From toothpaste to energy drinks – there are more than 100 brands in the world that thrive on children and calcium. Why calcium is so important?
Calcium helps in building strong teeth, nails and bones, aids in nerve movements, muscle contraction and relaxation, and is also good for hormonal and enzymatic secretions in the human body. Without the presence of proper and adequate amount of calcium, there can be a number of bodily problems. However, excess of calcium can also be harmful. It may lead to kidney stones, soft tissue calcification and even heart strokes.
Why We Need Calcium?
Calcium is essential for the proper development of the bones and teeth. Up till the early 20’s, there is high development of the bones. During the 30’s it is important to infuse one’s diet with calcium supplements and calcium-rich foods as the process of bone development slows down.
It has been proved in recent years that calcium can actually help you stay slim and also aid weight loss. So, infusing your diet with calcium-enriched foods will help you stay in shape. Calcium does not let you store up fat. Rather it helps fat to get burned and keeps you fit.
It is important, especially for women, to take proper amounts of calcium and vitamin D because lack of it can cause hormonal imbalance and generate premenstrual syndrome symptoms.
Recent studies have shown that adequate amount of calcium intake in the diet may prevent cancer. Good amounts of calcium-enriched food intake can help you prevent breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and also ovarian cancer.
Most of the calcium intake is for the bones to be absorbed. However, a percentage of calcium plays a vital role in muscular and nervous functions. This is because muscular and nervous contractions and relaxations actually help the heart to function and stay healthy. So, calcium actually helps your heart to stay healthy and can prevent chances of heart stroke.
There are different sources of food rich in calcium. Dairy sources are the most well-known; calcium can also be derived from green leafy vegetables. There are a few greens that you are pretty familiar with which offer good amounts of calcium when eaten raw, blanched or cooked properly but not overdone. Fruits too contain calcium; oranges and nuts offer a fair amount of calcium too.
Soy products like soy beans (cooked), tofu, and soy milk (non fat & unsweetened) are some of the best sources of calcium. A cup of cooked soybeans contains about 175mg of calcium. Soybeans are not just tasty but can be used in a lot of dishes. Tofu is a good food for people willing to stay slim and fit. You can infuse your daily dishes with soy nuggets to increase their quantity and the overall goodness of the food.
Almonds are a rich source of calcium. You can toss up your salads with a handful of these crunchy nuts and increase the nutritional value of your dish. You may roast them a bit with a pinch of salt and munch on them. About 100 grams of almonds gives you approximately 264 milligrams of your calcium requirement.
Oranges are a rich source of calcium. You can eat them just like they are or you may try out various forms of fruit salads or infuse the fresh juice of oranges into cakes and smoothies. Just about half a cup full of oranges will give you approximately 50 milligrams of calcium.
Greens should always form a part of your regular diet. When it comes to spinach, we always remember how Popeye, the sailor used to eat it to become stronger. Spinach is a very good source of calcium. You can have spinach in your salads, in curries or even as soups. A cup of cooked spinach will give you about 250 milligrams of calcium.
Sesame seeds can be roasted a bit and sprinkled over chicken or meat dishes. They can also be combined with vegetables because they have a very unique taste. They can also be used as a coating for various snacks. About ½ cup of sesame seeds will give you 500 milligrams of calcium.
Celeries are very good sources of calcium. About 2 and half cups will give you round about 85 milligrams of calcium. Celeries can be blanched, combined with brown breads and eaten as a snack or cooked as some other side dish for supper or dinner.
One cup cooked Broccoli gives you about 63 milligram of calcium. If you are on diet, you must try to include broccoli in your meals. They will help you maintain your weight as well as give you your daily needed calcium boost.
Chinese cabbage or bok choy, when eaten raw in salad, can give you about 104 milligrams of calcium per 100 grams.
This is another fish rich in calcium content. You can always have shallow fried salmon for your lunch or dinner; they help you keep in shape too. In about 100 grams of canned pink salmon you can get about 282 milligrams of calcium.
About 100 grams of anchovies can give you about 147 milligrams of calcium.
85 milligrams of canned shrimps contain about 123 milligrams of calcium.
A cup of canned crabs contain 123 milligrams of calcium.
Milk and Milk Products
We obviously know that milk and milk products supply an enormous amount of calcium. No wonder we are always told to have a glass of milk every day. However, people who don’t like milk can have calcium from other milk products like cheese, butter, curds, etc.
Low fat milk and curds: About 100 grams of low fat milk contains about 125 milligrams of calcium.
Low fat mozzarella cheese: This is a tasty and healthy source of calcium. About 100 grams of low fat cheese will give you approximately 960 milligrams of calcium.
A boiled egg contains about 50 milligrams of calcium.
Do you think you need a change in your current diet? If yes, then do let us know which calcium-rich foods you would be combining in your daily for a good calcium boost.