Calcium-rich foods are the essential nutrient bones need as their main component. Think that 99% of body calcium originates in bones and teeth.
But not only that, but calcium is also essential for the heart, muscles, and nerves to function correctly and also for blood clotting.
The need for calcium varies according to age and in other situations (childhood, pregnancy, menopause, etc.), so it is good to know how much calcium you should get in your diet.
Top Calcium-Rich Foods
Most of us probably associate calcium in our diet with milk, but many foods also give us a good supply of this mineral. These are the best foods rich in calcium.
Dairy products are best known for existence rich in calcium. Although there are other products whose levels are similar to those of dairy, milk products contain a form of calcium that absorbs by the body. These products are:
Milk: Besides calcium, it is also a source of phosphorus and magnesium, which help maintain healthy bones. Through the first two years of life, children should drink whole milk, but after that age, it recommends that they consume low-fat or skimmed milk since removing the fat does not reduce the amounts of calcium.
Cheese: Cheese is a product very rich in calcium, which also has numerous options and low-fat varieties.
Yoghurt: One of the most consumed milk derivatives. It also presents many healthy options, such as low-fat or fibre-enriched yoghurts, which help prevent constipation.
Butter: Although it is a product containing high-fat levels, it also has healthier options.
Fish and Shellfish
Calcium is present in some fish in a higher proportion than in dairy products, especially in:
Sardines: Especially canned sardines. It is due to the detail that it is a soft bonefish, so with the thermal actions they subject for consumption, the calcium from their bones passes into the meat.
Salmon: Salmon is also a soft bonefish. In addition, both sardines and salmon contain vitamin D and fatty acids that help the body absorb calcium.
Clams and cockles: Besides calcium, they are an essential source of iron and iodine.
Numerous varieties of vegetables are a natural source of calcium, among which green leafy vegetables stand out. The main vegetable products that contain this mineral are:
Spinach: The level of calcium contained in spinach (90-114 mg per 100 g) is not far from that of cow’s milk (120 mg per 100 g); however, although it is a food rich in calcium, it contains oxalates and substances that hinder the absorption of this mineral.
Kale: Kale is also a food rich in iron, which does not contain oxalates that prevent proper absorption.
Watercress: Besides a considerable amount of calcium, they contain other minerals, such as iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, and iodine. Other foods rich in this mineral are leeks, turnip tops, broccoli, and chard.
Nuts and Legumes
Legumes and nuts contain high amounts of calcium, although they are also a source of other substances that hinder the absorption of the mineral. Among the nuts, those with a hard shell and those dehydrated stand out. Among these products stand out:
Soy: Soy is one of the legumes richest in calcium. In addition, it contains isoflavones that help alleviate bone decalcification. So it also helps prevent osteoporosis.
Chickpeas: Chickpeas have a calcium level close to milk, although they contain oxalates that make it difficult to absorb.
Almonds: It is the wealthiest dry fruit in calcium. By not containing water, all its nutrients and minerals are more concentrated; that is, there is a large number of nutrients in small portions. In addition to calcium, they are rich in magnesium, which helps maintain healthy bones.
Dried fig: Being a dehydrated fruit, it also contains concentrated minerals. In addition to calcium, dried figs and dried fruits are rich fibre sources.
Why is Calcium Important for our Body?
In addition to the famous “calcium is good for your teeth and bones,” this mineral is one of the most important, as it helps many processes and functions in our body to develop correctly.
We need calcium for moving muscles and nerves to carry messages from the brain to different body parts. Calcium also helps blood circulate properly through the blood vessels, allows a normal heart rhythm, and releases hormones and enzymes.
With these tips and suggestions for the best foods rich in calcium, you will be able to obtain the recommended daily amount according to your needs and thus prevent the appearance of osteoporosis and other complications derived from a deficiency of this mineral.