. So, let’s look at the other food items with a large amount of calcium content.

Calcium Rich Nuts and Seeds
FoodServing SizeCalcium
Almond milk, unsweetened1 cup482 mg
Almonds1/4 cup92 mg
Sesame seeds1 tablespoon88 mg
Chia seeds1 tablespoon78 mg
Tahini (sesame butter or paste)1 tablespoon64 mg

3. Dairy Products

Also, dairy and milk products like low-fat curd, and paneer are among the best calcium sources. In sum, only a few servings daily can give you all the calcium body requires. So, keeping this in mind, while choosing a dairy product for your daily routine, always look at the calories, fat, and sodium, which can be high in a few dairy products. 

Dairy Products to include in your diet
FoodServing SizeCalcium
Vanilla yogurt (low-fat)8 ounces388 mg
Milk, 1%1 cup310 mg
Ricotta cheese, whole milk1/2 cup289 mg
Greek yogurt, plain (low-fat)8 ounces261 mg
Cottage cheese, 2% fat1 cup227 mg
Cheddar cheese1 ounce200 mg

4. Beans and Lentils

Beans and Lentils

Moreover, beans and lentils are a staple to any plant-based diet as they are usually excellent sources of fiber and protein. But do you know they’re good sources of calcium? As a matter of fact lentils, navy beans, white beans, black beans, chickpeas, and kidney beans are all the best choices to get a sizable dose of calcium.

While beans and lentils benefits us in many ways. Still, they do contain some antinutrients but these can be reduced by fermenting, soaking, and sprouting. 

Myths and Controversies About Calcium Rich Food

Calcium may be one of the most talked about nutrients of all. But it doesn’t mean everything you hear is necessarily true. Especially when information comes from trade organizations, food companies, or manipulated governments. Therefore, let’s learn a bit more about the most widespread myths about calcium:

1. Dairy Products Are the Right Sources of Calcium

  • Firstly, milk and dairy products are the only rich calcium sources. Not to mention, only a few servings per day can give all the calcium required by an individual. But contrary to this popular belief, high dairy consumption doesn’t correlate with good bone health.
  • Also, having a lot of dairy products can increase the risk for certain medical issues. 
  • If only dairy products are a rich source, then what about the people who are lactose intolerant?

2. Calcium Is The Most Important Thing For Bone Health

  • Further, calcium is essential for bone health, but calcium is not the only thing bones need to be strong. Other than this, mineral-like Vitamin D also plays a crucial role in strengthening your bones.
  • Moreover, people in different countries like India, Japan, and Peru eat around one-third the amount of calcium Americans do, yet bone fractures are rare in these countries.
  • However, people in these countries have much higher exposure to sunlight due to geographic location, which naturally increases their vitamin D levels.

3. Everyone Should Take A Calcium-Containing Supplement To Be Safe

  • Now, people have also started taking calcium supplements frequently to keep their bones strong as they age. But is this helpful?
  • Also, research suggests that calcium supplements may do more harm than good for many people. The risks of calcium supplementation are especially remarkable in people with a history of kidney stones. Therefore, it is better to include calcium-rich natural foods in our diet.

Fun Fact

Is your weight loss journey going slow? Did you check your vitamin D levels? Yes, you need to check. Because Vitamin D helps you to reduce weight? Isn’t it surprising? let’s learn more about this amazing fact from Dietician Mac Singh in detail through this short video.

Bottom Line

To conclude, calcium-rich foods are crucial to our overall health. However, individuals should not consume these foods in large quantities because they might be harmful. Thus, adding too much calcium causes kidney stones and other health issues. In fact, obtaining the proper calcium from diet and supplements is vital to maintaining nutritional health. 

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Disclaimer

This blog post was written to help you to make healthy and better food choices altogether. So, be aware and take care. The important thing to consider is your own health before starting a diet that is restrictive. Therefore, always seek advice from a doctor/dietitian before starting if you have any concerns.
Therefore, Eat Healthy, Live Healthy and Enjoy a long happy life.

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