Calcium: Support Your Health With These Foods
Calcium plays a vital role in supporting the overall health of our bones and joints.
Calcium is a crucial nutrient that our bodies greatly depend on. Calcium plays a key role in fortifying teeth and bones, imparting them with strength and durability. Within our bodies, approximately 1kg of this essential mineral exists, with 99% of it residing in our skeletal framework and teeth.However, as we grow older, the condition of our bones and joints tends to deteriorate. A well-balanced diet should generally provide individuals with an adequate calcium intake.
Recommended daily intake of calcium for different age groups
Here are the Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) guidelines for daily calcium consumption based on age:
0-12 months (non-breastfed only): Aim for 525 mg of calcium per day.
1-3 years: Aim for 350mg of calcium per day.
4-6 years: Aim for 450 mg of calcium per day.
7-10 years: Aim for 550 mg of calcium per day.
11-18 years (boys): Aim for 1000 mg of calcium per day.
11-18 years (girls): Aim for 800 mg of calcium per day.
Adults (19+ years): Aim for 700 mg of calcium per day.
Pregnant women: Aim for 700 mg of calcium per day.
Breastfeeding women: Aim for 700mg of calcium per day, with an additional 550 mg to support lactation.
Foods that are rich in calcium
Milk - Milk is considered one of the top sources of calcium, so eliminating it from your diet may result in an inadequate intake of this essential mineral. In addition to calcium, milk provides several other vital minerals and vitamins. Opting for fat-free milk is the most beneficial choice since milk with higher fat content contains less calcium. A single cup of skim milk contains approximately 306 mg of calcium.
Broccoli - Broccoli has become a common inclusion in modern diets. It is packed with essential nutrients such as calcium, vitamins, and minerals. It's versatile and can be enjoyed in various forms. However, it's important to avoid overcooking broccoli as it may lead to a loss of vitamins. You can incorporate broccoli into your diet by adding it to juices, soups, toppings, salads, and more.
Oranges - While it may come as a surprise, oranges can play a significant role in maintaining optimal bone health when incorporated into your diet. These citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, which is beneficial for both your teeth and bones. Moreover, oranges are abundant in calcium, making them an excellent calcium source. What sets oranges apart is their inclusion of fat-soluble vitamins that aid in the absorption of calcium by your body.
Yogurt - It is an ancient food dating back to 2,000 B.C., containing a remarkable calcium content surpassing that of the milk from which it originates. With its unique production process, yogurt offers a higher calcium concentration. Consuming just one 8-ounce serving of low-fat yogurt fulfils an impressive 42 percent of your daily calcium needs.
Tofu - Tofu stands out as an excellent mineral-rich food, particularly in terms of its calcium content. A mere half cup of firm tofu contains 80 mg of calcium, while the same quantity of regular tofu provides a healthier dose of 135 mg. However, tofu that undergoes treatment with calcium sulphate boasts even higher calcium levels. Consequently, a serving of half cup of firm tofu fortified with calcium offers a substantial 204 mg of calcium, whereas an equal portion of soft tofu fortified with calcium sulphate provides a respectable 138 mg of this essential mineral.
Nuts and seeds - Nuts and seeds are excellent sources of calcium, with chia seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, peanuts, and sunflower seeds being particularly rich in this essential mineral. Adding these calcium-rich seeds to your diet is easy and beneficial. For instance, you can try a delicious combination of pear juice with pineapple and chia seeds, as the vitamin C in pineapple helps enhance the absorption of calcium nutrients.
Cheese - Cheese is a dairy product known for its calcium and protein content. However, it's important to be mindful of the nutritional composition of different cheeses as some can be high in fat or salt, making them less healthy options.However, it's advisable to check the levels of fat and salt it contains. Opting for hard cheeses with lower fat content is a preferable choice. Alternatively, quark and cottage cheese offer lower fat options while still providing a good amount of calcium.
Calcium, a vital mineral, plays a crucial role in various aspects of our well-being. Although dairy products are commonly associated with high calcium content, there are numerous alternative sources, many of which are derived from plants. Incorporate the above mentioned nutritious foods, abundant in calcium, into your daily meals to safeguard your bones from potential chronic diseases that could manifest later in life.
Disclaimer: The above content is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a qualified physician or doctor. The Company does not vouch for or endorse any of the above content, and disclaims any and all warranties, express or implied, relating to the same.