Natural sources of calcium play a pivotal role in bolstering bone health. Here are several food options that can swiftly increase your daily calcium intake. In our childhood, the prevailing notion was that drinking milk was the key to growing strong, which instilled the idea that calcium was solely for bones and teeth.
However, calcium serves multiple vital purposes beyond bone health. It actively contributes to blood clotting, muscle contractions, regulating heartbeat, and nerve functions. This underscores the importance of obtaining adequate calcium from your diet for overall bodily functions. According to the National Institute of Health, adults between 19-50 should aim for at least 1,000 mg of calcium daily. While calcium supplements offer immense benefits across age groups, the most natural and efficient method to meet your daily calcium needs is through dietary intake.
Fortunately, numerous foods contain naturally high levels of calcium, and by incorporating them into your meals, you can quickly meet your daily targets.
Here are 10 calcium-rich foods to consider adding to your diet
1. Milk and Cheese: Whole milk and cheeses like cheddar and mozzarella contain approximately 224 mg of calcium per 100 grams, contributing significantly to your daily requirement. Additionally, most milk is fortified with vitamin D, aiding calcium absorption.
2. Yoghurt: Offering around 167 mg of calcium per 100 grams, yoghurt also provides probiotics for gut health. Opt for plain yoghurt and add honey and fresh fruits for flavor.
3. Sardines: Canned sardines offer a convenient calcium boost with 382 mg per 100 grams, alongside omega-3 fatty acids for heart health.
4. Leafy Greens: Spinach, kale, broccoli, and bok choy provide calcium with spinach offering 67 mg per 100 grams. These vegetables offer versatility and nutritional value, whether cooked or raw.
5. Tofu: A fortified plant-based option with around 372 mg of calcium per 100 grams, making it a great meat substitute for nutritious meals.
6. Almonds: Offering 254 mg of calcium per 100 grams, almonds provide an easy snacking option packed with healthy fats and protein.
7. Figs: High in calcium with nearly 162 mg per 100 grams, figs make a quick, sweet, and nutritious snack.
8. Amaranth: Whether consumed as leaves or flour, amaranth offers 215 mg of calcium per 100 grams, aiding in meeting daily nutritional goals.
9. Sesame Seeds: Surprisingly rich in calcium, these seeds contain 975 mg per 100 grams, perfect for homemade tahini sauce or as a calcium-rich topping.
10. Soy Milk: With 101 mg of calcium per 100 grams, soy milk, a dairy alternative, serves as an excellent substitute in beverages or cooking.
These natural sources of calcium present a variety of choices to enhance your calcium intake and support overall health and wellbeing.