Calcium is a key nutrient in our body and we need it to be healthy and strong. About 99% of calcium is concentrated in the bones and teeth, but it also plays a significant role in the proper functioning of blood, nerves, hormones, cells, and muscles.
Nutrition experts and doctors recommend calcium-rich foods in your daily diet plan. It is important that your body gets the required amount of calcium from different foods.
The recommended daily intake (RDI) of calcium as per the National Institute of Health is shown below:
According to popular belief, most calcium-rich foods are dairy products like milk, yogurt, cheese, buttermilk. But you will be surprised (and happy!) to know that it is actually just a myth. There are many non-dairy calcium-rich foods as well.
So, are you including calcium-rich foods in your daily diet plan? Are you having enough to meet your daily intake of calcium?
Here’s a list of calcium-rich foods that you might be missing out on!
This fatty fish is rich in omega-3, which helps, among other things, to control the hormones responsible for stress and adrenaline. Sardine also proves to be a good source of calcium with 130mg/100g for grilled sardines and 798mg/100g for sardines in oil!
Almonds are one of the healthiest nuts rich in omega-3, fiber as well as calcium! One hundred grams of almonds with their skin intact contain 248 mg of calcium. You can add them to your smoothies or snack on them daily. It is best to consume the unsalted versions with the skin on.
Herbs, spices, and condiments are an integral part of cooking. These act as natural flavor enhancers, are easy to use, and are very good sources of calcium. Dried thyme provides 1200mg/100g, cinnamon contains 1000mg/100g, cumin 971mg/100g, and black pepper includes 440mg/100g. You can sprinkle these on desserts, mix it in, or add it to other savory dishes daily.
Whether eaten raw or cooked, spinach is a green vegetable rich in nutrients as well as minerals such as calcium essential to the body. Consumed raw, spinach contains 114mg/100g whereas in cooked form, it contains 140mg/100g. Add it to your soups, smoothies, or curries. You can also sprinkle chopped spinach on dals and curries.
- Milk chocolate:
Here is an excellent reason to snack on a few squares of milk chocolate. It contains about 227mg/100 grams. However, too much milk chocolate can lead to an increase in calorie intake and weight gain.
In addition to 114mg/100g of calcium, Broccoli also contains potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium. It is also an excellent source of vitamin C.
They are easy to consume, before or after the meal or as a snack. Cheeses are highly recommended calcium-rich food. Parmesan is one of the best with an average of 1200mg/100g.
You can fuel your body with calcium in the morning, at breakfast, while eating cereals. An oatmeal cereal bar enriched with vitamins and minerals (793 mg/100g) or regular cereals (453mg/100g) when consumed with milk or yogurt can up your calcium intake.
We all know that orange helps strengthen our immune system. One orange contains almost 60mg of calcium.
Loaded with fiber and potassium, dried figs contain 242mg of calcium per cup. They play a key role in strengthening your bones. Also loaded with magnesium, this fruit helps maintain heart rate and maintain muscle function. It is one of the best calcium-rich foods.
To optimize your calcium intake, it is very important to include these top 10 calcium-rich foods in your daily diet. It is equally important to combine calcium with certain other minerals and nutrients like vitamin D which helps to effectively absorb calcium into your body. Another ally is magnesium which acts synergistically both with calcium and vitamin D to preserve and maintain bone structure. The bottom line is that in terms of diet, everything is a matter of balance.