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8 Foods High in Calcium and Why You Need It

8 Foods High in Calcium and Why You Need It

Max Lab

Dec 05, 2022

It's a good idea to have an understanding of foods rich in calcium to get what you need. Your diet should include a variety of vegetables and fruits, milk or milk products, and other high-calcium foods.

Why is Calcium Important?

There are many reasons why calcium is important for our bodies. It is essential for bone and teeth health helps with blood clotting, and supports nerve and muscle function. Getting enough calcium through our diet is important for everyone, but especially for growing children and adolescents, women of childbearing age, and older adults.

Most of the calcium in our body is stored in our bones and teeth. Calcium helps build strong bones and teeth and keeps them healthy as we age. Our bones act as a storehouse for calcium, releasing it into the bloodstream when needed. This is why it's important to get enough calcium throughout our lives so that we can build up a good store in our bones to draw on as we age.

Calcium also plays an important role in blood clotting. When we cut ourselves, tiny cells in our blood called platelets rush to the injury site to plug the hole in the blood vessel and stop the bleeding. Calcium is needed for this process to work properly.

Foods High in Calcium

If you're looking to up your calcium intake, there are plenty of delicious options to choose from.

  • Milk

Milk is an excellent source of calcium. It provides about 30% of the recommended calcium intake per cup. Milk also contains Vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium.

  • Cheese

Cheese is rich in calcium, with one ounce providing about a quarter of the recommended daily intake. While all cheese contains some calcium, hard cheeses like cheddar and Swiss have more than softer cheeses like mozzarella and ricotta. Cheese also provides protein, vitamin A, and phosphorus.

  • Yogurt 

Yogurt is an excellent source of calcium. It is also a good source of protein and vitamin D. Yogurt can be a part of a healthy diet for people of all ages.

  • Spinach 

Spinach is one of the best sources of calcium. A one-cup serving of cooked spinach contains 245 mg of calcium or 25% of the daily recommended intake. Spinach is also a good source of other nutrients like vitamin A and iron.

  • Kale 

Kale is a leafy green vegetable that is packed with calcium. One cup of kale contains 180 mg of calcium, which is about 18% of the daily recommended intake for adults. Kale is also a good source of other nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and iron.

  • Beans

Beans are a great source of calcium, providing about 10% of the daily recommended value in a single cup. But not all beans are created equal when it comes to calcium content. White beans, for instance, contain almost twice as much calcium as black beans. Navy beans, kidney beans, and lima beans are also good sources of calcium.

  • Nuts

There are many benefits to including nuts in your diet, including the fact that they're a great source of calcium. Just a handful of almonds, for example, contains almost as much calcium as a cup of milk. Other nuts high in calcium include Brazil nuts, cashews, and hazelnuts.

  • Seeds

If you're looking to up your calcium intake, you might not immediately think of seeds as a good source.

Sesame seeds are one of the best sources of calcium, with 1 ounce providing almost 300 mg of the mineral. That's nearly a quarter of the recommended daily intake for adults. Other seeds that are high in calcium include chia and flaxseeds. Just 2 tablespoons of chia seeds provide over 180 mg of calcium, while 1 tablespoon of flaxseeds has about 80 mg.

Pumpkin and sunflower seeds are also good sources of calcium, with 1 ounce of each providing around 50 mg. And if you're looking for a tasty way to get more calcium, try making a batch of homemade seed crackers using any combination of these seeds.

What are the Health Benefits of Calcium?

In addition to building strong bones and teeth, calcium has many other health benefits. It can help prevent osteoporosis, reduce blood pressure, and protect against colorectal cancer. Calcium is also effective in treating PMS symptoms.

How Much Calcium Should I Take?

As we age, our bones become more brittle and are at increased risk for fractures. To help keep your bones healthy and strong, it’s important to consume enough calcium. But how much calcium do you really need?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends that adults aged 19-50 consume 1,000 mg of calcium per day. Adults over the age of 50 should aim for 1,200 mg of calcium daily. Pregnant and lactating women need even more calcium – 1,300 mg and 1,000 mg per day, respectively.

If you’re not sure if you’re getting enough calcium from your diet alone, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian about whether you might need a supplement.

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