Calcium is an essential vitamin found mostly in dairy products but foods such as fruits, vegetables, and grains are also rich in calcium and easy to incorporate into your daily diet. Calcium helps build strong bones and keep them strong. Calcium fights against osteoporosis, rickets, and aides in nerve function, muscles, and lowering the risk of blood clots. Calcium is an absolutely vital mineral for your health.
Calcium is one of the most essential minerals that is needed in your daily diet. Calcium’s primary role is to build strong bones and teeth, but it also helps control blood clots and nerve function. Calcium is most found in dairy products but there are ton of calcium rich foods found in fruits, vegetables, and grains.
Calcium is a mineral that is vital throughout life. It is needed in the early stages of life to build strong, dense bones and is needed throughout the rest of your life to continue to keep bones strong and to prevent osteoporosis (brittle bones), which is the loss in bone density.
A lack of calcium can bring on a number of conditions; the most important one is rickets, which affects bone growth and causes bone deformities in children. In adults, primarily the elderly, a lack of calcium will cause osteoporosis. Post-menopausal women are particularly prone to osteoporosis because their calcium levels decrease. So if you’re woman, it’s especially important that you get enough calcium in your daily diet.
List of Calcium Rich Foods
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99% of your body’s calcium is stored in your bones and teeth. The other 1% of calcium works towards nerve function, muscles, and lowering the risk of blood clots. Getting enough calcium is extremely important for people of all ages.
The recommended daily amount of calcium is 1000mg for the average adult. Most calcium is most found in dairy products such as milk and cheese. However, since some people are lactose intolerant or choose a vegan diet, it can be hard to get to the required amount of daily calcium so many experts will suggest taking a calcium supplement along with your daily multi-vitamin.
If you decide to add a calcium supplement to your diet it’s recommended to eat foods that aid in mineral absorption such as eggs, tuna, and salmon. These foods are rich in Vitamin D, which helps your body to better absorb calcium.
A good menu plan is milk and eggs in the morning, a tuna sandwich with a handful of almonds for lunch, and collard greens with salmon for dinner. This way you’ll be getting the full amount of Calcium with the added benefit of Vitamin D.
Besides animal based dairy products there are a lot of other calcium rich foods to choose from. Foods such as beans, figs, collard greens, kelp, almonds, and soymilk are excellent sources of calcium and should be incorporated into your diet.
Many food products today are also calcium fortified such as breakfast cereals, orange juice, or oatmeal. These calcium-fortified foods are another great way to incorporate more calcium into your diet. Make sure to check food labels for the percentage of calcium, did you know that 1% milk contains more calcium than whole milk? A switch in milk can start you on the right path to getting enough calcium.
You can try some of the calcium friendly recipes below if you’re looking to increase your daily calcium intake. Also, make sure to check out our list of calcium rich foods so you’ll know what calcium friendly foods to pick up on your next grocery trip.
Date and Bran Muffins
Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
For a Dinner Party:
Wilted Escarole Salad with Figs, Bacon, and Blue Cheese
Or try our own recipe for a quick, flavorful smoothie that’s high in calcium. It’s perfect for breakfast or afternoon snack.
Bone Building Breakfast Smoothie
- 1 banana
- ½ cup of fruit such as oranges, mangos, rhubarb
- 2 ½ cups of calcium enriched soy milk (or regular milk)
- 2 tbsp of sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp of honey
Slice the banana and place into a blender. Add your fruit, soymilk, sesame seeds, and honey. Blend until creamy and serve ice cold.
Calcium is too important of a mineral to ignore and besides a glass of milk there are a lot of great and creative ways to incorporate calcium into your diet.