We all know how important calcium is for our bone health and teeth – don’t we? This mineral helps us build as well as maintain strong bones and teeth. It is also good for muscle movement and cardiovascular function.
But unfortunately, calcium is not produced in your body which is why; it is necessary to eat calcium-rich food.
Now the question is – what are some calcium-rich foods in India? To get your answer, dive into the below section now.
How Much Calcium Do You Need Daily?
How much calcium you require daily depends on a lot of factors, including your age, sex and medical conditions. In general, men and women who are aged between 19 and 50 require 1000mg of calcium.
Men who are 71 and older require 1200mg of calcium. On the other hand, women aged 51 and above need the same amount of calcium. 51- to 70-year-old men need 1000mg of calcium.
However, this is just a general chart for readers. It is advisable to consult a doctor to stay on the safe side.
Top 10 Healthy Calcium Rich Foods
Cheese, one of the common dairy products is rich in calcium. Also, it is a great protein source. Cheese can be used as an ingredient in snacks. But, keep in mind – some cheeses contain a lot of sodium.
On the other hand, full fat cheese is high in fat and calories. So, it is necessary to limit certain cheeses for some people, especially those who are obese.
Milk, which is widely available, is rich in calcium. One cup of cow’s milk contains 280mg of calcium. It is also a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin D and protein. Both children and adults can consume milk that is easy to digest.
One cup of almonds contains 460 mg of calcium. Having about 4 to 5 almonds every morning can help you improve your memory. Being a good protein source, it also reduces the risks of cardiovascular disease.
Green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli and kale are good calcium-rich foods. They also contain potassium and magnesium.
Adding these veggies, including spinach, to your diet can be beneficial for your health in the following ways – better bone health, improved digestion, diabetes management, controlled blood pressure and more.
Dried figs are richer in calcium, antioxidants and fibre than other dried fruits. That’s not all. Figs also contain Vitamin K and potassium. These two micronutrients help in maintaining strong bones.
Yoghurt is one of the most favourite breakfasts to many. A good calcium source, this food can be eaten in various ways. Eat it with fruits or with crushed nuts.
Healthy yoghurt can also be taken with smoothies. Yoghurt can be good for your gut health because it contains beneficial bacteria.
Rich in calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein, soy milk is a good dairy milk replacement. This healthy beverage offers a number of health benefits – improving heart health and brain health, reducing menopause symptoms etc.
Sardines have great nutritional value since they contain Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and protein. These small fish reduce the risks of a number of health conditions, including heart diseases and specific cancers.
Both adults and pregnant women can add these small fish to their diet. However, consider consulting physicians and nutritionists for proper advice.
Nuts and Seeds
Apart from almonds, walnuts, peanuts, chia seeds etc., are also rich in calcium. Add a handful of nuts and seeds to your diet chart to get rid of the calcium deficiency problem. They are also great fibre, vitamin, protein, healthy fat, and mineral sources.
Orange and Blackberry
Fruits like oranges and blackberries contain high calcium levels. Along with calcium, these fruits contain vitamin C, fibre and other minerals. Eat one medium-sized orange to consume 60mg of calcium.
What is Calcium Deficiency?
Calcium deficiency, also known as hypocalcaemia, is a medical condition where the blood contains low level of calcium.
Some of the major causes of calcium deficiency include – overconsumption of magnesium, eating disorders such as anorexia, and bulimia, chemotherapy, lack of the parathyroid hormone, excessive caffeine, alcohol and soda consumption, vitamin D deficiency, kidney failure etc.
Calcium Deficiency Risk
Calcium that is a vital mineral, is necessary for good bone health. Also, it is essential for strong and healthy teeth.
If your body fails to get enough calcium, you will be at risk of developing osteoporosis and osteopenia. It may also prevent the growth of children. Calcium can be consumed through foods and supplements.
Adequate Calcium Intake Is Necessary
Make sure that your body gets adequate calcium for the following reasons:
Good Bone Health
Your bones and teeth contain about 99% of the calcium in your body – did you know? This mineral is essential for the growth, development and maintenance of bones, as we have already mentioned.
Growing children and pregnant women need enough calcium to maintain their bones. Also, females after menstruation need adequate calcium because they are at high risk of developing osteoporosis.
Better Cardiovascular Functions
As per a number of studies, there is a link between calcium consumption and low blood pressure.
Also, this mineral plays a key role in maintaining muscle action, especially heart muscle. It is necessary for blood clotting. In short, calcium is necessary for better cardiovascular function.
Improved Muscle Contraction
Calcium plays a significant role in regulating muscle contraction. Your body releases calcium each time muscle stimulation happens.
Here, the role of calcium is to help the proteins in the muscle. These proteins carry out contraction work in the muscle. With calcium release, the muscle in your body relaxes.
Consuming adequate calcium can be beneficial for your health because:
- It reduces the risk of high blood pressure in pregnant women
- It improves cholesterol values
- It lowers the risk of colorectal adenomas (tumours)
Both foods and supplements can be taken to consume calcium. However, doctors recommend at least half of the calcium intake should come from foods.
Dairy is a good source of this mineral. However, there are also some plant-based foods that are high in calcium. Make sure you eat a healthy diet to meet your daily calcium needs.
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