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Top 15 Calcium Rich Foods You Need To Include In Your Diet

Our bodies require calcium for healthy bones and teeth as well as to keep our cells, nerves and muscles functioning properly. Despite the fact that calcium is so important to keep our bodies functioning and healthy, many people lack enough of this vital mineral in their diet.

Even for people who are lactose intolerant or vegetarian there is no reason to miss out on calcium, as it is not found exclusively in dairy or meat products, contrary to popular opinion. This is because there are varied sources of calcium.

The Importance Of Calcium

Since nearly every cell in our body relies on calcium in some form or other its importance cannot be underestimated. Calcium is stored in our bones, but due to aging, one can lose a lot of calcium, which can lead to osteoporosis or osteopenia. Since our bodies cannot create calcium and we lose some of our stored reserves every day, we have to rely on the foods in our diet for absorption.

In addition to maintaining the strength of our teeth and bones, calcium also keeps our hearts beating and prevents our blood from clotting.

How Much Calcium Do You Need?

According to the New York State Department of Health the recommended daily calcium intake for men between the ages of 19 and 70 is about 1,000mg. For women between the ages of 19 and 50 it is also about 1,000mg, while for women aged 51 to 70 it is 1,200mg.

However, it is important not to take in too much calcium, especially from supplements as this can lead to complications such as kidney stones and increases the risk of vascular diseases. For men and women aged 19 to 50, stay below 2,500mg a day.

What Are the Most Calcium Rich Foods?

These are just some of the foods rich in calcium, so it is easy to get the recommended daily intake while still enjoying variety:

1.Milk: Although not suitable for everyone, milk is one of the best calcium sources for both children and adults. The other advantage of milk is that its calcium content can easily be absorbed by the body.

2.Yogurt: Another calcium rich food from the dairy group is yogurt. In addition to its high calcium content, yogurt is also high in protein.

3.Cheese: As cheese is made from milk, it comes with the same high calcium content. There are a lot of varieties to choose from, but mozzarella in particular comes with a big calcium boost.

4.Sardines: Sardines are not only rich in calcium, but also come with the added advantage of vitamin D and omega 3s.

5.Canned Salmon: Another easy on the wallet source of calcium is canned salmon. Be sure to opt for the variety that has the bones mashed up along with the meat in order to get the best calcium boost.

6.Shrimp: Seafood fans who are not too fond of fish can also turn to shrimp as a great source of calcium.

7.Kale: Kale is not only healthy, but comes loaded with calcium. Eating it as part of a salad is a great way to load up on calcium along with vitamin K and vitamin A.

8.Oranges: In addition to their vitamin C content, oranges also contain plenty of calcium. Eat the orange instead of only drinking the juice for the biggest calcium boost.

9.Dried Apricots: If you lead a busy lifestyle and want to add something calcium rich that can be enjoyed on the go, dried apricots taste delicious and contain plenty of calcium, making them a good choice.

10.Dried Figs: Like apricots, dried figs are another great source of calcium that can be enjoyed on the go. In addition to its calcium rich content dried figs also provide a boost of magnesium.

11.Tofu: Vegetarians are well aware of the protein advantage packed by tofu, but it is also a great source of calcium. Best of all, it is very versatile and can be used for a variety of tasty dishes.

12.Beans: Most beans are high in calcium, but the biggest boost comes from winged beans. White beans are also quite high in calcium, as well as navy beans.

Pin It13.Oatmeal: Start your day right with some oatmeal and you’ll find that it is not only filling and packed with fiber, but also provides a nice calcium boost.

14.Almonds: Although almonds are fattening and should be enjoyed in moderation, they come packed with calcium in addition to vitamin E and potassium.

15.Collard Greens: Part of the same family as kale, collard greens is a great plant-based source of calcium. In fact, just a 100g serving of cooked collard comes packed with 210mg of calcium.

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Katherine Hurst
By Dr. Michael Richardson
Passionate about sharing the latest scientifically sound health, fitness and nutrition advice and information, Dr Richardson received his Master of Science in Nutrition from New York University, and a Bachelor Degree from New Jersey University. He has since gone on to specialize in sports nutrition, weight management and helping his patients to heal physical ailments by making changes to their eating habits and lifestyles.

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