Foods rich in calcium are imperative to maintain strong bones, teeth, and healthy joints and blood levels. After all, the contraction and relaxation of muscles when your gym, the strength of your backbone, quick reflexes, these are all attributed to the amount of calcium present in your body. While there is no fixed requisite of the amount of calcium, you need as it differs from individual to individual. Usually, somewhere between 700 milligrams and 1000 milligram of calcium is considered the right amount. So how does your body extract the calcium it needs? There are only two sources: food or your bones. If your food intake fails to replenish your body with the calcium intake needed, it withdraws the mineral from bones, which results in bone loss. Calcium is vital to one’s growth and maintenance, not only that, but it also helps regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels and even prevents insulin resistance. A deficiency in the mineral can cause muscle cramps, convulsions and in extreme cases abnormal heart rhythms.
We breakdown the list of calcium-rich foods you need to incorporate into your diet classifying them into vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.
Oranges and Tangerines
Everyone knows oranges and tangerines are rich in Vitamin C but a lesser-known fact is that these citrus fruits also contain high levels of calcium and potassium. One orange contains about 60 mg of calcium whereas one cup of peeled tangerine has almost 72 mfg. of calcium! Apart from being readily available and tangy, the fruit also helps protect the immune system and prevent any cell damage. You can eat this fruit on the go or as a breakfast or lunch snack.
Must try – the orange smoothie to savor the taste and acquire all the health benefits of the fruit.
Beans that are white in color are power packed with calcium. A half cup can serve almost 100 mg of calcium apart from being a delicious snack. Besides being rich in fiber, protein, and iron, the nutritious beans also possess detoxifying properties and a very low glycemic index. An added bonus: it contains starch, which boosts metabolism.
The healthiest food, broccoli offers the highest amount of calcium. 100 grams of the fresh, crunchy vegetable can provide you 47 mg of calcium. The ‘superfood’ also offers Vitamin C that helps boost the immune system and bone strength. If you are taking it raw, it contains about 86 mg of calcium in 2 cups. Another interesting fact, it contains twice the amount of Vitamin C orange possesses. Research also links eating broccoli to reduced risk of cancer.
Salmon & Sardine
A fish lover’s delight – pink salmon offers 181 mg of calcium per three ounces. Devoid of contaminants, the wild Alaskan salmon preferably is the healthiest choice. If you are unable to find any environmentally conscious salmon or you want to go a little easy on your pockets – canned salmon can solve your dilemma. Half a can provides a whopping 232 mg of calcium. Another added benefit, the canning process softens the bones so they can easily break apart.
Sardines, also touted as the healthiest fish, provides a hefty dose of calcium and Vitamin D. Fish eaters also prefer it because of the low levels of contaminants and high levels of Vitamin D. Either add it to your salad, pasta or eat it straight out of the can, sardines offer a different taste loaded with nutrients. They also serve as a source of Vitamin B12, an essential nutrient for bone health and the nervous system.
Some people fear to eat seafood because of high mercury, sardine has low levels of it.
Hearing your parents nag you about eating the yellow portion of the egg was for the right reasons. An egg yolk provides high doses of calcium and is packed with nutrients that are beneficial for eye health. One large egg provides 28 mg of calcium, most of it is present in the yolk. Apart from the yolk, an eggshell is also composed of mainly calcium carbonate and calcium phosphates, containing about 2 gm of calcium.
The delicious meat has high concentrations of calcium and protein. Lobsters are loaded with nutrients like Vitamin B, which helps the nervous system function properly. Additionally, it also helps increase the production of neurotransmitters. The water-soluble nutrient is also linked to reducing effects of Alzheimer and Parkinson’s.