26 Jul 2018

10 Calcium-Rich Foods to Include in Your Diet

Nutrition Advice

Did you know that calcium is the most abundant mineral found in the body, with almost 99 percent of the body’s calcium being stored in the bones and teeth?

You might think that calcium supplements might take care of the whole calcium deficiency scenario. However, in order for your body to properly absorb calcium, you need other vital nutrients like magnesium, vitamin D, and vitamin K.

Why is calcium important?

Calcium strengthens our bones and teeth as well as plays an important function in our nervous system, muscles, heartbeat regulation, nerve signalling, hormone function and more. Yet, a large percentage of the population doesn’t get enough calcium from their diet.

A calcium deficiency can lead to muscle cramps, lethargy, convulsions, loss of appetite and abnormal heart rhythms. In contrast, an excess of calcium (from supplements) can result in kidney stones, classification of soft tissue, and an increased risk of stroke and heart attack.

It’s important to get your calcium intake from real food sources or calcium-fortified sources rather than calcium supplements that aren’t always absorbed well.

Here are 10 calcium-rich foods that you need to include in your diet. If you don’t consume dairy or dairy products, you aren’t doomed to brittle bones, we also have some foods that don’t contain a drop of milk in them!

One: Cheese

Surprise, surprise, yes, we all knew that. But which cheese has the most calcium? The answer is parmesan which has 33% of the RDI As a general rule, the softer the cheese, the less calcium it contains.

Can cheese cause high blood pressure? Apparently not. Recent studies suggest cheese can actually lower your risk of heart disease.

Two: Sardines

calcium rich foods

It’s all right there in sardines’ edible bones; calcium and loads of it.

Three: Almonds

Almonds are the most calcium-packed nuts on the planet, so stock up for an easy, bone-friendly snack in an instant. Almonds are a power-packed, nutritious snack. Check out five impressive health benefits of almonds in our blog!

Four: Canned salmon

Not fresh salmon, canned salmon. Much lower in the mercury department than larger salmon, canned salmon are generally smaller fish packed to the gills with calcium.

Five: Seeds

Or, more specifically, poppy, chia, celery and sesame seeds. These little gems are superfoods when it comes to calcium. Seeds are also high in magnesium which plays a crucial part in just about every bodily process!

Six: Yoghurt

Calcium rich foods

Yes, yoghurt is one of the best sources of calcium and delivers a third of your daily needs in just one cup.

Seven: Beans

Any bean is a good source of calcium, but for a real bone beater, go for cooked wing beans.

Eight: Leafy greens

Well, some, particularly dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale are a super healthy way to up your calcium intake.

Nine: Rhubarb

calcium rich foods

It might be an acquired taste, but get busy and acquire it; rhubarb is a worthy source of calcium and plenty else besides.

Ten: Tofu

A great one to finish. Just half a cup of tofu that’s been prepared with calcium is nearly 90% of your daily needs.

How much calcium a day?

The answer is about 1000 mg per day for the average adult. That said, women over 50 should need to get 1200 mg per day. Likewise, anyone over 70. Kids? For growing bones, you want to be munching down about 1300 mg per day.

Want to know more about how nutrition works? Our nationally accredited 10136NAT Diploma of Nutrition  qualifies you to become a Nutrition Advisor and promote healthy nutrition and well-being solutions! Enquire Now or call us on 1300 616 180 and speak to one of our Careers Advisors for more information. 

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