What Is Calcium?
The calcium is the most abundant mineral in our bodies. Critical to bone health, calcium constitutes about two percent of our total body weight. Although calcium plays many roles in the body, the most important is the health of the bones. You can think of bones as your “checking account” of calcium. In other words, deposits are made and removed from the ore. Bones are living tissue and, although strong, they are actually living tissue and require constant maintenance. In this sense, calcium intake is the main method to maintain and promote the durability and resistance of bones.
« Your body uses 99 percent of your calcium to keep your bones and teeth strong, thus supporting the structure and function of the skeleton. The rest of your body’s calcium plays a key role in cell signaling, blood clotting, muscle contraction and nerve function « Dr. Arielle Kamps (source).
Why and How Much Do I Need?
First, it is important to remember that your body absorbs calcium better when the nutrient is consumed throughout the day. Do not eat two yogurts for breakfast and do nothing else about it throughout the day. In addition to providing support for your bones and teeth, calcium also helps your body with:
- Blood clot formation
- Hormone release
- Muscle contraction
- Normal and constant heartbeat
- Transmission of nerve signals
The recommended daily allowance (CDR) of calcium is almost identical for both men and women. The two exceptions are between the ages of 51 and 70, and for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding between the age ranges of 14-18 * and 19-50.
The 10 Most Calcium Foods:
Now that you know the role that calcium plays in the body and how much it needs, here are ten foods with more calcium.
1. Chia Seeds:
Perhaps the most powerful and versatile superfood in the world, only 25 grams of these miraculous seeds produces a whopping 177 mg (17% CDR) of calcium. Chia seeds are also full of protein, omega-3 and, well, too many nutrients to list here.
Loaded with almost all the healthy nutrients available (almost 10 grams of protein!), Cabbage is a healthy complement to your plate. One cup of chopped cabbage records 266 mg (26% DV) of calcium.
3. Bok Choy (or Pak Choi):
Actually called “pok-choy,” this fleshy vegetable contains a whopping 882 mg (88% CDR) of calcium per head. Isn’t it awesome? The vegetable also contains 378 mg of vitamin C or 630% of the RDA.
4. Black Beans:
Black beans are one of those rare foods that come with a ton of protein and dietary fiber (30% and 60% CDR, respectively). One cup of black beans also provides a respectable 46 mg (5% CDR) of calcium.
Considered a kind of «pseudo-cereal», this delicious grain is rich in these minerals: iron, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus. Only one cup of cooked amaranth releases about 116 mg (12% CDR) of calcium.
6. Parmesan Cheese:
Pasta lovers can take some comfort knowing that the heap of “parmesan” on their plate contains some real nutritional value: 331 mg (33% CDR) per 25 grams.
Kale is just a super healthy food, period. Nutrition Data , a database containing nutritional data for almost all foods, qualifies kale with 5 stars out of 5 stars possible for its “weight loss ” and “optimal health” benefits. However, only one cup of chopped kale contains 91 mg of calcium (9% RDA).
Tofu is one of the best gifts in China (not Japan!) For the rest of the world. The health benefits of this vegetable curd are too numerous to list here.
“The calcium count says it all – a cup of raw tofu provides 434 mg of calcium (43% CDR)”.
9. Yogurt Low in Fat:
Any type of yogurt is good to get your calcium, but the low-fat variety may be the densest. While plain yogurt has an average of about 30% RDA, low-fat matter contains about 245 grams, or 45% RDA.
Whether you are a fan of milk or not, you cannot ignore this list. Cow’s milk is not only a good source of calcium, but also one of the cheapest and most available. In addition to containing an average of 314 mg of calcium (31% CDR), cow’s milk also contains a respectable amount of vitamin A, vitamin D and protein.
Other Tips (Eat Well):
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, there are many things we can do to help build and maintain strong bones and muscles. Here are the most important:
- Ask your doctor about a bone density test if you are over 50 years old.
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
- Avoid secondhand cigarette smoke.
- Carefully examine food labels to determine if they have high calcium content.
- Perform some type of weight training every day. The extension and contraction of the muscles is key to healthy bones.
- Give up smoking.
- Supplement vitamin D, which helps calcium absorption.