It is essential for us to keep in mind a balanced diet and to consume calcium-rich foods for the benefit of proper development of strong bones, teeth, and for the proper functioning of your heart and muscles. Foods that we consume daily are composed of various nutrients, minerals, and proteins.
What is Calcium?
Calcium is a mineral essential for the proper functioning of our body in general. It is found in many of the foods that we consume regularly. According to the National Institute of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements, almost 99 percent of calcium is stored in bones and teeth to support its structure and hardness. (1)
How much calcium do I need?
Harvard Medical School recommends an intake of 1200 mg of calcium every day. The following are the recommended intake of calcium per day according to the age group. (2)
- 1000 mg for women ages 50 and younger,
- 1200 mg for women ages above 50 and men.
Why is calcium important?
Calcium supports the development of strong bones and teeth and it is utilized in various forms by our body like the nervous system, muscles, heart, and bones.
Calcium is stored in bones and later in the aging process, intake of calcium from foods that we consume is minimized and body part absorbs calcium from the bones and teeth. This is the only reason why adult needs more calcium intake than the younger ones.
A calcium-rich food for teeth includes orange juice with added calcium, canned fish, beans, almonds, and soymilk.
Symptoms of calcium deficiency
- Muscle cramps
- Tooth decay
- Late puberty
- Dry skin
How can I increase my calcium intake?
For the proper development of bones, calcium is a very essential mineral. Therefore calcium-rich foods for bones include milk, cheese, and other dairy products, leafy green vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, soya beans, tofu, nuts, and fish like sardines.
Here are some best tips to increase calcium intake through the foods that we eat daily.
- Inclusion of dairy products in your diet
- Consume leafy green vegetables
- Include fish in your diet
- Nuts like almonds are also calcium rich foods
- Reduce consumption of caffeinated drinks and alcohol
Which foods are highest in calcium?
According to Daisy Whitbread powered by USDA Nutrition data, foods containing high calcium include tofu, milk, yogurt, spinach, leafy green vegetables, okra, and trout.
As per nutrition data, tofu contains 97.6 mg of calcium in 122g of tofu which is 10 percent of the daily recommended value (1200mg), 247g of skimmed milk contains 504mg of calcium which is 50 percent of the daily recommended value, 28g of yogurt contains 24.6mg of calcium which is 2 percent of the daily value, 30g of spinach contains 29.7mg of calcium constituting about 3 percent of daily recommended value, 100g of Okra contains 81mg of calcium which is 8 percent of daily value and 159gms of trout contains 107mg of calcium constituting to 11 percent of daily recommended value. (3)
List of calcium-rich foods
- Skimmed Milk, cheese and other dairy foods
- Yogurt, learn more about its health benefits
- Spinach and other leafy green vegetables
- Trout and other fish like sardines
Top 10 calcium-rich foods
Calcium has various health benefits which include helping in weight loss, proper functioning of the heart, muscles, and other body parts. The major health benefits of calcium constitute the development of strong bones and teeth.
Some of the top 10 calcium-rich foods include;
- Skimmed milk
- Fish like sardines and salmon
- Leafy green vegetables
- Fortified foods
- Seeds like sesame, celery, chia seeds, etc.
- Fortified drinks
Calcium-rich foods for a diabetic patient
Calcium is also an important requirement for a diabetic patient since you have to change your diet plan to control your blood sugar and body weight.
For a diabetic patient, Dr. Erin Palinski-wade recommends sardines which contain omega-3 fatty acids, yogurt to improve heart health, low-fat tofu, spinach based salads, and low-carb cheese.
Calcium-rich foods recommended for pregnant women
The following listed items are recommended in order to supplement the need for calcium in your body during pregnancy.
Are eggs high in calcium?
Eggs are classified as superfoods and one of the healthiest foods loaded with nutrients essential for our body. The health benefits of an egg include raise in good cholesterol reduce the risk of heart disease, eye health, and proteins.
According to Nutrition data, 243 grams of the egg contains 129 mg of calcium which is 13 percent of the daily recommended value of calcium. Other mineral includes iron (4.4mg), magnesium (29.2mg), Phosphorus (464mg), Potassium (326mg), and sodium (340mg).
Eggs are also rich in protein containing 30.6g which is 61% of the daily recommended value. It also contains carbohydrates, vitamin A, vitamin D, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, and choline.
Which fruit is rich in calcium?
Fruit contains various nutrients and minerals like vitamin C, calcium, dietary fiber, and folate. The following are some calcium-rich fruits that are beneficial for your body.
This fruit is said to have 23 milligrams of calcium along with calories, dietary fiber, proteins, vitamin C, and natural sugar. There are many health benefits associated with kiwi fruit including helping in digestion, improving skin health, and boosting the immune system.
148 grams of berries contain 8.9 milligrams of calcium which is 1 percent of daily recommended value.
Other minerals and nutrients include iron, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, and folate. Berries also contain a substantial amount of iron which helps to overcome iron deficiency.
165 grams of pineapples contain 21.5 milligrams of calcium which constitute to 2 percent of DV.
Other nutrients and minerals include iron, magnesium, thiamin, vitamin K, dietary fiber, sugars, and proteins.
140 grams of papaya contains 33.6 milligrams of calcium (3% DV).
Other nutrients and minerals include dietary fibers, sugars, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, folate, proteins, and magnesium.
The above-mentioned fruits contain sugars and diabetic patients should consult their doctor before consuming these fruits.